Contractor Carillion has been selected by Network Rail to build a £15.6M replacement for the Loughor viaduct in South West Wales today.
Funded jointly by Network Rail and the Welsh Government, Carillion will be replacing the Victorian-era Lougher viaduct as part of bigger £40M project to improve rail infrastructure in the region.
Originally constructed in 1852, the 216m-long eighteen span timber viaduct connects Swansea and Llanelli over the River Lougher. The new structure will support two train tracks as the existing structure was reduced one track in 1986. Subject to planning approval and listed building consent, the new structure will keep the existing natural stone abutments and some of the Grade II listed trestles, and erecting a small section of the old Loughor viaduct on the west shore.
Replacing the viaduct is part of a £40M scheme to significantly improve the rail infrastructure between Swansea and Gowerton. Engineers will also be installing an additional six-mile track between Cockett West Junction and Duffryn West Junction as part of the scheme.
Proposed benefits of West Wales railway scheme:
A new structure replacing Loughor viaduct that is strong enough to support two tracks
Better performance on the railway as the additional new track will allow trains to continue to run when one of the lines is shut or congested
More capacity on the railway to potentially allow two more trains to run between Swansea and Llanelli and one more between Swansea and Carmarthen per hour.
A bigger, accessible and secure Gowerton station with two platforms, a new DDA compliant footbridge with ramps, real-time customer information system, CCTVs and better lighting.
Modernised signalling infrastructure and enhanced crossing equipment at Duffryn to improve infrastructure reliability and safety
Stronger bridges at Traffle Mill, Gypsy Cross and Rhosog