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Report - Forth Rail Bridge

Discussion in 'High Stuff' started by siologen, Jun 11, 2009.

  1. siologen

    siologen I Go Where The Drains Are
    Regular User

    Oct 15, 2008
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    Pics are, as usual, late. I actually did this in October last year.

    It was for me, kinda two and a bit years in the waiting. I drove out and absent-mindedly reccied the bridge in June 2006. I found an easy way up to the tracks, but stood there, aware that i was going back to Australia in two days, was completely unprepared, had no idea on the bridges security status and very much aware that if i got caught, my grandfather, would fucking kill me for borrowing his car to go and get myself arrested climbing a Scottish National Landmark.

    On my way back i stopped at the northern base n took some photos. The security guard came out for a smoke, an old fella he was and i got talking to him. To my dismay, lol, he told me that the bridge was very easy to climb, with no electronic security at all. I asked him if he was shitting me, n he laughed n said he wasnt. I asked him why he was telling me this, n he laughed n said 'why the fuck wid i gae a shite aboot the bloody bridge, i huv enough bother gaurding construction gear in yon building site'. I laughed and bid him farewell, wishing i hadnt asked... as now i had the ITCH! But i couldnt risk missing my flight home after being away three years, so i let the itch tingle another 2 years or so.

    I gave the little bits of info id garnered to Dsankt and Quantum X and in August 2008 and in true style, they nailed it, getting to the top just three days before i was due back in the UK again. At this point, i set about planning my own ascent.

    Two months later, having gotten back from Europe, i was back at the oldies place in Edinburgh and they'd gone on a cruise with the local bowling club, so i headed out n gave the bridge a crack. Id spent a good hour studying the time tables for North Queensferry station and as such found a 15 minute train-free gap around 10pm, climbed up, n took a leisurely saunter over to the Cantilever tower.

    From there it was fairly simple. Keep an eye out for stray workers, locate the correct scaffold and up ya fuckin go pal, fuckin' smashin'!

    I encountered no problems, except as i found out 9 months later, with my photos. It had been a very dark night, i hadnt had a cable release and with film, my shots suffered a terrible yellow reciprocity failure. Still, they came out ok, n climbing the bridge was a real blast.

    Hiding in a disused signal hut as the last train before my run, goes by.

    Dark, down on track level.

    Down on the overhanging side scaff. The haze in the distance is from workers sandblasting the other two cantilevers.

    Feels more like a construction site than an operational bridge...


    The glare coming up from the centre cantilever lights poses a few photographic problems, but Kodacolor Gold seemed to cope ok.


    Looking north down the top of the superstructure.


    To be honest, to someone like me with little climbing and ropework experienmce, this bridge would be nigh on impossible without all the scaffolding. There are walkways inside the frame, but they are all segmented. I remember the gaurd saying that without the scaff, the only way up is ladders inside the vertical supports... I found no access to these that werent bolted shut...


    Looking over at the road bridge.

    And a couple from back down on solid ground (as opposed to blowing in the winds of the Firth of Forth lol)



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