Tay Rail Bridge

Photogaphs of the re-building of the Tay Rail

Wormit and Tay Bridge

£8.25

Wormit and Tay Bridge - Ref: WC3202

Wormit with the Tay Bridge in the background, featuring a man with his children. Wormit owes its existence to the railway which put it within easy commuter distance of Dundee.

Wormit developed around the southern bridgehead. One of a number of settlements in style and layout it is very similar to its larger neighbours.

£8.25
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wc3202

Mars Training Ship, Dundee

£8.25

Mars Training Ship, Dundee - Ref: WC2145

In this photograph of the Mars Training Ship the Tay Rail Bridge can be seen in the background. The Mars could accommodate up to 400 delinquent or disadvantaged boys.

The Mars started out as a man-of war built at Chatham in the 1840s. She saw service in the Crimean War, was later converted into a steam screwship. Having become obsolete she was converted into a training ship. The Mars was anchored in the River Tay from 1869 until 1929.

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wc2145

Tay Rail Bridge, Dundee

£8.25

Tay Bridge, Dundee - Ref: WC1648

Sir Thomas Bouch was born in Thursby, Cumberland in 1822. In 1849 he moved to Edinbrugh to manage Edinburgh & Northern Railway Co., but resigned in 1851 to set up as a consultant engineer.

In 1854, Bouch put forward schemes for bridging the rivers Forth and Tay, but the idea was not accepted. In 1869, the North British Railway set up the Tay Bridge Undertaking to build a bridge.

£8.25
Ref: 
wc1648

Tay Rail Bridge, Dundee

£8.25

Tay Rail Bridge, Dundee - Ref: WC1649

Photograph from Alexander Wilson Collection. In the photograph there is an early type steam engine with a group of workmen standing in front.

In 1869 the North British Railway set up the Tay Bridge Undertaking to build a bridge. In May 1871 the contract was awarded to Charles De Bergue who was contracted to build the bridge in three years at a cost of £217,099.18s.6d.

£8.25
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wc1649

Tay Rail Bridge, Dundee

£8.25

Tay Rail Bridge, Dundee - Ref: WC1650

Photograph from Alexander Wilson Collection. View of bridge from Dundee side looking towards Fife.

On 22 July 1871 the son of resident engineer William Paterson tapped the foundation stone in place. The building took longer than the intended 3 years and the cost rose from £217,099.18s.6d to £350,000.00. Twenty workmen were killed during the construction work.

£8.25
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wc1650

Tay Rail Bridge, Dundee

£8.25

Tay Rail Bridge, Dundee - Ref: WC1651

The bridge, designed by Sir Thomas Bouch, was opened on 26 September 1877 with great ceremony. Passenger services began on 31 May 1878. The structure lasted little over a year.

On 28 December 1879, the 5.27 train left Burntisland for Dundee. Just after 7pm, at the height of a storm, the train reached the bridge and a few minutes later, the bridge collapsed. Approximately 75 passengers were on the train but only 46 bodies were found.

£8.25
Ref: 
wc1651

Tay Rail Bridge, Dundee

£8.25

Tay Bridge, Dundee - Ref: WC1652

Photograph from the Alexander Wilson Collection.

On Sunday 28 December 1879 the 5.27 train left Burntisland for Dundee. By early evening, a violent storm was sweeping down the Tay. Just after 7pm, the train reached the bridge at the height of the storm. A few minutes later, the train and all passengers were at the bottom of the river.

£8.25
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wc1652

Tay Rail Bridge, Dundee

£8.25

Tay Rail Bridge, Dundee - Ref: WC1653

Photograph from Alexander Wilson Collection. The photograph shows three engines with tenders on the bridge and workmen still on the bridge. Below there are groups of people watching the work from Riverside.

As work progressed on the bridge it became clear that the appearance of the bridge was considerably different from the original drawings. The iron columns were made at a foundry which was established in Wormit. Made from poor quality iron, the columns played an important part in the distaster.

£8.25
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wc1653

Tay Rail Bridge, Dundee

£8.25

Tay Rail Bridge, Dundee - Ref: WC1636


Alexander Wilson, who took this photograph, was a supervisor in a Dundee jute mill for over 20 years. He bequeathed much of his collection and £50, to cover the costs involved, to the Free Library Committee of Dundee in 1923.

£8.25
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wc1636

Tay Rail Bridge, Dundee

£8.25

Tay Rail Bridge, Dundee - Ref: WC1654

Photograph from Alexander Wilson collection. This photograph shows the completed bridge with a train starting to cross.

Many people came to see the bridge including Ulysses E. Grant, ex-president of the USA, the Emperor of Brazil and Prince Leopold of Belgium. Queen Victoria crossed the bridge in the summer of 1879 shortly before she knighted Thomas Bouch, the original architect of the scheme..

£8.25
Ref: 
wc1654
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