Railway Paths

Hengoed Viaduct, South Wales

Hengoed Viaduct, South Wales

View along Hengoed viaduct. (c) Julian Cram/Sustrans

A prominent landscape feature spanning the Rhymney valley between Maesycwmmer and Hengoed.”

Hengoed viaduct was constructed in 1857 as part of the Taff Vale Railway. Made up of 16 arches, each 40 feet in span and measuring 284 yards in length, it crosses the river Rhymney and two railway lines (1). It’s a majestic structure towering over its surroundings, now designated the Maesycwmmer Conservation Area. The structure is Grade II* listed as a major monument of railway engineering on a rare route which runs across the valleys, and one of the oldest surviving viaducts of its type.

The line stopped carrying passengers in 1958 and closed altogether in 1964, after which little maintenance took place, allowing the site and structure to fall into disrepair. In 1999, the viaduct was entrusted to Railway Paths Ltd , and a path was constructed to reopen it to the public.

Major conservation works followed including structural works, lighting, safety fencing and viewing platforms, preserving the high level station, and work around ecology, landscape and interpretation.

Hengoed Viaduct before refurbishment

Viewing platforms and improved fencing on the viaduct. (c) J Bewley/Sustrans

This work was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Cadw, EU Objective 1, Railway Heritage Trust and others as part of the Celtic Trail Project to provide a continuous National Cycle Network route (routes 4 and 47) across South Wales from Fishguard and Chepstow, completed in 2008. A route leaflet and map of the Celtic Trail can be downloaded from the Routes2Ride website (pdf).

Click here to see Hengoed viaduct’s location on the Sustrans online mapping.