Some of my favourite childhood memories are of summer holidays and Christmas present runs to see family and friends in both Merthyr Tydfil and Cardiff. Over the years we were regular travellers on the main A470 road from Merthyr Tydfil to Cardiff passing the wonderfully named places "Fiddlers Elbow" near Quaker's Yard and also up on the hillside the magnificent Castell Coch. For many years I passed this landmark (pictured left) and thought it was just a tower built for the Queen's Silver Jubilee in 1977. Over recent days I have made an interesting discovery regarding this structures origin. It was originally part of an old railway bridge called Walnut Tree Viaduct!
In Wikipedia it describes the viaduct as follows:- "Walnut Tree Viaduct was a railway viaduct located above the northern edge of the village of Radyr, in Cardiff, South Wales. Originally built to carry the Barry Railway across the River Taff, it was deconstructed in 1969, leaving only two of the support columns visible from the A470 road." At one point there were many lattice girder railway bridges in South Wales such as those at Walnut Tree Junction, Llanbradach and Crumlin. Sadly only small brick abutments or supporting columns are all that remain of these once magnificent structures. I also found this excellent picture online of Walnut Tree Viaduct whilst trains were still running over it (pictured left). I can imagine that the views were spectacular for the passengers on this line and it is a shame that this journey can never be made again. It is ironic that some of the most scenic and beautiful railways in Britain were the least used by passengers and the first to close. Thankfully these lines were either photographed or recorded on film so that we can remember the former industrial and railway heritage of South Wales.