Network Rail has submitted plans for Sydney Harbour Bridge-style walking tours of the Forth Bridge.
An application has been lodged with City of Edinburgh Council which would allow the public access to the iconic Victorian span.
The Forth Bridge Experience will offer visitors stunning views 367ft (110m) above sea level from a viewing platform.
The plans are an abridged version of more ambitious original proposals which included a visitor centre and lifts to the top of the north cantilever.
They will see construction of a bridge walk and reception hub on the South Queensferry side of the bridge for walk preparation and access.
Groups of between 12 and 15 people will don safety harnesses before being led onto the bridge’s south cantilever and walking to a viewing point at the top using walkways built into the structure.
Up to three groups an hour will be permitted on the bridge, with each tour expected to last around two and a half hours.
It is estimated the bridge walk experience could attract around 85,000 visitors, “bringing real benefits to the local community”.
Longer-term plans to create visitor facilities at the north end of the bridge are also under development and could still see future access to the top of the north cantilever, via a lift.
Network Rail Scotland’s director of engineering and asset management Alan Ross, said: “The Forth Bridge is an engineering icon and the plans we have submitted to deliver a bridge walk experience will offer a unique and memorable visit to one of Scotland’s most loved structures.
“From the engineering genius behind its design, to the historical accounts of its construction and its crucial role in Scotland’s operational railway, the bridge really is a national treasure and there is real appetite to take these plans forward.”