On this day: the Tay Bridge Disaster

Catastrophe_du_pont_sur_le_Tay_-_1879_-_IllustrationContemporary illustration of the search after the disaster.

At 7:13pm on the 28th of December, 1879, the Tay Rail Bridge in Scotland collapsed as a train passed over it.

Photograph of fallen girders after collapse of part of the first Tay Bridge. 1879 or 1880.

The collapsed bridge, photographed in either 1879 or 1880.

Everyone on board was killed. Only forty-six bodies were recovered, but judging by tickets sold for the journey, over seventy are thought to have died.

Original_Tay_Bridge_before_the_1879_collapseOriginal Tay Bridge before the collapse, seen from the north eith 1878 or 1879.

The bridge photographed shortly before the disaster.

The weather had been terrible at the time, and as the train proceeded onto the bridge there was a bright flash of light before the train disappeared, falling into the river below. The signalman at the other end did not comprehend what had happened and at first refused to believe the train had crashed.

North British Railway locomotive 224, recovered from the water after the Tay Bridge disaster. Originally issued as a postcard captioned Old Tay Bridge Disaster, 1879 The Engine. 1880.

The locomotive was retrieved from the river and put back into use. It is photographed above in 1880.

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