The replacement Loughor Viaduct is now open to rail traffic, having been slid successfully into position over the Easter weekend as planned. The scheme is a key part of a £48m major investment to redouble the Gowerton to Llanelli line near Swansea in South Wales.
Tony Gee was appointed by Carillion Civil Engineering, on behalf of Network Rail, to undertake the design of the replacement structure; a scheme that involved an innovative approach to articulation and track structure interaction. One of the most challenging aspects was to produce a design that could be built in advance of the main rail blockade. The new deck, which has been incrementally launched in stages over the past few months, alongside its Victorian predecessor, was used as the demolition platform to remove the existing structure.
The temporary cross heads and piles which supported the bridge in its pre-slide position will now be removed but, as part of the Listed Building Consent for the scheme, four of the original timber trestles will remain. Two spans of the original Grade II listed bridge will be rebuilt as a separate monument structure on land adjacent to the railway.