If anyone doubted the power of heavy industrial architecture to inspire admiration and even love, the Forth Bridge proves it to be true.
Were the firth still without a crossing for trains or road traffic today, and proposals for such an uncompromising steel monster were put forward, it would be likely to cause apoplexy in certain leafy Edinburgh suburbs.
Yet 123 years after being constructed, the Victorian construction is rightly regarded, not only as an engineering marvel, but as a thing of beauty and one of the great landmarks of Britain.
Plans to open it to visitors, then, will certainly be greeted with excitement, and not just among rail enthusiasts.
There can be few passengers to have crossed the Forth who have not wondered what it would be like to climb to the top of one of the bridge towers.
Network Rail proposes two separate developments - a dramatic glass-topped visitor centre with 100m-high viewing platform in North Queensferry and more challenging guided walks to the top of the south tower - both of which would be likely to draw domestic and foreign tourists, and further deepen public affection for this breathtaking piece of railway history.
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