The Forth Rail Bridge is one of the world’s great engineering feats, and one of its most well-known. When it opened in 1890, the cantilevered bridge had one of the world’s longest spans, at 541 metres. Its distinctive and innovative design marks it as an important milestone in bridge construction during the period when railways came to dominate long-distance land travel. Spanning the estuary of one of the country’s great rivers, the Forth Bridge revolutionised travel within Scotland, and it continues to carry and freight more than 130 years after its official opening.
This view of the Forth Rail Bridge features the Gresley A4 Class Pacific Plover locomotive and was painted by Terence Cuneo (1907–1996) for British Railways in 1952. Cuneo withstood gales of over 50 mph as he sketched the scene from a girder above the track.