A Conversation for The Tay Bridge Disaster, December 1879


Post 1


Your page on the Tay bridge disaster is informative and interesting, but omits some facts about the bridge. The weakest part was a cast iron lug used to attach the wrought iron bracing bars to the cast iron columns. Those on the high girder towers failed first as the train drove over the bridge, and destabilised all the towers. They collapsed very quickly, the train actually falling between piers 4 and 5 with the girder itself. It was well known that such iron trestle bridges needed careful design of the connections, and why Bouch chose this design is unknown. Eiffel built many such bridges and most survive today in central France, and still carry local trains! The original inquiry was right when it concluded that the bridge was badly designed, badly built and badly maintained.

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