A section of the Loughor Viaduct, showing some of its original timber trestle substructure. This viaduct was originally designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1806-1859), and built over the estuary of the River Loughor in 1852. It was then in the historic county of Glamorgan (it is now in the county of Swansea), and it was built to carry the South Wales Railway. It was Grade II listed in 1998 (see "Loughor trestle viaduct"). [Click on this and the following images to enlarge them.]

Left: A preserved section of the original viaduct. Right: The whole viaduct stretching across the estuary from Swansea to Llanelli, as it is today.

With eighteen spans of twelve metres each, the Loughor Viaduct was the last of this type by Brunel to survive, although even during the nineteenth century a good deal of work had had to be done to maintain it, including the changing of the original opening span at the western end from a swing-bridge style to a fixed span. Over the years it was also given a new deck, first with wrought-iron and then with steel-plate girders (see "The Loughor Railway Viaduct"), so the superstructure was entirely renewed. But when Brunel's viaduct was finally replaced by a steel and concrete bridge in 2013, four of the original trestles were re-erected close by (as shown on the left above) to serve as a heritage marker, while one span of the original substructure was incorporated into the new viaduct at the western end, which also kept its abutments (see "Loughor trestle viaduct"). The viaduct now carries the West Wales Railway.

All photographs by Colin Price, with commentary and formatting by Jacqueline Banerjee. You may use the images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or to the Victorian Web in a print document.

Related Material


"Loughor Railway Viaduct". Coflein. Web. 22 June 2018.

"Loughor trestle viaduct, site of." Engineering Timelines. Web. 22 June 2018.

"Loughor Viaduct Replacement" Rail Engineer. Web. 22 June 2018.

Created 22 June 2018