Our railway runs from the southern terminus of Lydney Junction, through the town of Lydney, following the river Lyd, through the Forest to Whitecroft and Parkend – here is our guided tour of the route…
Leaving Lydney junction platform, the line first crosses the Harbour Road Crossing. This road was built in the late 1990’s and runs down to the mainline station, across the line, and on to the harbour. The line curves around, to the left side, running parallel with the railway is Pidcocks canal, albeit covered in foliage. To the right, behind the trees there is the Lyd, the river the railway follows right up to Parkend. The line then crosses the Lydney A48 bypass, again built in the 1990’s – the canal crosses underneath just past the crossing before the disused St. Mary’s Halt is reached. The Halt here was once the southern terminus of the line, hence the run-round loop. After passing past Bathurst Park, the line reaches Lydney Town Station. Here trains halt for the largest of our three manually operated level crossings – two gates on each side, operated by two persons. Trains are giving a green flag before departing the station and climb past the former Travis Perkins – the gradient here really is quite steep, especially for an engine departing a station.
Curving around an S bend the railway reaches Middle Forge Junction. Here a ground frame operated by train crew depicts which Norchard platform the train will enter. One line heads down to the terminus low level platform no. 1 and the sheds and sidings, the other takes the train up to the through high level platform no. 3 and on to Parkend. After a stop at Norchard the train again climbs out of the platform on a retaining wall and past the water tower and P-Way trolley hut. After curving around, the line passes the Abutment, a former loading dock. This is where the line starts to enter the Forest, and is on Lydney Park Estate Land. A few shallow S bends later the train finds Upper Forge, a former forge built in the 1600’s.
Next up, about a quarter of a mile later, is Tufts Junction. Here three separate lines diverged from the main line, one out to Princess Royal colliery, one up to Mosley Green and New Fancy (known as the mineral loop) and the DFR route to Parkend; from here to Parkend the route was double track. After crossing the river Lyd on Tufts Bridge, the line passes through yet another S bend into Whitecroft station. At the back of Whitecroft station is the former pin factory and industrial works. After crossing the second manual crossing, the B4234 crossing, the line runs parallel with a footpath before breaking into real woodland. Here is the longest section of straight track on the railway. Turning the final S bend the train arrives into Parkend where the line terminates – a short section of track for loco movements exists north of the crossing for about 300 yards.
However the best way to experience the route is by visiting the line!
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