Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Forth Bridge visitor hub and walkway planned

Forth Bridge artist impression Image copyright WT Architecture/Network Rail
Image caption Network Rail has submitted a planning application to install a bridge walk and visitor hub on the rail bridge

Visitors will be able to walk at the top of the Forth Bridge rail crossing if proposals from Network Rail are approved.

The operator has submitted a planning application to install a bridge walk and visitor hub.

It is hoped the plan could attract 85,000 visitors a year to one of the world's most famous railway bridges.

Network Rail wants to construct a walkway and a viewing platform on the south cantilever.

Image copyright WT Architecture/Network Rail

A visitor reception hub would be created at South Queensferry.

There are longer-term plans to build similar facilities on the Fife side of the bridge.

The Forth Bridge was awarded Unesco World Heritage site status in 2015.

The landmark, which was designed by Sir John Fowler and Benjamin Baker, took eight years to build at a cost of £3.2m.

When it was opened in March 1890, it was the longest cantilever bridge in the world and the first major crossing made entirely of steel.

Image copyright Getty Images

Spanning 1.5 miles, weighing 53,000 tonnes and containing 6.5m rivets, the bridge carries 200 trains per day over the Firth of Forth, linking Fife with the Lothians.

Its tallest point is 110 metres above high water, and 137 metres above its foundations.

The new planning application has been lodged with City of Edinburgh Council.

Alan Ross, Network Rail Scotland's director of engineering and asset management, said: "The Forth Bridge is an engineering icon and the plans we have submitted to deliver a bridge walk experience will offer a unique and memorable visit to one of Scotland's most loved structures.

"From the engineering genius behind its design, to the historical accounts of its construction and its crucial role in Scotland's operational railway, the bridge really is a national treasure and there is real appetite to take these plans forward."

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