Old Photograph Swing Bridge Alloa Scotland

Old photograph of the swing railway bridge across the River Forth that connected Throsk and Alloa, Clackmannanshire, Scotland. The Caledonian Railway obtained authority through an Act of Parliament on 11 August 1879 to open a section of line linking the South Alloa Branch of the Scottish Central Railway to the Stirling and Dunfermline Railway. The new line served passenger and goods traffic and was opened on 1 October 1885. The rail line was double track except for the bridge crossing, which was single track. The swing bridge design was necessary to allow the passage of shipping up and downstream at a time when Stirling was still an active port. The bridge was designed by the consulting civil engineers, Crouch and Hogg, and built by contractors Watt and Wilson, both of Glasgow. The bridge was damaged by collisions on at least three occasions. In 1899, gales drove a sailing ship against one of the piers. In October 1904, a schooner also collided with one of the piers as it passed through the swing span, displacing some girders. Rail traffic was suspended until June 1905. In August 1920, a German warship, surrendered at the end of the First World War, broke free from its moorings and crashed into the bridge. The damage was serious enough to close the bridge to rail traffic until March 1921. The structure was in use until 1968 and was demolished in 1971.

All photographs are copyright of Sandy Stevenson, Tour Scotland, and may not be used without permission.

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