On the move
Discover how methods of travel have changed over the years and see how the growth of iron and coal industry transformed the landscape of the county borough.
Essential to the success of industry was a good transport network. Before the mid-eighteenth century, only roads and track ways existed and these were notoriously poor. With the coming of industry came the tram roads, which used teams of horses to heave wagons along iron tracks. These tram roads linked into the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal. Sections of this still exist today, such as from Pontywaun to Risca.
By the mid-18th Century railways were becoming the premier mode of transport and an intricate network of routes began to criss-cross the landscape. With the railway came the need to tackle the difficult terrain. This was achieved through some exceptional feats of engineering. The Newport, Abergavenny and Hereford Railway's Taff Vale Extension ran due west across the county borough, cutting across the valleys. This resulted in the construction of the spectacular Crumlin Viaduct and the Maesycwmmer to Hengoed Viaduct. At Llanbradach, Barry Railway's viaduct was equally impressive. Sadly, only the Maesycwmmer to Hengoed Viaduct survives.
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