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Latitude: 51.7346 / 51°44'4"N
Longitude: -3.4625 / 3°27'44"W
OS Eastings: 299104
OS Northings: 204994
OS Grid: SN991049
Mapcode National: GBR HK.1V3F
Mapcode Global: VH5GF.XNWN
Entry Name: Merthyr Road Railway Bridge
Listing Date: 27 June 2003
Last Amended: 27 June 2003
Source ID: 81246
Location: Towards the N end of Llwydcoed where the Merthyr Road rises over the disused railway cutting.
County: Rhondda Cynon Taff
Community: Llwydcoed (Llwytgoed)
Built-Up Area: Aberdare
Traditional County: Glamorgan
Built by the Vale of Neath Railway whose broad-gauge line to Merthyr was begun in 1847 and opended in November 1854. The engineer was the renowned I K Brunel of London and the main contractors were Hunt, Humphries & Edwards. Merthyr Road bridge was built to accommodate a single line of broad gauge track (7 foot width) which ran from Gelli Tarw Junction to Merthyr Tunnel. Delays in opening were caused by the construction of the Merthyr Tunnel (to SE of Llwydcoed) and the diversion of the company''''s efforts to the Aberdare line where the coal trade had expanded dramatically. In the mid 1860''''s, the Vale of Neath Railway was absorbed into the Great Western Railway and by 1872 the line was converted to standard gauge. The line was nationalised in 1948 and subsequently closed in 1962.
Single-arch over-bridge of wide elliptical proportions (to accommodate Brunel''''s broad gauge track). Coursed hammer-dressed masonry with droved margins to voussoirs and tall plinth courses. Coursed masonry to arch soffit. Broad string-course at road level links to cappings of ramped and splayed abutments which flank the track-bed. Parapets with blocked cappings and twin stone piers to pedestrian entrance and ramp leading down to former platform at NW side of bridge. Modern tubular bridge for pedestrians (by Saunders Tubecrafts of Liverpool) is attached to E side of roadway.
This is a well-preserved over-bridge of distinctive character associated with the renowned engineer, I K Brunel. The modern tubular bridge is not included.
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