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Latitude: 51.6625 / 51°39'44"N
Longitude: -4.083 / 4°4'58"W
OS Eastings: 256027
OS Northings: 198021
OS Grid: SS560980
Mapcode National: GBR GV.BC2N
Mapcode Global: VH4K1.5GVW
Entry Name: Loughor Railway Viaduct (partly in Llwchwr community)
Listing Date: 16 October 1998
Last Amended: 22 July 2008
Source ID: 20547
Building Class: Transport
Location: Crossing the lower Loughor Estuary, between Llwchwr and Llanelli.
Community: Llanelli Rural
Traditional County: Carmarthenshire
The South Wales Railway Company was formed in 1845, and the section of the line from Swansea to Carmarthen including the crossing at Lougher Estuary was completed in 1852. The engineer was Isambard Kingdom Brunel, and the track was at first constructed in broad gauge. LE Fletcher assisted in the design of the original viaduct. The present viaduct however has been rebuilt, and essentially dates from 1907, with strengthening in 1980. Firstly, in 1880, the original wooden spans were replaced with wrought iron girders supported on the original trestles; there were 18 spans of 40ft (12 metres), and a swing bridge on the E side.
In 1907 there was a major reconstruction. The swing span was dismantled, and the abutments rebuilt in stone. New trestles were driven, and a timber deck was installed. There were 17 spans in all. In 1980, the trestles were reconfigured by detaching the outer timbers and re-using them as sloping stays to improve lateral stability.
A viaduct over 200m in length, consisting of four longitudinal girders of rivetted plate construction, carried on seventeen pile trestles. At each end is a substantial stone-faced embankment and abutment. An opening span at the west end has been replaced by a fixed span. The trestles each consist of eight timber piles driven in pairs, with walings to strap them together at low water level, plus cross-bracings, struts, and additional piles.
Listed as a very rare surviving timber viaduct on a major railway.
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