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Scottish . biz . . . everything about Scotland

Scottish Rivers - information and pictures on some of the most beautiful rivers in Scotland.

River : River Tay 

Longest River in Scotland

River Length km Length miles Description
River Tay   193  120 The Tay rises in the Highlands and flows down into the centre of Scotland through Perth and Dundee. It is the longest river in Scotland and the seventh longest in the UK. 

River Tay - at Dundee

Full Moon over The River Tay - at Dundee

 

The Tay Bridge

The Tay Bridge (sometimes unofficially the Tay Rail Bridge) is a railway bridge approximately two and a quarter miles (three and a half kilometres) long that spans the Firth of Tay in Scotland, between the city of Dundee and the suburb of Wormit in Fife (grid reference NO391277).

As with the Forth Bridge, the Tay Bridge has also been called the Tay Rail Bridge since the construction of a road bridge over the firth, the Tay Road Bridge. The rail bridge replaced an early train ferry.

The original Tay Bridge was designed by noted railway engineer Thomas Bouch, who received a knighthood following the bridge's completion. It was a lattice-grid design, combining cast and wrought iron. The design was well known, having been used first by Kennard in the Crumlin Viaduct in South Wales in 1858, following the innovative use of cast iron in The Crystal Palace. However, the Crystal Palace was not as heavily loaded as a railway bridge. A previous cast iron design, the Dee bridge which collapsed in 1847, failed due to poor use of cast-iron girders. Later, Gustave Eiffel used a similar design to create several large viaducts in the Massif Central (1867).

Proposals for constructing a bridge across the River Tay date back to at least 1854. The North British Railway (Tay Bridge) Act received the Royal Assent on 15 July 1870 and the foundation stone was laid on 22 July 1871. As the bridge extended out into the river, it shortly became clear that the original survey of the estuary had not been competent. The bedrock, at a shallow depth near the banks, was found to descend deeper and deeper, until it was too deep to act as a foundation for the bridge piers. Bouch had to redesign the piers, and to set them very deep in the estuary bed to compensate for having no support underneath. He also reduced the number of piers by making the spans of the superstructure girders longer than before. The first engine crossed the bridge on 22 September 1877, and upon its completion in early 1878 the Tay Bridge was the longest in the world. The bridge was opened on 1 June 1878.
 


The Tay Bridge Disaster
 

On the night of 28 December 1879 at 7.15pm, the first bridge collapsed after its central spans gave way during high winter gales. A train with six carriages carrying seventy-five passengers and crew, crossing at the time of the collapse, plunged into the icy waters of the Tay. All seventy-five were lost, including Sir Thomas's son-in-law. The disaster stunned the whole country and sent shock waves through the Victorian engineering community. The ensuing enquiry revealed that the bridge did not allow for high winds. At the time a gale estimated at force ten or eleven had been blowing down the Tay estuary at right angles to the bridge. The engine itself was salvaged from the river and restored to the railways for service. The collapse of the bridge, opened only nineteen months earlier and passed as safe by the Board of Trade, is still the most famous bridge disaster of the British Isles. The disaster was commemorated in one of the best-known verse efforts of William McGonagall.
 


 

 

Pictures of the River Tay

 

View of the River Tay taken from Fingask

View from Fife shows the sun setting over the River Tay

Tay Rail Bridge framing a beautiful winter sunset

Dundee University Night View over the River Tay

The River Tay at Dunkeld

A few boats on the River Tay in Newburgh

Frozen River Tay at Wormit beach

Trees in the River Tay

Sunset over the River Tay

River Tay at Perth

Turbulent Tay

Perth City Centre looking along the River Tay

River Tay Perth Winter Scene

The River Tay meanders down from the North This picture was shot from a microlight aircraft

River Tay from Newburgh

The River Tay at Perth

River Tay FROZEN

Dunkeld path tothe River Tay

Bridge over the River Tay at Perth

River Tay from Newburgh looking east

Reflections in the river Looking across the River Tay from Wormit to Dundee

River Tay by Dundee

River Tay Perthshire

Tay Bridge in the mist

The River Tay at Kinfauns

Kinnoul Hill and the River Tay at sunrise

Panoramic view of the Tay Rail Bridge from the wormit side of the river Lots of floating ice

Frosty Morning By The River Tay

River Tay from the church garden in Dunkeld

Fly fishing in the River Tay at Murtly

Tay Bridge

River Tay by Dunkeld

Banks of the River Tay

Wades Bridge on the River Tay in Aberfeldy


 

 

 
The Railway Bridge of the Silvery Tay by William McGonagall

BEAUTIFUL Railway Bridge of the Silvery Tay !
With your numerous arches and pillars in so grand array
And your central girders, which seem to the eye
To be almost towering to the sky.
The greatest wonder of the day,
And a great beautification to the River Tay,
Most beautiful to be seen,
Near by Dundee and the Magdalen Green.

Beautiful Railway Bridge of the Silvery Tay !
That has caused the Emperor of Brazil to leave
His home far away, incognito in his dress,
And view thee ere he passed along en route to Inverness.

Beautiful Railway Bridge of the Silvery Tay !
The longest of the present day
That has ever crossed o'er a tidal river stream,
Most gigantic to be seen,
Near by Dundee and the Magdalen Green.

Beautiful Railway Bridge of the Silvery Tay !
Which will cause great rejoicing on the opening day
And hundreds of people will come from far away,
Also the Queen, most gorgeous to be seen,
Near by Dundee and the Magdalen Green.

Beautiful Railway Bridge of the Silvery Tay !
And prosperity to Provost Cox, who has given
Thirty thousand pounds and upwards away
In helping to erect the Bridge of the Tay,
Most handsome to be seen,
Near by Dundee and the Magdalen Green.

Beautiful Railway Bridge of the Silvery Tay !
I hope that God will protect all passengers
By night and by day,
And that no accident will befall them while crossing
The Bridge of the Silvery Tay,
For that would be most awful to be seen
Near by Dundee and the Magdalen Green.

Beautiful Railway Bridge of the Silvery Tay !
And prosperity to Messrs Bouche and Grothe,
The famous engineers of the present day,
Who have succeeded in erecting the Railway
Bridge of the Silvery Tay,
Which stands unequalled to be seen
Near by Dundee and the Magdalen Green.
 

 
 
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