“Machinery for Drilling the Steel Tubes of which the Bridge is to be Constructed” (“The Graphic”)
Machinery for Drilling the Steel Tubes of which the Bridge is to be Constructed

Machinery for Drilling the Steel Tubes of which the Bridge is to be Constructed. The Graphic 30 (30 August 1884): 225. Source: Hathi Trust online version of a copy of the periodical in the New York Public Library. Click on image to enlarge it.

As Jacqueline Banerjee explains in her photo-essay on the bridge, it was designed by Sir John Fowler (1817-1898) and Benjamin Baker (1840-1907), who was knighted afterwards, with the assistance of Allen Stewart, and other engineers.

The Forth Railway Bridge

THE completion of this gigantic engineering work will be of considerable advantage to the transit of passengers and merchandise along the east coast of Scotland, as hitherto the metropolis has been cut off from communication with Fifeshire by the wide inlet of the Firth of Forth. work is being carried on at three points simultaneously namely, at South Queensferry, at North Queensferry, and in the island of Inchgarvie, which lies between these points. The chief workshops and foundries of the contractors, Messrs. Tancred, Arrol, and Co., are situated at South Queensferry. These works cover an area of many acres, and are so complete and substantial that it is difficult to realise the fact that they are the mere scaffolding of a much vaster undertaking. Lines of railway have been laid down all over the ground, and on these lines large travelling cranes and powerful drilling machines have been erected.

In one of the sheds, the large caissons for the piers on Inchgarvic have been built up. One of these caissons was successfully launched about three months ago from the building yard at the foot of Newhall's Brae. It was 7o feet in diameter at the base, and was when launched erected to a height of about forty feet, weighing some 300 tons. The island of Inchgarvie lies in mid-channel, and is surrounded by deep water. On it rest the four main piers of the centre cantilever of the bridge. The highest point of the island is covered by a ruined castle, some 400 years old, built by the Dundases of Dundas Castle. At Inchgarvie a wrought-iron landing-stage has been completed, and powerful engines, air-compressors, and hydraulic pumping machines have been erected. The construction of the bridge gives employment to 1,400 or 1,500 men. The whole of the works on both banks of the Firth and on Inchgarvie are lit up with the electric light. The whole of the steel of which the bridge is constructed is being worked at South Queensferry, where spacious sheds have been erected and filled with machinery for its manipulation. There is a hydraulic accumulator house, by which water at high pressure is supplied all over the works to drive the various hydraulic machines. As regards the progress of the work, the solid granite masonry of several of the viaduct piers has been completed for the reception of the iron girders; and both at North Queensferry and at Inchgarvie the excavations have made satisfactory progress.

Our engravings are from photographs by Mr. Evelyn J. Carey, Assistant Engineer, Forth Bridge Works. [218]

Related Material on the Firth of Forth Bridge

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Created 22 July 2021