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My Disaster Topic on the Tay Bridge disaster

Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 6 months ago

 

Introduction

 

 

At the moment, in our class, our topic is disasters. Part of this topic is doing an individual project and talk on a disaster of your choice. I chose the Tay Rail Bridge disaster and on this page you will find information about it.  I hope you enjoy looking at my project.  Please leave a comment to tell me what you think!

 

There are many bridges in the World.  The Golden Gate bridge in San Fransisco, which I have also been to, is the most photographed bridge in the World.  The Forth Rail bridge is also very famous and appears on some of our pound coins.  I chose to do my project on the Tay bridge disaster as I have been to Dundee many times, where this disaster took place, and it is a lovely city. The Tay Rail bridge is lovely and I was surprised to hear that it was not the original one that is standing now.  This disaster appealed to me as it sounded interesting, when my dad told me bits about it, and I wanted to find out more.  

 

 

Sir Thomas Bouch-the designer

 

Sir Thomas Bouch was responsible for the design, construction and maintenance of the Tay Rail Bridge. He was born on 25th February 1822 and was a civil engineer  who worked for the railway in Victorian Britain.  He also worked on a design for the Forth Rail Bridge which was later abandoned  and he helped design parts of Waverly Station in Edinburgh.  He was working for the Edinburgh and Northern Railway when he designed the Tay Rail Bridge. 

 

Queen Victoria  was unable to attend the opening but travelled over the Tay Rail Bridge in the summer of 1879 and shortly after Thomas Bouch was awarded a knighthood by her for his achievement.

 

 

Information on the original Tay Rail Bridge

 

 

The original Tay Bridge was built in the 19th century and took 6 years to build. The  foundation stone was laid on the 22nd July 1871. Ten million bricks, two million rivets, eighty-seven thousand cubic feet of timber and fifteen thousand casks of cement were used to build the bridge. It cost over £300,000. Six hundred men were employed and twenty men died while building it. The first engine to ever cross the bridge was on the 22 September 1877. It was completed in February 1878 and then was claimed to be one of the longest bridges in the world. The Tay bridge was nearly 2 miles long and was 85 spans. 

 Here is  a photo of the original Tay Bridge before the disaster.

 

 

 The Disaster

 

On 28th of December 1879, a very strong gale force wind estimated at force 10/11 was blowing at right angles to the bridge.  At approximately 7:15pm, as a train was going over its single track, a section of the bridge known as the "High Girders" collapsed. These girders were 88feet above the high water mark. All the people on board the train died, seventy five in total, as the train and 6 carriages fell into the River Tay. Many young men and women died including Sir Thomas' son in law.  The bridge had only been open 19 `months so many people were surprised at this disaster.The disaster is one of the most famous bridge failure disasters in the world. Here are 2 pictures of the original Tay Bridge after the disaster.

    

 

The train engine was later recovered and repaired and remained in service until 1919.  It was nicknamed "The Diver".

 

The Cause of the Disaster

 

 A public inquiry was held and it revealed that the railway company sacrificed safety and quality to save costs. Sloppy working practices including the re-use of girders which had dropped into the sea during construction were factors in the bridge's collapse. The inquiry concluded that the bridge was "badly designed, badly built, and badly maintained". All of the high girders section fell during the accident. They had used cast iron fixings instead of wrought iron. Bridges built at the same time, and designed by people like Gustav Eiffel are still standing today and still carry trains.

Thomas Bouch was blamed for the disaster and he died soon after. 

 

The Bridge Today

There is now a new rail bridge over the Tay and when the water is low the pillars of the old bridge can still be seen. I am sure this bridge will stand for a long time.

 Here is the new Tay Bridge next to the remainings of the old one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bibliography

1. Wikipedia - Sir Thomas Bouch

2. Wikipedia - The Tay Bridge Disaster.

3. The Tay Bridge Disaster by V Ryan

4. The Tay Bridge Disaster by T.J. Martin and I.A. MacLeod 

5. Google search

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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