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Llanbradach Viaduct

Llanbradach Viaduct

The Barry Railway skirted the town of Caerphilly and it was carried across the Rhymney Valley by means of the impressive Llanbradach viaduct. The construction of this viaduct, near Pwllypant, must have been an impressive spectacle. At the time of construction the empty Castle Brewery, on the Piccadilly Square in Caerphilly, was converted into a lodging house for the workers engaged on the construction of the Barry Railway. This railway was in a separate corporate existence for less than forty years but in that time it grew to establish one of the finest coal ports in the country at which nearly 4000 ships a year were dealt with in the boom years.

The Llanbradach viaduct (abandoned in the early 1930's) was dismantled for scrap in 1937, as was the Penyrheol viaduct. A single brick arch at the west end of the Llanbradach viaduct remains, although the bridge over the RVR mainline has been partly demolished. A short section of trackbed near Energlyn remains. The rest of the length of the trackbed has been absorbed into the A468 Caerphilly bypass road. The line continued on through Ty Rhiw, on to the Walnut Tree Viaduct, which was largely removed in 1969. The Walnut Tree Viaduct was one of the more imposing structures in the Taff Valley in the early 20th Century. Built with the Garth tunnel for the Barry Railway's Cadoxton to Llanbradach route, the viaduct served to make the incline between the Taff and Caerphilly easier for heavily laden goods trains. There were no dedicated passenger stops on this route.

The closure of the route in 1958 with the destruction of the Ty'n y Caeau signal box heralded the loss of the viaduct in 1965. Only the Garth abutment, the angled pillar and Taff Bank pier remaun. The Taff Bank pier was used in 1977 for displaying royal Jubilee goodwill messages. Parts of the remaining track bed are now incorporated into the Taff Trail.

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