North West Wales

World Heritage Site hopes for Barmouth Bridge, Gwynedd

Barmouth bridge
Image caption If successful, the bridge would join India's Taj Mahal on the heritage list

Calls have been made for a 146-year-old railway bridge to be listed as a World Heritage Site.

Barmouth Town Council plans to hold talks with historic monuments agency Cadw and Network Rail, which owns the bridge across the Mawddach estuary.

The 900m-long (2,953 ft) bridge carries the Cambrian Coast Railway from Machynlleth to Pwllheli.

Wales has three entries in Unesco's World Heritage List, which includes 981 properties.

Wales' current sites are the castles and town walls of King Edward, in Gwynedd, the Blaenavon industrial landscape, in Blaenau Gwent, and the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal, in Wrexham.

The Barmouth Bridge - also known as the Barmouth Viaduct - was under threat when a mollusc known as the toredo worm, which bores into submerged wood, was found to have damaged parts of the wooden structure in the 1980s.

Heavy locomotives were banned from crossing, which led to the demise of freight traffic along the Cambrian Railway.

The infected wood was replaced and trains now cross the bridge.

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