THE Forth Bridge has been crowned the 'Yesterday Railway Bridge of the Year'.

It was selected by a panel from a shortlist of five following the results of a public survey.

Tim Dunn, the lead panellist, railway historian and presenter of the Yesterday TV programme, The Architecture The Railways Built, said: “I love all the bridges on the shortlist for different reasons, but there’s something about the Forth Bridge that just stands out.

"It’s a beacon of engineering excellence and having been to the top of the structure and on the bridge as trains rush past at track level, I can honestly say it’s something I will never forget.

"I hope the award also makes a nice birthday present for the bridge – it turns a remarkable 133-years-old on Saturday!”

The new award aims to shine a light on the incredible structures that are, or have been, such a vital part of Britain’s railways.

Opened in 1890 and spanning the Firth of Forth, the Forth Bridge was the world’s earliest great multi-span cantilever bridge, and at 2,467 metres remains one of the longest.

The distinctive red structure is made with 53,000 tonnes of steel, held together with 6.5 million rivets and is 110 metres above the water at its highest point.

It was inscribed as a world heritage site by UNESCO in July 2015.

Recent refurbishment techniques have put an end to the myth that painting the Forth Bridge is a never-ending task.

Alan Ross, director of engineering and asset management at Network Rail who own the Forth Bridge, said: “The iconic Forth Bridge is an outstanding example of innovative engineering that has lasted the test of time.

"The UNESCO world heritage site is one of the industrial wonders of the world and it’s very fitting that it would receive the first ever Yesterday Railway Bridge of the Year award.”

The other shortlisted bridges were Blackfriars Railway Bridge in London, the Glenfinnan Viaduct in Inverness-shire, the Royal Albert Bridge in Cornwall and the Victoria Bridge in Worcestershire.

The new series of The Architecture The Railways Built can be seen on Tuesdays at 8pm on the Yesterday channel.