Dean Forest Railway - 1960's Mixed Traction Weekend
Club Outing: 22nd June 2014
We had a fine summer’s day for our visit using Johnsons Coaches for our travel to Norchard from Solihull. Norchard is the main site of the railway featuring a station with a through and a bay platform. The bay is used for short services to Lydney Junction and return. Norchard, before preservation, had no station but just sidings for local industry, but now has a museum, shop, refreshments available and most importantly a workshop.
The line runs from Lydney Junction to Parkend and after obtaining our tickets we able to travel the whole line on any train. The service from Norchard to Lydney Junction used Class 108 DMU’s 51566+59387+51914 or 50619+56492. Trains travelling the whole line were hauled by GWR 2-6-2T 5541, Hunslet 0-6-0ST 3806 ‘Wilbert’, BR Class 08 0-6-0 diesel shunter D3937 and BR Class 73 electro-diesel 73001.
We had plenty of time to travel the line with many photographs taken and with lunch at a pub in Parkend. We were also were able to visit the workshops at Norchard where amongst other rolling stock were GWR 0-6-0PT 9681 and BR Paxman Class 14’s 0-6-0 diesels D9521 and D9555 receiving or awaiting attention. There was a nicely restored BR ‘PALVAN’ B778782 in the station yard. Preservation work is also carried out at Lydney Junction where we found BR Class 08 0-6-0 diesel shunter 08238, BR Class 27 BRCW Bo-Bo diesel 27066 and BR Class 31 Brush A1A-A1A diesel 31466.
Preservation of the line started in 1970 and so far has been restored to Parkend with plans for further extension into the Forest of Dean.
So it was a very good trip with Alan Rumney getting Jim Holloway into trouble with a signalman for taking photos of point work too near the track and Rob Reynolds caused a delay of service by a robust attempt to dismantle a carriage door.
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