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Forth Rail bridge painting now complete

Painting of the Forth Rail bridge is now complete following a 10-year, £130M refurbishment and repainting project, Network Rail announced yesterday.

Scaffolding that has encased the bridge is now removed and the 125-year old structure will now not need a full paint job for at least 20 years.

The project, delivered by Network Rail and main contractor Balfour Beatty Regional Civil Engineering, involved encasing the bridge in up to 4,000t of scaffolding, painting over 230,000m² of steel and all 6.5M rivets in the structure.

Over the life of the project more than 1,500 people have worked on the structure, with up to 400 people a day on the bridge at the height of the refurbishment works.

To restore the bridge old paint was removed using an abrasive blasting preparation and the steel coated with an industrial protective system. The new paint is a specialist glass flake epoxy paint, similar to that used in the offshore oil industry. It is designed to last 25 years, but is expected to last much longer.

Forth Bridge facts

Opened 1890
Length 2.47km
Main structure (portal to portal) 1.63km
Weight of steel in bridge 53,000t
Number of rivets 6.5M
Number of trains per day 200
Number of passengers per year 3M
Painting area 230,000m²
Volume of paint used 240,000l
Total number of lights installed 1,040
Length of cabling required 35km to 40km

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