The Tay Bridge Disaster

At approximately 7:15 p.m, on the stormy night of the 28th December 1879, the central navigation spans of the Tay bridge collapsed into the Firth of Tay at Dundee, taking with them a train, 6 carriages and 75 souls to their fate.

At the time, a gale estimated at Beaufort force 10/11 was blowing down the Tay estuary at right angles to the bridge. The collapse of the bridge, only opened 19 months and passed safe by the Board of Trade, sent shock waves through the Victorian engineering profession and general public.


It is said that on the anniversary of the Tay Bridge disaster a ghost train appears where the track would have been and the screams of the passengers can be heard as they vanish in the middle of the Bridge at the site where they would have plunged into the River Tay.

 I went to test the claim…..

We arrived at the location 20 minutes prior to the reported claims, of the ghost train sighting, so we could be in place and set up for any such event . We set up various camcorders, audio devices and digital cameras in the hope of catching anything if it did indeed transpire.

As the time approached, we made some discoveries that we wish to put forward for strong consideration in relation to the witness reports:

  • Area has a lot of seagulls which were particularly noisy and resembled human cries

  • We could clearly hear voices from Dundee, travelling with ease over the calm still waters

As we hit 7:15pm something strange happened, we clearly heard a train approach us bang on time, but after some head spinning to locate its origin, It was swiftly noted that it was the local service from Edinburgh crossing the bridge towards Dundee.

This did give us some food for thought though!!

Could it be possible that this service is the one that witnesses have heard? If you also take into consideration the seagull cries, and good Dundee folks enjoying themselves across the Tay, do we have our ghostly train noise and people’s cries?

Add to this, the possibility of cold misty nights, the clear sounds of the Tay waters splashing against the bridge and we may, just have, our explanation.

While on our visit we did not encounter this anniversary phantom train, but did find some good natural explanations.

Due to this we would report this case to be solved with no proof of paranormal activity. However, I am very open to further reports and evidence from the public.

I would like to add, the phantom train would have been a ghostly replay, in the event of such energy being witnessed. Thus, I would like to hypothesise, that over time such energy tends to dissipate, till we reach a point that no evident signs exist any-more.

Could the energy, of that disastrous night finally be at rest, or does such energy need the emotions of today’s witnesses to spark it up!

More questions than answers I’m afraid.

Feel free to leave your comments or constructive criticisms below.

Ryan O’Neill
Haunted Scotland
Paranormal Research & Consciousness Exploration
Contact Ryan:
Ryan@Haunted-Scotland.co.uk


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