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Author Topic: Gloucester to Hereford via Ross on Wye  (Read 2506 times)
Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #30 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."
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #31 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
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #32 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.
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #33 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/


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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #34 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.
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #35 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  Grin




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Charlie (in Gloucester)
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« Reply #36 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.
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« Reply #37 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  Grin

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