photo credit Miles Oglethorpe

Forth Bridge

The bridge was designed by Sir John Fowler and Sir Benjamin Baker and built by Sir William Arrol & Co, a Glasgow-based company.


Forth Bridge

The Forth Bridge, which spans the estuary (Firth) of the River Forth in eastern Scotland to link Fife to Edinburgh by railway, was the world’s earliest great multispan cantilever bridge, and at 2,529 m remains one of the longest. It opened in 1890 and continues to operate as an important passenger and freight rail bridge.

This enormous structure, with its distinctive industrial aesthetic and striking red colour, was conceived and built using advanced civil engineering design principles and construction methods. Innovative in design, materials, and scale, the Forth Bridge is an extraordinary and impressive milestone in bridge design and construction during the period when railways came to dominate long-distance land travel.

Official website

Did you know..?

The Forth Bridge first opened in 1890

The overall length of the Forth Bridge is 2,467 metres

The main structure (portal to portal) measures 1,630 metres

The highest point of the Forth Bridge stands 110 metres above high water and 137 metres above its foundations

53,000 tonnes of steel and 6.5 million rivets were used to construct the Forth Bridge

The Forth Bridge’s piers are constructed from 120,000 cubic yards of concrete and masonry, faced with 2 ft thick granite

200 trains use the bridge every day, carrying 3 million passengers each year

The total painted area of the Forth Bridge is 230,000 sq metres, requiring 240,000 litres of paint

There are 1,040 lights installed on the Forth Bridge, using approximately 35-40,000 metres of cable


57 lives were lost during the construction of the Forth Bridge

At the height of its construction, more than 4,000 men were employed


The construction of the bridge resulted in an unbroken East Coast railway route from London to Aberdeen.


Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Country: United Kingdom

Year of Inscription: 2015

UNESCO Criteria: (ii), (iv), (vi)

Contact information:

For more information about Forth Bridge, visit the website