Network Rail submits planning application for Forth Bridge experience

Forth Bridge Experience
Credit: Network Rail
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Network Rail has announced that it has submitted a planning application to City of Edinburgh Council for proposals to install a bridge walk and visitor hub at the iconic Forth Bridge.

If the new plans are accepted, the public will be able to access the world-famous structure and explore its heritage as well as the outstanding views from 367 ft (110m) above sea level.

The proposals will see the construction of a bridge walk and reception hub on the South Queensferry side of the UNESCO World Heritage site.

Groups of between 12 and 15 people will put on safety harnesses before being led out onto the bridge’s south cantilever, walking up to a viewing point.

Up to three groups an hour will be permitted on the bridge. It is estimated the bridge walk experience could attract around 85,000 visitors.

Longer-term plans to create visitor facilities at the north end of the bridge are also under development and could see future access to the top of the north cantilever, via a lift.

What did the officials say?

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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Michael Holden avatar
I have had an interest in Railways for as long as I can remember. I am a member of a number of heritage railways and actively volunteer at 2 of them. I enjoy all types of railways, real life, model and simulations. I started RailAdvent in 2014 and am the main editor of the site.
  • As both a railway history enthusiast and historical architecture enthusiast, I deplore this latest manifestation of commercial greed and speculation on the part of Network Rail, who it seems in order to deflect from their own chronic inefficiencies and shortcomings, in seeking to exploit yet further the historic attractions of this mighty monument provided by our far-sighted Victorian forefathers, turning it into a virtual circus, no doubt with the addition of MacDonalds’ and other commercial outlets to maximise yet further on the historic monument they have so undeservedly inherited. Had it been 1st April on reading this, I could have dismissed it as a wind-up, but alas it is not apparently so. Network Rail as a corporate body is faceless, staffed by unidentifiable, unaccountable beings, who as with most public concerns are overpaid for doing the least. I strongly denounce this speculative venture, and call for it to be halted.

  • Fabulous idea! … Great opportunity for everyday people to appreciate this amazing sample of British engineering!! I have sampled the Sydney Harbour Bridge – it took about 20 years for the authorities to accept that it could be a viable and safe experience – well done Network Rail – About time …Thank you …

  • I am sure many people, like me, will wish to visit the Forth Bridge. Robert Hill’s comment seems to be a general rant and says nothing about this news item. At least I won’t meet him on the bridge!