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Crowds watch as a steam train crosses the Crumlin Viaduct at its opening in 1857. (Private collection)
'When eternity looks you in the face, you may as well go at full speed to meet it!'
- Mad Jack from Pontypool
This heroic volunteer tested the first train to run over the Crumlin Viaduct in 1857.

The courageous  Mad Jack from Pontypool was recruited to drive a train over the bridge to test its safety shortly before its public opening.

Visiting all the pubs in Crumlin beforehand to calm his nerves, he drove the train at top speed across the viaduct, forgetting the engineer's instructions to go slowly, saying, 'When eternity looks you in the face, you may as well go at full speed to meet it'! The viaduct was demolished in 1966, but not before it had featured in the film A'rabesque' starring Gregory Peck and Sophia Loren!
 

In Crumlin look out for this mural by Kenneth & Oliver Budd remembering the Mines Rescue Service which was based here. (CCBC/Kenneth & Oliver Budd)
Where to Visit?

The viaduct spanned the valley at Crumlin and if you look closely you can still see the remains of this impressive structure on the valley sides today. In Crumlin look out for the mural by Kenneth & Oliver Budd remembering the Mines Rescue Service which was based here. Heading north from Crumlin, a striking new structure dominates the landscape at Abertillery - the Guardian sculpture.

Another inspiring monument - the Guardian - north of Crumlin at Abertillery (Visit Wales - Crown Copyright 2013)
Video Content
The viaduct featured in the 1966 film 'Arabesque' starring Gregory Peck and Sophia Loren!
Mad Jack
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