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Tay Viaduct


(The Railway Bridge)

Crossing the River Tay at Perth, the Tay Viaduct (or simply the 'railway bridge') was built 1862-64, at a cost of £27,000, to carry a branch of the Caledonian Railway to Dundee. One of the first examples of a large plate-girder bridge to be built in Scotland, at the time of its construction this was the lowest crossing of the river. It replaced a wooden railway bridge built fifteen years earlier.

With a total length of 396m (1300 feet), the bridge curves steeply southwards as it crosses the river from the city centre, using the northern end of Moncreiffe Island as an intermediate landing stage. Ten masonry arches - each 8.6m (28.3 feet) - cross the island, which is accessible by a pedestrian walkway which was a later addition on the bridge's north side. The two sections of the bridge which pass over the river comprise wrought-iron girder spans each of 25m (82 feet), supported on pairs of masonry piers. There are five spans in the western section and seven to the east of the island. One of the western spans was designed to swing open to allow shipping to pass upriver but, long-unused, it was permanently closed in the 1950s.


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