Great Western Coffee Shop

Sideshoots - associated subjects => Campaigns for new and improved services => Topic started by: grahame on May 26, 2020, 09:30:27 pm



Title: Gloucester to Hereford via Ross on Wye
Post by: grahame on May 26, 2020, 09:30:27 pm
My suggestions Longer restorations from your list
[snip]

Further Lines to Restore
[snip]
Gloucester to Hereford via Ross on Wye
[snip]

This came up as a public FaceBook post earlier today ... https://www.facebook.com/groups/12135242142/permalink/10156902259012143/ ... documenting it here as it's in our area ...

Quote
I attach our population breakdown for Gloucester-Ross-on-Wye-Hereford rail reopening project. Welcome any feedback, support or additional suggestions. We are lay people not academic professional elites, but believe in a fair society, all can have a voice, all can make suggestions and all can learn to build a case and take things forward where opportunity enables. Team-building is what we are about and all are welcome to our free newsletter loop richard.erta@gmail.com

The post includes population data for each place along the way ...

In the example, I note that of the 225k population, 190k are in the cities at the end of the line. Between, only two places with a population in excess of 3000; wondering how stations would do at those places. Having said which, raw population in only one measure ...

Quote
Thanks to you and xxxxx for feedback. It is early days yet even as it is for many cases the 11th hour. What we ask for is equity and a level playing field. A commuter service out of Gloucester or somewhere could be linked to progressive grwoth allocations to stations and semi fast end to end or long distance trains could do principal stations only I guess. But if you have suggestion of what the 'other measures' could be, please feel free to email them to richard.erta @ gmail.com We hope to table meetings when unlock is lifted to guage public opinion. But Reading-Shrewsbury 'not via Birmingham' may have benefits for a much wider sphere including capacity around the West Midlands creation as well. Yes, B'ham needs close proximity capacity creation but also if not for B'ham, then not via B'ham.

As stated that's a short framework for a case (and it's hard to do much more on Facebook) ... any local thoughts for Richard?    I wonder about tourism to Ross on Wye, and about new town development potential with commuting to Gloucester.


Title: Re: Gloucester to Hereford via Ross on Wye
Post by: Robin Summerhill on May 27, 2020, 12:28:25 am
I was fortunate enough to travel on the Gloucester to Hereford line on two occasions in the last week of service in October 1964 – through to Hereford on the Wednesday and from Gloucester to Ross on the final Saturday (it was half term week and I was 12 at the time  ;D ). It struck me as still operating as a quintessentially GWR line with the exception of the occasional 82xxx tank; Even up until the end the line was largely worked by the GWR “large prairies” and the 43xxx Moguls. In later years I found out that I have a strong connection with Longhope as my great2 grandfather lived there for some years (despite the fact he came from Suffolk), and a great3 granduncle (who came from Hilmarton, Wiltshire by the way) kept a pub there for 20 years after a career as a railway policeman (or signalman – that information comes from elderly censuses records so it could be either).

As a result I have rather a soft spot for the line, so my heart says that it would be a great idea to reopen it.

My head says something different...

Other than Ross, a fairly small town in itself, the line runs through largely empty farmland. There is probably more potential agricultural freight traffic than there is passenger traffic from intermediate stations, and that isn’t likely to happen any time soon, if indeed at any time at all.

It is my view, I am sorry to say, that this idea is a dead duck unless there is sufficient through traffic between Gloucester and Hereford to justify it, and somehow I doubt there is.

On that final day in 1964 I got off at Longhope, and a few tickets that I purchased that week appear below. It only occurred to me whilst I was writing this that, whilst I have maintained for many years that I never “quite got around” to going to Cheltenham Spa St James, I must have done to be able to buy the ticket in the bottom left hand corner!

(https://thumbsnap.com/s/fxpiT9eu.jpg)


Title: Re: Gloucester to Hereford via Ross on Wye
Post by: grahame on May 27, 2020, 06:19:21 am
Much more from ERTA on this - https://ertarailvolunteer.blogspot.com/2020/05/reopen-gloucester-ross-on-wye-hereford.html

Quote
Reopen the Gloucester-Ross-on-Wye-Hereford Rail Link

The closures coincided with gradual upgrades of roads and the result is congestion locked-in on a grand scale with land use for parking not being available for much needed housing or employment for example. Pollution and the world crisis on environmental issues abounds with few cures in sight.

 We say ‘think global, act local’! Rebuilding a new Gloucester-Hereford rail link would enable Reading-Shrewsbury and beyond each end ‘not via Oxford/Birmingham’ giving freight and passengers and orbital option via some of the loveliest countryside in England, wedged between the Cotswolds and the Forest of Dean.

 It would serve an immediate catchment of about a quarter of a million people as well as re-rail the jewel in the crown ‘Ross-on-Wye’ (population 10, 000 approx.) but a 3-5 miles either side of the rail corridor comes to approximately a quarter of a million people plus through use and switch from other modes given choice for example.

Geography and current service

Gloucester to Ross-on-Wye
30 minutes to drive / 18 miles
52 minutes by bus

Ross-on-Wye to Hereford
25 minutes to drive / 17 miles
53 minutes by bus

Buses run every 2 hours, route 33, Gloucester to Hereford via Ross-on-Wye
Not sure if that's current or pre-Covid service

Gloucester to Hereford
45 minutes / 30 miles to drive (via Newent not Ross-on-Wye)
1 hour 20 minutes by National Express (Suspended at present)
1 hour 40 minutes by train (change at Worcsetershire Parkway)
1 hour 43 minutes by bus (Stagecoach route 33)
1 hour 53 minutes by train (change at Worcseter Foregate Street)
1 hour 53 minutes by train (change at Newport)

Potential local/extra traffics

It's dangerous for us to rely on visits to the area from the last millennium (I used to pass through quite often by car in the 1980s) and rule out things because of what we saw then .. so I might look for:
* Urbanisation along the way - new towns or cities?
* High proportion of commuters out to Hereford or Gloucseter
* Significant through traffic
* Incoming commuter / business traffic
* Incoming education traffic
* Incoming tourism - any "Honeypots"?
* Through traffic
* Part of long distance route (note suggestion SW - NW avoiding Birmingham)
* Scenic line drawing traffic in its own right

I recall (but cannot find) plans for a new town about 8 to 10 km out of Gloucester to the north of the River Severn and that could provide a significant additional traffic.

We should also note that rail traffic has doubled on a halved network since the previous line closed.  In modern day, lines that survived the Beeching era cull by the skin of their teeth are thriving and had the line from X to Y survived, it might well thriving.  That is only a muted suggestion that a re-opened line would do well, since the just-survived lines have provided five decades of marketing and encouragement to use which the lines that were lost have not done.


Title: Re: Gloucester to Hereford via Ross on Wye
Post by: Surrey 455 on May 27, 2020, 09:25:09 am
great3 granduncle (who came from Hilmarton, Wiltshire by the way) kept a pub there for 20 years after a career as a railway policeman (or signalman – that information comes from elderly censuses records so it could be either).

Strangely enough this came up in a recent documentary. Episode 4 of The Architecture The Railways Built had a segment inside Settle signal box and the presenter mentioned that "Signalmen are often called bobbies and that comes from the early days when a special railway policeman acted a bit like human signals monitoring traffic and ensuring trains were a safe distance apart".

That episode can be seen on UKTV Play
https://uktvplay.uktv.co.uk/shows/the-architecture-the-railways-built/watch-online/6154651381001


Title: Re: Gloucester to Hereford via Ross on Wye
Post by: Robin Summerhill on May 27, 2020, 10:36:56 am
great3 granduncle (who came from Hilmarton, Wiltshire by the way) kept a pub there for 20 years after a career as a railway policeman (or signalman – that information comes from elderly censuses records so it could be either).

Strangely enough this came up in a recent documentary. Episode 4 of The Architecture The Railways Built had a segment inside Settle signal box and the presenter mentioned that "Signalmen are often called bobbies and that comes from the early days when a special railway policeman acted a bit like human signals monitoring traffic and ensuring trains were a safe distance apart".


I don't know when the name changed in railway terms, let alone in documents like census records compiled by non-railwaymen, hence my caveat.

He certainly appears to have got around during his lifetime:

George Godwin - born Hilmarton Wilts 1824
1841 still in Hilmarton
1851 GWR policeman living at Cricklade (a bit odd because there was no GWR line closer than Minety, although his father had moved there by then so the record might be incomplete - Cricklade parish did include Minety at the time)
1861 - Railway policeman living at Coaley, suggesting he had moved to the Midland Railway
1871 - back in Wiltshire Stationmaster at Purton
1881 - Licensee at Longhope
1891 - Licensee at Longhope

Died 1891

All off topic of course, but I suspect he helped quench the thirst of some railway staff living in that part of Gloucestershire  ;D


Title: Re: Gloucester to Hereford via Ross on Wye
Post by: Richard Fairhurst on May 27, 2020, 12:31:17 pm
Fairly sure there'll be a reopened canal between Gloucester and Hereford before there's a reopened railway.

Which, given that the railway was partly built on the canal trackbed, could be a problem...


Title: Re: Gloucester to Hereford via Ross on Wye
Post by: Robin Summerhill on May 27, 2020, 12:43:56 pm
Fairly sure there'll be a reopened canal between Gloucester and Hereford before there's a reopened railway.

Which, given that the railway was partly built on the canal trackbed, could be a problem...

It was the Newent line that was built over part of the Herefordshire & Gloucestershire canal, but nevertheless I agree with your more general point in he first sentence :)


Title: Re: Gloucester to Hereford via Ross on Wye
Post by: Bmblbzzz on May 27, 2020, 01:04:26 pm
I know someone who works in $famous financial provider$ in Swindon. He's been there since shortly after graduating and he's now about 50, so quite a long time! He noted that when the A419/417 was dualled, they started getting lots of job applicants from Gloucester and Cheltenham, and even from Ross. The point being that the existence of a transport link creates journeys where previously there was no or little demand. But of course with a railway, unlike a road, it's dependent on the service provided rather than just the existence of the infrastructure.


Title: Re: Gloucester to Hereford via Ross on Wye
Post by: Richard Fairhurst on May 27, 2020, 02:13:19 pm
Fairly sure there'll be a reopened canal between Gloucester and Hereford before there's a reopened railway.

Which, given that the railway was partly built on the canal trackbed, could be a problem...

It was the Newent line that was built over part of the Herefordshire & Gloucestershire canal, but nevertheless I agree with your more general point in he first sentence :)

Whoops! Oh yes.

There is a semi-active proposal to use the trackbed (right one this time :D ) between Hereford and Holme Lacy as a cycleway, too. But I guess that's a fairly minor engineering challenge compared to several others on the route...


Title: Re: Gloucester to Hereford via Ross on Wye
Post by: CyclingSid on May 27, 2020, 02:49:53 pm
On the subject of Gloucestershire canals https://road.cc/content/news/cyclist-spent-hour-canal-after-fall-rescue-273763 (https://road.cc/content/news/cyclist-spent-hour-canal-after-fall-rescue-273763). Probably a lucky chap to be heard.


Title: Re: Gloucester to Hereford via Ross on Wye
Post by: Bmblbzzz on May 27, 2020, 06:23:34 pm
On the subject of Gloucestershire canals https://road.cc/content/news/cyclist-spent-hour-canal-after-fall-rescue-273763 (https://road.cc/content/news/cyclist-spent-hour-canal-after-fall-rescue-273763). Probably a lucky chap to be heard.
That could have ended nastily. The Sharpness Canal is much deeper and wider than most English canals. In fact, when it opened it was the widest and deepest in the world (though probably not for very long).

On more Gloucestershire canal and cycling news (no railway content, sorry), on Sunday I cycled up to Eastington, where I ate my socially distanced, self-sufficient lunch, carried there in my saddlebag, by the Stroudwater canal. I was surprised to find the A419/A38 roundabout being dug up, with a huge trench through the middle, so the canal can be extended from Eastington, where it has ended since <before I was born> to its junction with the Sharpness at Saul.

(Desperate attempt to introduce railway content, as a small Bmblbzzz I used to walk along both the filled-in canal and the trackbed of the Stonehouse & Nailsworth Railway; now the latter is a cycle track while the former is returning to navigability.)


Title: Re: Gloucester to Hereford via Ross on Wye
Post by: Richard Fairhurst on May 27, 2020, 07:07:05 pm
Curiously, the A38 works are being funded by Highways England, who have a "nice stuff near motorways" fund. (And Highways England also run the Historic Railways Estate, so there's some more railway relevance...)


Title: Re: Gloucester to Hereford via Ross on Wye
Post by: MVR S&T on May 27, 2020, 10:50:42 pm
Pleased to hear the canal is being restored through what, in the recent past would have been thought imposible, excelent news. evem more useful for the new future, as an 'active transport' coridoor. And as a side shoot of this, a canal boat holiday, with the family, or close freinds sounds like a staycation to me.


Title: Re: Gloucester to Hereford via Ross on Wye
Post by: Wizard on May 28, 2020, 06:24:13 am
I grew up in Ross on Wye and now live in one of the larger villages mentioned in the Facebook post above. A railway through Ross would be incredible for the area.

For freight, a new route from the south west to the north that avoids both obstacles of the Severn Tunnel and the Lickey incline.

For passengers, potentially quicker journey times from Hereford to London, direct trains to Gloucester and Swindon, commuting possibilities into both cities. I have travelled from Hereford to Gloucester or vice versa a number of times and have always driven. The bus takes about two hours, is irregular and finished early.

Traffic into Gloucester in the morning from the west is bad. From my village at a quiet time, the journey to Gloucester station is around 23 minutes. For a 9am start you need to be on the road before 7am, and will be queued all the way through Highnam and Churcham (and quite often Huntley) on the A40 or Minsterworth and Elmore on the A48. The possibility of getting some of these people out of cars and onto trains would be a huge positive for reducing this congestion. The problem is that the A40 is the furthest downstream River Severn crossing before the Severn Bridge at Chepstow. (Another mooted scheme to alleviate this is a new road bridge from Westbury on Severn to Hardwicke so traffic would approach Gloucester from the south).

Hereford traffic is also notorious in the area for being bad. I don’t personally visit Hereford as often as Gloucester as it is further away and smaller, but I know full well that you just don’t drive there in the rush hour unless it is unavoidable.

Ross on Wye is also the gateway to the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean, some of the most beautiful parts of the country and well visited by a good number of people each year. If some of these people arrived by train it would be better for all.

I’m certain that a railway in this area would be well used from Day 1 (unless Day 1 is during lockdown).


Title: Re: Gloucester to Hereford via Ross on Wye
Post by: grahame on May 28, 2020, 10:44:53 am
I grew up in Ross on Wye and now live in one of the larger villages mentioned in the Facebook post above. A railway through Ross would be ...

You sound so well set up to help inform on this.  I recall a regular journey I used to make from Wiltshire via Gloucester and Newest out to Leominster and past Ludlow to Church Stretton ... passing Gloucester around 7:30 to 8:00 in the morning and even in those days seeing the traffic queueing to get to work coming over the Severn.    Remember a wonderful farm shop I used to visit on the way home.

As a courtesy, when I started this thread I email the ERTA originator, together with their West Country specialist, with an invitation to join in, which was duly acknowledged, so should anyone drop them a line, it won't come out of the blue.   Having said which, what I don't see is local involvement / push, but that could just be because I don'e see the "Highnam Times" in my feeds - and perhaps that's needed.   I do know the local RailFuture branch secretary who lives in Gloucester.


Title: Re: Gloucester to Hereford via Ross on Wye
Post by: Celestial on May 28, 2020, 10:50:51 am
I don't buy the alternative route for freight argument. You can avoid both the Severn Tunnel and the Lickey incline by going via Lydney and Kidderminster.

But I do agree that traffic into Gloucester is awful.  Having once had to get to the far side of the city for 9am I thought I had lots of spare time heading up the A48 from Chepstow, but ground to a halt well before the Highnam roundabout and eventually arrived 30 minutes late. Though whether a rail line all the way to Ross is a proportionate answer to that problem is debatable.  And a lot of the offices generating traffic are too far out of town for the current station to be of any use (as I found out during my slow crawl along the northern bypass).  


Title: Re: Gloucester to Hereford via Ross on Wye
Post by: Robin Summerhill on May 28, 2020, 12:39:23 pm
 And a lot of the offices generating traffic are too far out of town for the current station to be of any use (as I found out during my slow crawl along the northern bypass).  

Perhaps we need the Gloucester Docks branch reopened with a new use for one of these

https://www.flickr.com/photos/train-pix/8167455154/

;)


Title: Re: Gloucester to Hereford via Ross on Wye
Post by: 4064ReadingAbbey on May 28, 2020, 03:13:14 pm
Back in my 'crayonista' days shortly in the mid-1970s as I sat looking at maps (as one does...) of the surviving railway network this was one of the gaps that seemed to be to be glaring (as gaps do...).

One thing that was obvious to my eyes was that the general grain of the railway network ran north-east to south-west: the Heart of Wales line from Craven Arms, the (Birmingham) - Worcester - Hereford - Newport route and the Birmingham - Bristol main line. The remaining network made it very difficult for any traveller to go across the grain. Not that I suppose in thinly populated Herefordshire many people would want to, but the inhabitants of Hereford have to make do with very circuitous routes.

In a sense re-opening the Hereford - Gloucester line would seem to plug the same sort of gap in Herefordshire and parts of the erstwhile county of Gwent that the Oxford to Cambridge line will do. It would make reaching Bristol and Swindon from large areas easier than using the dogs-leg via Newport and directly connect two large towns.

However it will be an uphill climb. It's roughly 20 miles from Grange Court Junction to Hereford and as a rule of thumb one can reckon with a cost of £20 million per mile for a single track line to £40 million for a double track line with more extensive land take and earthworks. These figures hold even if the right of way is mostly clear of buildings so £500 million I would reckon is a minimum.

But I hope somebody rises to the challenge.


Title: Re: Gloucester to Hereford via Ross on Wye
Post by: Bmblbzzz on May 28, 2020, 03:51:29 pm
In a sense re-opening the Hereford - Gloucester line would seem to plug the same sort of gap in Herefordshire and parts of the erstwhile county of Gwent that the Oxford to Cambridge line will do.
But Oxford and Cambridge have many hi-tech start ups, financial institutions, and all their associated highly paid people, not to mention the clout of Fenland Poly and Cotswold College. Whereas all Gloucester and Hereford have is the SAS. Hang on, I think I see a possibility here... a little coup d'etat, if no one objects? I don't think we've had one since 1688, we must be due another!


Title: Re: Gloucester to Hereford via Ross on Wye
Post by: grahame on May 28, 2020, 05:10:13 pm
I recall (but cannot find) plans for a new town about 8 to 10 km out of Gloucester to the north of the River Severn and that could provide a significant additional traffic.

Found it!

https://www.gloucestershirelive.co.uk/news/gloucester-news/new-5000-home-eco-village-3799987

Quote
Developers want to build a massive 5,000 home “eco village” with it’s own railway station and park and ride alongside the A48 in Gloucestershire.

Proposals have been put forward for a brand new town on farmland between the river and the picturesque village of Westbury-on-Severn.

According to Ridge and Partners of Cheltenham it will be a self-contained, eco friendly village because they plan to reopen a closed train station on the main Newport to Gloucester railway line and build a new road linking the A48 to the A40.

Looking at a map, I suspect this would be to the west of a Grange Court Junction, where the Hereford via Ross-o-Wye line branched off from the still-open line via Lydney.

Noting what others are saying, though, I suspect that much of your commuter issue would not be dented unless your trains coming in via Grange Court extended to stations and Barnwood and at Churchdown. Cheltenham Spa station itself would be within walking distance for anyone working in the Benhall area of that town.


Title: Re: Gloucester to Hereford via Ross on Wye
Post by: Bmblbzzz on May 28, 2020, 11:08:17 pm
A station at Newnham, or even at Westbury-on-Severn itself, would be better positioned to capture the traffic from this new 'eco-town' as well as maybe from Cinderford, and without having to build a new line.


Title: Re: Gloucester to Hereford via Ross on Wye
Post by: grahame on May 29, 2020, 07:57:14 am
In a sense re-opening the Hereford - Gloucester line would seem to plug the same sort of gap in Herefordshire and parts of the erstwhile county of Gwent that the Oxford to Cambridge line will do. It would make reaching Bristol and Swindon from large areas easier than using the dogs-leg via Newport and directly connect two large towns.

Yes ... but comparisons are sensible to make, but there are many elements here which are not close comparisons

Location        Pop.    |       Pop.    Location

Cambridge (c)   123000  |       128000  Gloucester (c)
Sandy (c)       12000   |       4500    Micheldean and Longhope
Bedford  (c)    106000  |       11000   Ross-on-Wye
Bletchley (c)   37000*  |       1000    Weston under Penyard
Oxford   (c)    154000  |       70000   Hereford (c)

Miles between   85      |       30
Miles reinstate 55      |       20

(c) - offers connections to other rail services
* - 230000 if you include Milton Keynes as a whole


On "doglegs" from Bristol to Hereford - did trains even go via Ross-on-Wye when the line was open?  I've always though of that flow historically being via the Maindee curve at Newport, with through services until quite recent times.


Title: Re: Gloucester to Hereford via Ross on Wye
Post by: Robin Summerhill on May 29, 2020, 09:04:36 am
On "doglegs" from Bristol to Hereford - did trains even go via Ross-on-Wye when the line was open?  I've always though of that flow historically being via the Maindee curve at Newport, with through services until quite recent times.

The line was used as a diversionary route when the Severn Tunnel was closed for engineering works. A photograph appeared in Modern Railways sometime in 1963/64 showing a Warship at Longhope on just such a train.

Other than for that reason I am unaware of any through traffic using the route


Title: Re: Gloucester to Hereford via Ross on Wye
Post by: ellendune on May 29, 2020, 09:29:31 am
In a sense re-opening the Hereford - Gloucester line would seem to plug the same sort of gap in Herefordshire and parts of the erstwhile county of Gwent that the Oxford to Cambridge line will do. It would make reaching Bristol and Swindon from large areas easier than using the dogs-leg via Newport and directly connect two large towns.

Yes ... but comparisons are sensible to make, but there are many elements here which are not close comparisons

Location        Pop.    |       Pop.    Location

Cambridge (c)   123000  |       128000  Gloucester (c)
Sandy (c)       12000   |       4500    Micheldean and Longhope
Bedford  (c)    106000  |       11000   Ross-on-Wye
Bletchley (c)   37000*  |       1000    Weston under Penyard
Oxford   (c)    154000  |       70000   Hereford (c)

Miles between   85      |       30
Miles reinstate 55      |       20

(c) - offers connections to other rail services
* - 230000 if you include Milton Keynes as a whole


On "doglegs" from Bristol to Hereford - did trains even go via Ross-on-Wye when the line was open?  I've always though of that flow historically being via the Maindee curve at Newport, with through services until quite recent times.

The comparison also to make between those two is how far is the shortest alternative rail route?  In the case of Oxford, Milton Keynes, Bedford to Cambridge it is via London.  Gloucester to Hereford can be via Worcester or Newport - not sure which is shortest.


Title: Re: Gloucester to Hereford via Ross on Wye
Post by: rogerw on May 29, 2020, 10:08:55 am
In rough figures, 88 miles via Newport and 58 Miles via Worcester.  Better connections via Newport with at least hourly services on each leg as against the roughly two hourly service to Worcester. Fares are the same by either route


Title: Re: Gloucester to Hereford via Ross on Wye
Post by: 4064ReadingAbbey on May 29, 2020, 04:05:26 pm
In a sense re-opening the Hereford - Gloucester line would seem to plug the same sort of gap in Herefordshire and parts of the erstwhile county of Gwent that the Oxford to Cambridge line will do.
But Oxford and Cambridge have many hi-tech start ups, financial institutions, and all their associated highly paid people, not to mention the clout of Fenland Poly and Cotswold College. Whereas all Gloucester and Hereford have is the SAS. Hang on, I think I see a possibility here... a little coup d'etat, if no one objects? I don't think we've had one since 1688, we must be due another!
I like that idea...who dares, wins.

I appreciate that the economic base is very different - I specifically mentioned that Herefordshire is thinly populated. My remark was in reference to the re-instated Oxford - Bletchley - Cambridge line cutting across the general grain of the mainly north - south and northwest - southeast main line alignments in its area where no such links exists at the moment. In either case the re-instated lines would/could make it more attractive to use rail for many journeys which otherwise would not be attempted by rail. As an example a Leominster to Gloucester (or Swindon) journey would be easier in the same way as a Bristol or Swindon to Milton Keynes journey will be after East-West Railway opens.

Whether such routes will cover their costs is another question entirely.


Title: Re: Gloucester to Hereford via Ross on Wye
Post by: grahame on June 02, 2020, 10:52:27 am
4 page "Dossier for Gloucester-Ross-on-Wye-Hereford Rail Link – by Richard Pill May 2020" at https://irp-cdn.multiscreensite.com/d0a88cb3/files/uploaded/Gloucester-Ross-on-Wye-Hereford%20rail%20link%20Dossier%2026-05-2020%20.pdf

Quote
In Brief: The ERTA have identified the Gloucester-Ross-on-Wye-Hereford rail link as a missing strategic rail link. It would combine a local, regional and inter-regional sustainable transit corridor for both passenger and freight movements sustainably.


Title: Re: Gloucester to Hereford via Ross on Wye
Post by: Noggin on June 03, 2020, 05:02:04 pm
In all honesty I would have thought that regional rail electrification would better serve the greater good. But certainly protect the trackbed and build the market with a high-quality bus link.
 


Title: Re: Gloucester to Hereford via Ross on Wye
Post by: Bmblbzzz on June 03, 2020, 08:09:26 pm
In crayonistadom, I looked at the OS map and tried to retrace the route from Ross to Glos. It seems to have been almost designed to avoid places! It passes just by but not quite in Longhope, which itself is not quite Mitcheldean, which is not that large a place anyway. It also misses Newnham and Westbury-on-Severn. Continuing crayonistadom, I'd have thought a northern route might be more useful today, via Newent and Highnam.


Title: Re: Gloucester to Hereford via Ross on Wye
Post by: Celestial on June 03, 2020, 08:39:12 pm
In crayonistadom, I looked at the OS map and tried to retrace the route from Ross to Glos. It seems to have been almost designed to avoid places! It passes just by but not quite in Longhope, which itself is not quite Mitcheldean, which is not that large a place anyway. It also misses Newnham and Westbury-on-Severn. Continuing crayonistadom, I'd have thought a northern route might be more useful today, via Newent and Highnam.
The northern route via Newent went to Ledbury.

I would have thought a reopened Grange Court station, or possibly next to the A48 at Westbury, would be a reasonable P&R station catchment for the Forest of Dean.  If you also had a station at Barnwood to cater for commuters at the Gloucester end and a decent frequency of trains then that could be a viable option. Wouldn't help with Ross on Wye mind. 


Title: Re: Gloucester to Hereford via Ross on Wye
Post by: Robin Summerhill on June 03, 2020, 08:54:50 pm
In crayonistadom, I looked at the OS map and tried to retrace the route from Ross to Glos. It seems to have been almost designed to avoid places! It passes just by but not quite in Longhope, which itself is not quite Mitcheldean, which is not that large a place anyway. It also misses Newnham and Westbury-on-Severn. Continuing crayonistadom, I'd have thought a northern route might be more useful today, via Newent and Highnam.


OS 1" map available online - you don't need a crayon!

https://www.sabre-roads.org.uk/maps/

 I can't really agree about the line missin Longhope, and Mitcheldean of course is well uphill from the valley the line ran in, hence the ever optimistic addition of "Road" to the station's name. This could, and aften was, translated as "dumping you off quite a long way from whre you really wanted to go."


Title: Re: Gloucester to Hereford via Ross on Wye
Post by: Robin Summerhill on June 04, 2020, 08:35:08 pm
Another thing to bear in mind is, at the time of the line's construction, the words serving and missing may have meant something different to the meanings we inderstand today.

There was no alternative public transport to speak of, and the area through which the line ran was generally rural and sparsely populated. The good residents of Westbury on Severn, for example, who wanted to go to Ross or Hereford (not that there would have been many of them I suspect) would have quite happily have got themselves to Blaisdon to start their journey, or the bone idle of well-heeled might have changed at Grange Court.

My great grandfather was born in Newent in 1870 and ended up with a farm at Aston Ingham. For 20-odd years he had business interests in Manchester and must have been up and down on a fairly regular basis (gleaned from where his children were born). Newent station would have been little use to him, but a 2 mile trip to Mitcheldean Road would have got him on a line going to Hereford, and then onwards up the north and west.

Totally off topic. but the 1922 Bradshaw reprint tells me that Mitcheldean Road to Manchester London Road (now Piccadilly) could be done in around 4.5 hours back then, on four trains a day with a single change and suitable connections at Hereford


Title: Re: Gloucester to Hereford via Ross on Wye
Post by: Bmblbzzz on June 04, 2020, 10:35:01 pm
Another thing to bear in mind is, at the time of the line's construction, the words serving and missing may have meant something different to the meanings we inderstand today.
A very good point, which has a bearing on any line built today. The best way to connect Hereford with Gloucester a hundred years ago isn't necessarily the best way today, and we can only guess at what it will be in another hundred years.


Title: Re: Gloucester to Hereford via Ross on Wye
Post by: Robin Summerhill on August 14, 2020, 11:26:20 pm
I have now uploaded the last timetable for the Gloucester to Hereford line prior to closure in 1964, together with a photograph of a 43xx 2-6-0 running into Ross on Wye to show what a typical train on the line looked like:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/93122458@N08/50226253643/




Title: Re: Gloucester to Hereford via Ross on Wye
Post by: IndustryInsider on August 15, 2020, 12:47:37 am
A surprisingly good service when compared to many lines shortly before closure.  A usable commuting service from Ross to both Hereford and Gloucester.


Title: Re: Gloucester to Hereford via Ross on Wye
Post by: Robin Summerhill on August 15, 2020, 12:36:07 pm
A surprisingly good service when compared to many lines shortly before closure.  A usable commuting service from Ross to both Hereford and Gloucester.

That’s a very interesting take on the matter which led my thoughts off on all manner of tangents. I shall confine my comments to just two of them!

Firstly at the time of the Beeching cuts there was no commuting to speak of outside of the major urban areas – remember it wasn’t that much earlier that the railway were still employing young lads as “knockers up,” and there would have been precious little point in that if staff lived more than a few minutes bike ride from their place of work. No –most people lived and worked in the same area and, whilst there may have been a few commuters going into Gloucester or Hereford, it wouldn’t have been possible to run a profitable railway service o the back of it.

Secondly there is just a hint of “the railway deliberately ran the line down with the intention of closing it.” In my view this is one of those urban myths that have grown up over the years, and the final timetables before the Beeching closures do not really bear it out.

We are all aware that exponential rise of private motoring post-WW2 hit railway passenger numbers and therefore revenues hard. In general the railways continued to run as they always had – fully staffed stations, a signalbox every few miles and ditto PW gangs. It was clear that something had to give and, in view of the power of the unions in those days it would have been far easier to close a line than agree staff cuts with them.

Certainly lesser-used trains, especially late evening services, go the chop, but it should be remembered that if they had been better patronised they wouldn’t have been chopped. I do accept that withdrawing late services has a negative effect on traffic earlier in the day because potential passengers won’t make the outbound trip either, but that in itself would not prove the charge of deliberately running the line down with the intention of closing it.

The next bit is completely off topic! Having done much research on the matter over the years, I have concluded that one of the starkest examples of misplaced blame concerns the Somerset & Dorset. When you compare the final S&D timetable of 1965 with the Bradshaw 1922 reprint you find that, excluding the expresses that were diverted in 1962, the local passenger service hardly changed over those 43 years. Also remember that the expresses over the line didn’t actually serve intermediate stations, and the only people who were even mildly inconvenienced were those who wanted to go from Bath to Bournemouth and in future would have to change at Southampton.

In 1965 the S&D was being run in almost exactly the same way as it had in 1922, and in 1922 its only real competition was the horse and cart. It didn’t stand a cat in hell’s chance against the Morris Oxford or the Austin A35...

I suspect there will be some readers who disagree with all this, so let’s have a discussion  ;D






Title: Re: Gloucester to Hereford via Ross on Wye
Post by: Charlie (in Gloucester) on August 15, 2020, 12:45:51 pm
I haven't contributed to this forum in a little while however all of us have had a hectic year so many things I haven't found the time for.

I used to go to school in Newent - I left about 6 years ago. I commuted via the school service that was provided from my area in Gloucester. Generally the service was fine and I saw the building of a bus lane down the A40 that really did help at peak times.

The bus service is - meh. You can get to Ross-On-Wye using the 32 bus (the long way) or the 33 bus giving a combined frequency of every hour. It could be worse, although doesn't really promote the use of the bus network. In some cases there are gaps of 90 minutes in the 32 service and it ends up clashing with the 33.

Being from Gloucester - I am obviously going to back the case for a railway line along here. The A40 between Highnam and Gloucester is the city's key commuter belt. We have been graced recently by the hourly London service, are soon to be graced by a twice hourly Cardiff service and maybe one day we might get that forever promised twice hourly Bristol service.

There is only so much you can do to relieve congestion on the roads and to me it feels like not much else can be used around there. Mentioned above was a park and ride service from Westbury-on-Severn which could work - if the bus lane was extended.

I think there is a case for a railway line and it should be looked at. If connections were improved between the Forest of Dean, Gloucester and Hereford then I think it will be an all round positive thing for the two counties.


Title: Re: Gloucester to Hereford via Ross on Wye
Post by: grahame on August 16, 2020, 03:23:41 pm
The next bit is completely off topic! Having done much research on the matter over the years, I have concluded that one of the starkest examples of misplaced blame concerns the Somerset & Dorset. When you compare the final S&D timetable of 1965 with the Bradshaw 1922 reprint you find that, excluding the expresses that were diverted in 1962, the local passenger service hardly changed over those 43 years. Also remember that the expresses over the line didn’t actually serve intermediate stations, and the only people who were even mildly inconvenienced were those who wanted to go from Bath to Bournemouth and in future would have to change at Southampton.

In 1965 the S&D was being run in almost exactly the same way as it had in 1922, and in 1922 its only real competition was the horse and cart. It didn’t stand a cat in hell’s chance against the Morris Oxford or the Austin A35...

I suspect there will be some readers who disagree with all this, so let’s have a discussion  ;D

Said discussion now at http://www.passenger.chat/23909



This page is printed from the "Coffee Shop" forum at http://gwr.passenger.chat which is provided by a customer of Great Western Railway. Views expressed are those of the individual posters concerned. Visit www.gwr.com for the official Great Western Railway website. Please contact the administrators of this site if you feel that content provided contravenes our posting rules ( see http://railcustomer.info/1761 ). The forum is hosted by Well House Consultants - http://www.wellho.net