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Description: Loughor Railway Viaduct (partly in Llwchwr community)
Date Listed: 16 October 1998
Cadw Building ID: 20547
OS Grid Coordinates: 256027, 198021
Latitude/Longitude: 51.6620, -4.0819
Crossing the lower Loughor Estuary, between Llwchwr and Llanelli.
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 An opening span at the west end has been replaced by a fixed span.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.
Reason for Listing
Listed as a very rare surviving timber viaduct on a major railway.
J Newman, Glamorgan (Buildings of Wales Series, 1995), p.416;
Information from Paul Newman, Network Rail, Swindon.
This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.Notes:
Crossing the Loughor Estuary, between Swansea and Llanelli.
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.