The Forth Bridge really is finished!
Revealed in all its magnificent splendour, the Forth Bridge is now devoid of scaffolding and sheeting which has been covering the Victorian structure for a decade.
The work to remove old paint and apply a new coating has cost Network Rail £130 million and was completed on December 9, 2011 by Balfour Beatty Regional Civil Engineering under contract to Network Rail. The contract was awarded in 2002. This has involved encasing the bridge to collect the lead paint when stripped to bare metal – the first time since it was built. 240,000 litres of glass flake epoxy paint, similar to that used in the offshore oil industry, has been applied to 230,000 square metres of metalwork. It creates a chemical bond to provide a virtually impenetrable layer, protecting the steel work from the weather. It will now be free of painting for at least 20 years which brings to an end one of the most famous quoted sayings of referring to the bridge when a job is never finished. A small team of maintenance personnel will continue to look after the structure and monitor its upkeep. Often quoted as the eighth wonder of world, the breathtaking symbol of Scotland was opened in March 1890. The sheer scale of this engineering masterpiece can be appreciated in this uncluttered view as the 10.00 King’s Cross-Aberdeen service heads over towards Fife on December 9, the day it was declared ‘fully painted’. The power cars on this day were Nos. 43251 & 43257
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