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The Building of the Viaduct 1853 1857 In late 1852 the Newport, Abergavenny and Hereford Railway, which later formed part of the West Midland Railway put out to competitive tender a contract to build a viaduct across the deep Ebbw river at Crumlin. H N Maynard described the process as follows "In the case of the Crumlin Viaduct the Railway Board of Directors called upon Thos W Kennard and other gentlemen each to tender for a bridge to cross the Crumlin valley upon their own design respectively. Mr T W Kennard was the suc- cessful competitor, and it his design which has been effectively carried out under his own direction". 23 The erection of the first length of cast iron column was marked formally on Decem- ber 3rd 1853 and the viaduct opened on June 11857. There was controversy immedi- ately as to who had designed and build the bridge. Liddell the Engineer for the Rail- way Company opposed most strongly that the bridge was designed and built by Kennard. "For the design of the bridge and the adoption of the Warren Truss girder I as engineer am alone responsible". From the same source Professor W J Maquern Rankine may well have interpreted the matter correctly when in an address to the Institute of Engineers in Scotland on October 271858 he referred to the form "invented by Captain Warren used on the Crumlin Viaduct constructed by Messrs Liddell and Gordon as engineers and Mr Kennard as contractor". 24The Viaduct was the first prod- uct of the Viaduct Works and its purpose was certainly in part, to be a fundamental marketing aid for the long term establishment of these works. In the jargon of the marketeer the purpose of the viaduct was not only to be profitable for all concerned but to build an international profile for the works where it was constructed. There is a considerable evidence to show that the Kennards were planning for a long term business. Thus as noted earlier they built and lived in a house from designs by a foremost architect and designer and they advertised at the great exhibitions of the day. The construction of the viaduct is reasonably well documented by both industrial archaeologists (Association for Industrial Archaeology A I A Bulletin Vol 20 no 2 1993 Michael Tutton) and railway historians (Railway Magazine Sept 1957 Vol 103). These are both short but very good articles and do not require a duplication. This descrip- tion of the Viaduct then will only deal with those primary issues which were pertinent to the future operation of the company. It may only be useful to note for future com- parisons that it weighed 1636 tons and was constructed of 10 spans each of 150' in length. Its purpose was to connect the Midlands with the burgeoning iron and coal industries of South Wales more quickly than moving these products down the valleys. Basically the business, at least in its earlier stages was predicated on the competi- tive advantage of building in iron rather than masonry. This was not of course, a new technology. Darby had built his bridge at Coalbrookdale many years previously. What was new or at least, very highly developed at Crumlin was speed of fabrication of