28 December 2022
The Tay Bridge disaster occurred on 28 December 1879, causing the deaths of 75 train passengers. ...
The Tay Bridge disaster occured on 28 December 1879 when the Tay Bridge collapsed during a violent storm, killing all passengers who were on board a train crossing the bridge at the time. Estimates vary as to how many people were killed, but 56 tickets were sold for the Wormit to Dundee journey that the train was travelling, and as many as twenty season ticket holders may have been on board, taking the death toll to around seventy. Only 46 bodies were recovered from the Tay, some weeks after the disaster.
The inquest concluded that the bridge was 'badly designed, badly built and badly maintained'. Its designer Thomas Bouch died of ill health shortly after the disaster. It was found that Bouch had failed to make proper provision for wind pressure on the structure of the bridge and the central section of the Tay Bridge had been deteriorating for months before the disaster.
For more information on the Tay Bridge Disaster, see the Tay Rail Bridge Disaster Facebook Page. Dundee Museum of Transport also has a collection of related artefacts. Thanks to R W Thomson Memorial Fellowship for this information.