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Introducing Scotland’s Fourth Forth Bridge – An April fool built on truth!

Introducing Scotland’s Fourth Forth Bridge – An April fool built on truth!

Ok, it’s time to come clean – we *may* have been a little flexible with the truth, as is traditional on April 1. But our lie was perhaps more truthful than most, because the plans for a second rail bridge over the River Forth really do exist! Here’s Craig Bowman from Network Rail again, to explain all (you really can believe him this time, we promise!):

The real fourth bridge

So, the plans we shared were discovered during recent research into the Forth Bridge for its upcoming visitor experience. Discovered on micro-fiche, the designs were created in 1945 for a second rail bridge over the River Forth. But little is known as to why they were made – perhaps as a back-up in war time, if anything were to happen to the Forth Bridge? There are, however no current plans to build it!

Network Rail (and us!) are really keen to find out more – if you have any information about the plans, please do get in touch by emailing: The Forth Bridge Experience

Were you taken in by our April fool? Let us know what you thought or share pics of the current bridges using #ScotSpirit on Twitter or Facebook, Instagram to give us permission to repost.

The original blogpost – see below for our wee stunt

The Forth Bridge is one of the most recognisable structures in the world today, and we’re pretty proud of that! It’s an iconic symbol of Scotland’s engineering pedigree and ingenuity. And in the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016 we are delighted to announce that VisitScotland, in conjunction with Network Rail, has unveiled an exciting new project to ensure that the bridge can continue to wow visitors and locals alike for hundreds of years to come – the building of a fourth Forth bridge!

An artist's impression of the Fourth Forth Bridge, positioned to the right of the three other bridges of the forth.An artist’s impression of the Fourth Forth Bridge

A firth of four

Network Rail has reported a huge rise in demand for train travel in Scotland, with initiatives such as the successful launch of the new Borders Railway in 2015 and the Spirit of Scotland Travelpass earlier this year proving that Scots and visitors are keen to travel by train. The new £1,420,160,000 bridge will allow for a staggering 400 trains to cross over the Firth of Forth each day. The new bridge, to be named the Fourth Bridge, will be located to the east of the existing rail bridge, with trains crossing between Edinburgh and Fife and joining the main line at either side using a state-of-the-art switch-track crossing system.

Here’s Craig Bowman from Network Rail with more information on the new bridge:

Great days out

The Fourth Bridge will bear the majority of the daily train crossings, leaving the original Forth Bridge free to become an even more fantastic attraction, with special steam train rides, bridge climbs and themed excursions available throughout the year. You’ll even be able to purchase a special round trip ride over both bridges, so that you can admire the Forth Bridge from the adjacent bridge, and get great snaps of it too!

A blueprint of the three-arched Fourth Bridge, with the Forth Bridge visible in the distance.

Inspired by history

Construction will commence in 2018 and the blueprint of the design shows a triple-arched bridge that will complement the existing Forth Bridge. Inspired by early 20th Century engineering, the bridge is an ambitious project said to be the equivalent of building three Sydney Harbour Bridges back to back. Building will be overseen by Scottish architect Ailsa Polyford, whose current work includes bridges in Berlin, Tokyo and Manchester.

We’ve always had our finger on the creative pulse – just take a look at this animation for a taste of Scotland’s contribution to the world of innovation, architecture and design!

Find out more about Scotland’s scenic railway journeys

What do you think about the new bridge? Let us know or share pics of the current bridges using #ScotSpirit on Twitter or Facebook, Instagram to give us permission to repost.


  • FLWatson.

    Aye right!

  • Lynn

    April Fool!

  • Tony

    Think the detail is in the cost!! Good one though

  • Antoine Bisset

    Fabulously great idea! Getting our aircraft carriers stuck on the upstream side will be a bit of a nuisance. Still, that’s progress.
    We will need to build new rail tracks to join the bridge up to the rest of the network. We can schedule that in for the 2066 Budget to be published on 1st April 2060.
    (Actually it builds on the rationale already established and acclaimed by the new Queensferry Crossing.)

  • Malcolm Hay

    A happy 1st April to all your readers!

  • Marilyn

    Lol. Don’t you think the price is a little too expensive even for today’s date. But a good AF none the less.

  • Martin Reynolds

    I remember Ailsa when we were class mates at Lirpaloof Academy in Fort William.

  • Conje

    Nice one, only shaded by the proposed Ullapool – Stornoway bridge, also the brainchild of Ailsa Polyford.

  • Barbara Bates

    Ailsa Polyford eh? I’d beard that it was to be designed by Daryl Aspolfio from Milan. Just shows what I know…

  • garett w

    confused by the name choice. Do the bridges at Kincardine not count as crossing the Forth? Marketing over reality at it’s finest, and likely by an agency in England somewhere that hasn’t research properly. Disappointing that Visit Scotland taken in with the idea – as it’s no refection of reality we could even have Fifth of Forth Bridge or back to reality and have the Sixth of Forth. Likely and hoping its just another idea to take off on April Fool…

  • HelenTC

    Looks really good, like the way the arches compliment each other, will certainly pay a visit when completed.

  • Alasdair Carstairs

    April fools surely?

  • Liz Hansen

    It is 1 April today!

  • Henk

    Good one for the 1st of April!

  • The Gadgie

    This must be an April fools idea…. if not – it should be !!!
    There are areas of the UK where there is need for a single bridge….

  • The gadgie

    It is a shame that the steel will be from outside of Scotland… Or even All of the Uk ! 🙁

  • DHC4444

    Hunt the gowk 🙂

  • Craig Gray

    `Nice April fool VisitScotland. The cost was the giveaway!!! Better luck next year!!

  • Mike

    A load of April 1st nonsense I hope!

  • garry cruickshank

    Happy April fools the price is very funny 1-4-2016

  • Disgruntled Rabbit

    A train every 3 1/2 minutes 24 hours a day? Where will they come from and where will they go to? We should also remember it is the 1st of April today…………………….

  • Craig Gray

    Good attempt at an April Fool. Had me going for a while. It was too obvious with the cost

  • Anne Milne

    I`d have liked the 3rd one to be called ‘The Carnegie Brig’. Maybe they could name the 4th one that.

  • narkoman

    If the name Nicola Sturgeon was included in this article, the bridge would be a nailed on certainty for immediate construction.

  • I did wonder about the date but as the link didn’t work I never did see the information yesterday. I jut got error messages all the time. so – Nessie moves to the Forth then!

  • Derick Robins

    Whit aboot a Fifth o’ the Forth fae folk tae walk on.

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