why did the tay bridge collapse

The weather that evening saw violent storms with gale force winds. An official investigation into the causes of collapse utterly ruined Sir Thomas Bouch’s reputation. “The figure of 75 ultimately comes from the Court of Inquiry. Create a commenting name to join the debate. The bridge collapse happened in the midst of a violent wind storm and caused the train to plunge into the Firth of Forth, killing everyone aboard. 1996 Tay road bridge. The most insightful comments on all subjects There has been much debate over the years on what caused the fall of the Tay Bridge and who was really to blame. At approximately 7.15pm on 28 December 1879 the first Tay Rail Bridge collapsed. Are you sure you want to mark this comment as inappropriate? “They collected 56 tickets. It is possible that the train came off the rails to help trigger the collapse but further quantitative analysis is required to explain why the bridge failed as it did. “In the first category we find Bouch himself. We can prove there were 59 because we have documentary proof.”. “Against that, there is the argument that the bridge simply blew down, taking the train with it. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. After the collapse of the First Tay Bridge, the major bridges of the time in the United Kingdom, the Second Tay, Forth and Tower Bridges, were entrusted to him and his company. The original rail bridge replaced an early train ferry. Its narrow width and top-heavy “high girders” and piers had given way in winds of up to 80 miles an hour. These facts explained the failure of the lugs in the conditions of the fateful night. A "digital microscope" that lets scientists examine photographs at high resolutions has finally proved what caused the Tay Bridge disaster of 120 years ago in which 75 people died. Start your Independent Premium subscription today. Famous visitors including the Emperor of Brazil, Prince Leopold of the Belgians and Queen Victoria herself came to pay homage to this marvel of Victorian engineering. He was convinced that a second class carriage had come off the track, caught on the side girder, and ripped the bridge apart. "We have combined that with modern knowledge about the qualities of cast iron to explain what happened." The highest girders collapsed, plunging the engine and all six carriages into the freezing water. The bridge collapsed during construction on August 29, 1907, killing eighty-six workers. For more information go to. Others say the bridge fell down and took the bridge with it. By the 1860s the battle between the Scottish North British and Caledonian railway companies had taken hold. The discovery came through looking at high-quality digitised versions of 50 photographs taken after the accident for a Board of Trade inquiry. On 28 December 1879 the High Girders were blown into the Tay while a train was passing through them, drowning 75 people. It remains one of the worst railway disaster in Britain’s history. The Tay Bridge cost £300,000 to build, and used 4,000 tons of cast iron, 10 million bricks and 15,000 casks of cement. The Edinburgh to Aberdeen train crossing at the time crashed into the river, killing everyone on board. Supremacy in controlling the major routes through Scotland would depend on which company would be first to bridge the River Tay at Dundee. Professor Swinfen speaks at Dundee Transport Museum at 3pm on December 10. In particular, designers now know that holes in any structure concentrate stresses to the extent that they can make an otherwise robust design fail abruptly - as happened on the Tay Bridge. Newest first, -1) ? “My conclusion from all this is that my original explanation of the fall was largely correct, but with some important additions and modifications,” he added. Something went wrong - please try again later. How… Log in to update your newsletter preferences, Monday - Friday plus breaking news alerts by email. The increasing stresses and strains imposed on the lugs by the design of the bridge led them to fail. “In light of the journal articles, and of the expert opinion of leading civil engineers, I have rejected the claim that metal fatigue was a factor in the collapse. “The reason why there is a discrepancy is that there are two different ways in arriving at the conclusion. "As each lug failed that would put extra load on the next one, and the whole lot would just unzip.". The Court of Inquiry which followed the disaster found, "The fall of the bridge was occasioned by the insufficiency of the cross bracing and its fastenings to sustain the force of the gale." Dr Lewis said: "They were taken using very long exposure times and very fine-grained silver emulsion. Are you sure you want to delete this comment? On 22 July 1871, the foundation stone of the bridge was laid. “In recent years this explanation has been accepted by a number of writers, especially with reference to the so-called ‘kink in the rail’ – a distortion of the track which, it is claimed, caused the carriage to become derailed. David Newnham 15th November 2002 at 12:00am. Please The original Tay Bridge was opened to great acclaim and publicity in 1878. “On the other hand we only know for certain that 59 people were lost, in the sense that we only have death certificates for 59. A court of Inquiry (a judicial enquiry under Section 7 of the Regulation of Railways Act 1871 "into the causes of, and circumstances attending" the accident) was immediately set up: Henry Cadogan Rothery, Commissioner of Wrecks, presided, supported by Colonel Yolland (Inspector of Railways) and William Henry Barlow, President of the Institution of Civil Engineers. “Ever since John Prebble produced his seminal ‘High Girders’ book, indeed even well before that, there has been a vigorous debate about the causes of the disaster, and the allocation of blame,” continued Professor Swinfen. Part of this was because of flaws in its design, but poor maintenance was also an issue. This bridge was designed by Thomas Bouch and was completed in 1878. It's just downstream of the Tay rail bridge. try again, the name must be unique, You may not agree with our views, or other users’, but please respond to them respectfully, Swearing, personal abuse, racism, sexism, homophobia and other discriminatory or inciteful On top of that there were people with season tickets, people going on beyond Dundee who had their tickets checked on a list but were not actually taken. “The figure most often cited is 75 dead – and this figure was accepted by the Court of Inquiry, “Professor Swinfen, 80, of Broughty Ferry, said. Start your Independent Premium subscription today. Independent Premium. During its construction 20 workmen died. The Tay Bridge (or Tay Rail Bridge) is a railway bridge about 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 Wormit, Fife (grid reference. 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