Heritage Locations

Quakers' Yard Viaduct


Impressive viaduct built to carry the single track of the original Taff Vale Railway over the river Taff.

Constructor:
Isambard Kingdom Brunel

Period of construction:
1800 - 1849

Transport Trust plaque:
No

Transport Mode:
Rail

Address:
Quakers' Yard Station, Station Road, Quakers' yard. CF46 5NJ

Postcode:
CF46 5NJ

Nearest Town:
Abercynon

Heritage Centre:
No


Quakers' Yard in the Taff Valley was the location of an extremely busy railway junction from the middle of the 19th century until the period after World War II. It is so called as it was the site of a Quaker burial ground.

The Taff Vale Railway ran down the eastern bank of the Taff until it crossed it on an impressive viaduct designed by Brunel and built in 1840, with six broad arches. This viaduct still carries the railway between Cardiff and Merthyr and is the focus of this entry. The track of the Merthyr Tramroad also passed beneath it and is still visible from it. (see OTH entry Merthyr Tydfil)

Quakers' Yard was the point where the Taff Vale Extension (TVE) of the Newport, Abergavenny & Hereford Railway met the Taff Vale Railway. It also continued past the Taff Vale over a second viaduct and penetrated the hillside in the Cefn Glas tunnel to emerge in the Cynon Valley below Aberdare. It then continued all the way to Neath and Swansea. As an east west railway it had to cross the South Wales valleys over bridges and though tunnels. it is this viaduct which is featured in the illustrations here.

Subsequently the Rhymney Railway built a line from the TVE at Quaker's Yard up the west bank of the Taff to Merthyr, which entailed the building of a third viaduct, parallel to the second but curving away northward from it. this can also be seen in the illustrations.

Quaker's Yard had two stations, one on the TVE, 'Upper', and another on the Taff Vale, 'Lower'. This is the only station surviving as both the TVE and Rhymney lines have been closed and their viaducts demolished.


Bibliography:

Barrie D.S.M. A Regional History of the Railways of Britain, South Wales. ISBN 0 7153 7970 4 (1980)

Biddle, Gordon, Britain's Historic Railway Buildings, Oxford University Press, ISBN-10: 0198662475 (2003)

Biddle, Gordon & Nock, O.S.,
The Railway Heritage of Britain : 150 years of railway architecture and engineering, Studio Editions, ISBN-10: 1851705953 (1990)

Evans, E.A. Three Viaducts, an account of the railways of Quakers' Yard. (1994)

Davies, Walter, General View of the Agriculture and Domestic Economy of South Wales, 1815

Evans, E.A. Three Viaducts (1994)

Hutton,John, Taff Vale Railway Miscellany, Oxford Publishing Company, ISBN 0-86093-414-4 

Hutton, John, The Taff Vale Railway, Silver Link. ISBN-10 1857942493 (2006)

Jones, G.B. and Dunstone,D. The Vale of Neath Line, Gomer. ISBN 1 85902 446 7 (1999)



Opening Times:
Unrestricted - visible at all times.

How To Find:
By Road: Access is difficult as it bridges a rocky ravine  but is possible with care  from the A4054 road between Merthyr and Quakers Yard.


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