DB CARGO operated a special train on October 10 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Barmouth Bridge.
A pair of Network Rail Class 97/3 diesels hauled a train of Riviera Trains Mk1s from Shrewsbury to Pwllheli, operating in collaboration with Arriva Trains Wales and Network Rail.
The Grade II-listed timber bridge is a vital link in the Dovey Junction to Pwllheli Cambrian Coast route, and is a remarkable survivor, having endured two world wars, a brush with a live naval mine in 1946, and an attack of marine wood worm in the 1980s.
It is one of the longest timber viaducts still in regular use in Britain, stretching a staggering 800 yards across the Mawddach estuary on 113 wooden trestles.
It was designed by Welsh civil engineer Benjamin Piercy and English civil engineer and architect Henry Conybeare.
They chose to build the bridge from timber as it was cheap to import at the time.
Richard Corser, DB Cargo account manager for Charters and Resource Hire, said: “This is a truly momentous occasion in the history of Barmouth Bridge and the Cambrian Coast Line.
“DB Cargo is very proud to be operating this special service to mark the 150th birthday of such an important structure.”
In conjunction with the 150th anniversary celebrations, Network Rail announced plans to spend around £20million on the bridge between 2019 and 2024 to secure its future, and that of the Cambrian Coast Line.
Read more in November’s issue of The RM – on sale now!