A SCALE model of the Queensferry Crossing is one of more than 3000 new objects set to go on display at the National Museum of Scotland as part of its £14.1 million revamp.
Ten new galleries focusing on science, technology, decorative art, design and fashion will open to the public in July.
Among the exhibits will be a detailed 1:1500 scale replica of the new crossing – allowing visitors to get up close and personal with the £1.35 billion bridge before it opens in December.
Made from acrylic and cork over a period of six months, the 1.6-metre long model gives a bird’s-eye view of one of Scotland’s biggest infrastructure projects and was made using drawings provided by the bridge’s construction team.
It will sit alongside a number of objects showcasing the engineering history of the Forth, spanning the ill-fated original Tay Bridge through to the present day.
Highlights include an original paint mixer from the Forth Rail Bridge – stained slightly red – and sections of cabling from all three bridges.
Dr Gordon Rintoul, director of National Museums Scotland, said the new collection would reflect “many of Scotland’s great engineering milestones and innovations, past and present”.
He said: “This splendid model of the new Forth Crossing is a fitting and timely addition. We look forward to our visitors seeing it from July alongside a film of the construction of the bridge and objects related to the other two bridges over the River Forth.”
He added: “The story of the three bridges is a hugely important one, and I think it really demonstrates Scotland’s engineering achievements over the centuries. I think it will only be when people are actually on the new bridge that they will really appreciate its scale.”
Yesterday, Infrastructure Secretary Keith Brown presented the new Queensferry Crossing model to Dr Rintoul at the National Museums Collection Centre in Granton. Mr Brown said the Scottish Government was “keen to make sure as many people as possible have the chance to find out more about the bridge”.
He said: “This is three bridges from three different centuries. Nowhere else in the world has anything like that.”
Louise Innes, the principal curator of transport at the National Museum of Scotland, added: “It’s quite significant being able to display something that has not even been built yet. People will see the finished project in our galleries before they can see it in real life.”
The new model was completed just before Christmas by the Kirkintilloch-based RG Model Services.
When its real-life counterpart is completed at the end of this year, it will span 1.7 miles in length – making it the longest three tower cable-stayed bridge in the world.