This Way For Cycle Route Eight

The Taff Trail is a popular cycle and walking route that winds its way up from the barrage at Cardiff Bay, through the Garth Gap into the valleys, and north through Merthyr Tydfil and beyond to Brecon. It is the southern leg of the national cycle route 8, and whether you walk it or cycle it, much of its track up to Merthyr runs over older routes previously established by the Glamorganshire Canal, the Barry Railway, the Rhymney Railway, the Pontypridd, Caerphilly and Newport Railway, and the Penydarren Tramroad amongst others.


Copyright (c) Stuart Herbert. blog | twitter: (photography) (all) | facebook: (Merthyr Road project) (all).

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Now a convenient shortcut for anyone using the Treforest Industrial Estate Railway Station on the old Taff Vale Railway line (modern-day Valley Lines service), this bridge used to carry a railway siding south from the Upper Boat Power Station into factories on the industrial estate.

I used to think that this was a surviving relic of the old Cardiff Railway, but sadly that just isn’t true; Cardiff Railway remained on the eastern bank of the River Taff (with a station where the Focus DIY store now is at Upper Boat) before finally crossing the Taff over the impressive (but sadly doomed) Rhydefelin Viaduct.

Even so, this bridge is one of the most impressive survivors in the area, and it definitely deserves a feature all of its own.

The Photos

The View Most People See

This is how most people see the bridge, as an essential short-cut across the Taff to and from the nearby railway station.

Admiring The Structure Of The Bridge

If you do find yourself crossing this bridge, I urge you to stop for a few moments to admire it. It is one of the few surviving structures from its time. The railway siding that it carried, and the power station and factories that used to sit at either end of this siding are long gone.

It Needs A Lick Of Paint

As this close-up of the bridge’s structure shows, it could do with a lick of paint to preserve it from the elements for a bit longer.

Wooden Flooring Along The Bridge

The old trackbed is long gone, replaced by this wooden boarding. Be careful in wet and icy weather; I’ve slipped and slided my way from one end of the bridge to the other on more than one occasion!

The Bridge From Upstream

Taken from upstream, looking south west along the River Taff to the bridge. Doesn’t it just look fine? I don’t think you’ll find another one like it anywhere else along the length of the Taff.

Copyright (c) Stuart Herbert. blog | twitter: (photography) (all) | facebook: (Merthyr Road project) (all).

If you’re reading this in the RSS feed, my original blog post also includes a Google map showing where this photo was taken. Unfortunately I haven’t managed to get the map to appear yet in the RSS feed, so for now you’ll have to click through to my blog if you want to see the map. Sorry.


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