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Author Topic: Gloucester to Hereford via Ross on Wye  (Read 1525 times)
grahame
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« 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.
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #1 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  Grin ). 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!

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grahame
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« Reply #2 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.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2020, 06:33:00 am by grahame » Logged

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« Reply #3 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
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #4 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  Grin
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Richard Fairhurst
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« Reply #5 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...
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #6 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 Smiley
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« Reply #7 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.
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Richard Fairhurst
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« Reply #8 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 Smiley

Whoops! Oh yes.

There is a semi-active proposal to use the trackbed (right one this time Cheesy ) 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...
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« Reply #9 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. Probably a lucky chap to be heard.
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #10 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. 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.)
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« Reply #11 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...)
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« Reply #12 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.
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« Reply #13 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).
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grahame
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« Reply #14 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.
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