Bridges, Firth of Forth

The Firth of Forth. It just sounds cool, doesn’t it?  But it gets better.

In and near Edinburgh, three magnificent bridges cross the Firth:

  • The Forth Bridge, a through-truss bridge for rail traffic, built in the 1880s
  • The Forth Road Bridge, a suspension bridge for road traffic, built between 1958 and 1964
  • The Queensferry Crossing, a cable-stayed bridge also for road traffic, built between 2011 and 2017

However photogenic, singly or together, they’re more than just three lovely bridges.  They represent evolving engineering capabilities across three centuries.  

All 3 bridges over the Firth of Forth, in 2 viewsI went there in early June, fully planning to concentrate on the new cable-stayed bridge, and it is a spectacular structure, whether seen from up top or underneath, in the distance, or close at hand.

The new cable-stayed bridge for road traffic across the Firth of Forth: 4 views.But it was the old rail bridge that I fell in love with.

6 views of the 1880s rail bridge over the Firth of Forth


Thanks to J. Douglas Keegan, photographer, for his time and help.

10 Comments

    1. Isabel Gibson

      Carla – Thanks! Creative and athletic. 🙂 You should have seen me halfway up a swaying chainlink fence with the photographer, hanging on for dear life, to get the underneath-bridge shot.

    1. Isabel Gibson

      Derek – Wonderful! I’ll be in Dublin (en route to a family wedding) in August. I see an early morning photoshoot in my future. Thanks for the tip.

  1. These are amazing photos, Isabel. Any single one of them would be arresting. The collection is breathtaking. By calling them “photogenic” you place the qualities that amaze within the structures. I think the “genic” refers to the genius of the photographer in the framing of those qualities for the viewer.

    1. Isabel Gibson

      Laurna – Many thanks! It is possible to take insipid photos of these bridges (I took several!), but it surely helped to have a professional photographer by my side for the afternoon.

  2. Tom Watson

    ACH! I remember it well. Some 30+ years ago, we went to the Edinburgh Castle. Parked our car on the street nearby. When we returned, a parking attendant was dumping money from the meters. I asked him for directions to St. Andrews. I didn’t understand a word from his reply except for “Firth of Forth.” I asked him to repeat what he said. Same result. So we took the Forth Bridge and somehow made it to St. Andrews.
    Tom

    1. Isabel Gibson

      Tom – Yes, it’s fun travelling in a country where they sort of speak the same language. Sometimes I settled for being able to read the signs . . .

  3. Jim Taylor

    I had not realized that the Firth of Forth bridges had such esthetic beauty. All I knew of them was that the old bridge, the first bridge, became a synonym in my mother’s generation for endless tasks. It took three years for a painting crew to work their way across the bridge, and when they got to the end, it was time for them to go back to the beginning and start again. I suppose they could have used the legend of Sysiphus, but they used the Firth of Forth.
    Jim T

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