Tay Bridge

Location type


Name and dates

Tay Bridge (1887-)

Opened on the Tay Bridge (North British Railway).


This double track girder viaduct is the longest viaduct in the United Kingdom at 10,711 ft. It crosses the River Tay between Wormit and Dundee.

The viaduct replaced the Tay Bridge [1st], 59 ft downstream. It is 89 spans long. 118 girders from the original bridge were reused in the new bridge. The original bridge partially collapsed in a storm in 1879 leading to the deaths of those on board a train crossing the bridge. The decision was taken to replace, rather than repair, the bridge.

From the south there are four brick arches, Tay Bridge South Signal Box being on the southern arch which crosses Bay Road, 24 girders below the line, 13 high girders which enclose the train and provide clearance for shipping, 12 large girders below the line, 25 smaller girders on a curve, and 2 steel arches over the Esplanade and Riverside Drive, followed by several lattice girders and inverted bowstrings to support the platforms of the closed Dundee Esplanade station. The platform buildings portion of the structure is supported on brick and a run of several brick arches carry the line east from the station to Dundee Central Junction.

The northern portion of the viaduct is on a curve to turn the line from northbound to eastbound on the approach to the Dundee shoreline.



External links

Canmore site record
NLS Collection OS map of 1892-1914
NLS Collection OS map of 1944-67


01/06/1878Tay Bridge and Associated Lines (North British Railway)
Public opening of bridge and line between Camperdown Junction, Dundee (Tay Bridge) station and Leuchars. The Tay Bridge [1st] was single track and the other part of the line double. The bridge had signal boxes at either end. The engineer for the line was Thomas Bouch, knighted after Queen Victoria travelled over the bridge.
19/06/1887Dundee and Arbroath Railway
Broughty Junction to Broughty Pier closed to passengers on opening of the new Tay Bridge.
13/07/1887Tay Bridge and Associated Lines (North British Railway)
New double track Tay Bridge opened. (Alternative date 6/1887).
  /  /1889Dundee and Perth Railway
Dundee West station rebuilt with superb baronial building at entrance and large glass canopy covering the platforms behind. Station rebuilt with growing competition from the North British Railway's Dundee Tay Bridge [Station], to the south, following the opening of the second Tay Bridge.


A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain: The North of Scotland v. 15 (Regional railway history series)

An Illustrated History of Tayside's Railways