Llanddulas viaduct

link to welsh translationlink_to_french_translationLlanddulas viaduct and accident

The original railway viaduct over the river Dulas was brought down by swollen river water on 17 August 1879. Seven days later, the London & North Western Railway opened a temporary, low-level bridge and connecting tracks to the main line on either side. Meanwhile its Crewe workshops fabricated new steel spans. Six masonry piers were built for the new viaduct, with round-the-clock working facilitated by one of the first uses of electric lighting on a construction site. The new bridge was opened to traffic on 14 September.

On 20 August 1868, a disastrous accident resulted from an error during shunting of goods wagons at Llanddulas. The goods train was scheduled to precede the Irish Mail and set back into sidings at Llanddulas to allow the express to pass. On this occasion there were already some wagons in the sidings. The train was therefore split to fit in. A method known as fly shunting – pushing uncoupled wagons with the locomotive and letting them roll ahead – was used to add one wagon to the ones which had been left standing on the main line. The jolt as the extra wagon arrived broke a gear in the brake van, and the wagons began to descend towards Abergele.

The Irish Mail crashed into the wagons west of Abergele & Pensarn station. Two of the wagons contained casks of paraffin, which quickly turned the wreckage of the wooden rolling stock into an inferno. The accident killed 33 people. The inquest was held at the Bee Hotel in Abergele, and the bodies buried at Abergele parish church.

Where is this HiPoint?

Other RAILWAY HiPoints in this area:
Colwyn Bay station - where trains had to wait if Lady Erskine's carriage was late
Old St Asaph station – built by the Vale of Clwyd Railway
Old Prestatyn rail station

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