National Transport Trust's Red Wheel Plaque for Burntisland
The Red Wheel Scheme was created by the National Transport Trust to recognise and commemorate the most significant sites of historical importance to transport heritage in the United Kingdom. The Trust decided that the old Burntisland station building merited a Red Wheel in recognition of its role as the northern terminal of the world's first roll-on/roll-off rail ferry which ran between Burntisland and Granton. The station building dates from 1847, and the ferry began operating in 1850. More information on the history can be seen on this website's Forth Place page.
The Red Wheel was unveiled on 16th December 2020 by the National Transport Trust's Vice President, John Cameron CBE.
John paid tribute to the success of the rail ferry in reducing the Edinburgh-Dundee freight movement from three days to four hours - carrying 29,000 wagons in the first six months of operation. The so-called Floating Railway had three elements: an inclined pier at the dockside; a flying bridge to the vessel; and a flat deck on board with rails. A moveable framework rolled up and down the pier to suit the state of the tide. This new and efficient way of moving freight traffic across the water would influence the introduction of rail and road ferries right up to the present day.
Pictured below - the red wheel plaque, and the unveiling by John Cameron.
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