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The Railway

The Peak

In 1863 Great Western Railway took over the running of the line.

In 1869 the entire South Wales Railway and the Great Western's main line from Exeter to Truro was broad gauge. The Great Western was determined to change this and do a full conversion by closing up the 7 foot 1/4 inches rails so that they measured 4 foot 8-1/2 inches rather than adding a third rail to "mix" the gauges.

This meant that tests were needed to prove the viability of this. This meant that an experimental conversion was made between Grange Court and Hereford. The twenty-two and a half miles stretch was far from easy to convert. It included short tunnels, sharp curves and difficult gradients. This meant three hundred plate-layers were given seven working days to complete the task.

The experiment was highly successful. Valuable information was gained by the GWR engineers about how future large-scale conversions could be carried out. This brought the realization that every detail possible should be planned and prepared in advance and that the men could not be divided into gangs shifting on as a section was converted because the whole line needed to be tackled simultaneously.

The Hereford to Gloucester line was then fully converted later that year.

Ross-on-Wye Station Building

The first Station building was replaced by the main Station building which was opened in 1890. This was designed by J. E. Danks of the G.W.R Civil Engineer's Department in Paddington.

Ross-on-Wye Station in 1880

Here we can see both the North and South Signal Boxes, the engine shed, the goods shed and the station.

Ross on Wye station layout
The Ross Station layout in 18801
(Click for a larger image)

Ross-on-Wye Station in 1920

By 1920 the layout had changed. Be careful when reading the diagram, as it also shows various additions to the junction that happened in 1938. In 1938 a third "West" Signal Box has been added to replace both the North and South ones (no evidence remains of any of them) although some of the gear from the Box, including the Webb-Thompson Electric Train Staff Instrument, can be found at the Didcot Railway Centre and were purchased in February 1979 (src: GW Echo No. 67. Autumn 1979. p.16). [ more details ]

Ross on Wye station layout
The Ross Station layout in 19201
(Click for a larger image)

This is an extract from a GWR half-day excursions timetable for June 1937 from Barry and Penarth Districts. It shows the Third Class return fairs and timetable from the South Wales area up the Wye Valley line to Ross-on-Wye.

Half day excursion
Half day exclusion from 1937
(Click for a larger image)

Collett 14xx class 0-4-2T engine number 1445
Engine 1445 approaching Ross from Monmouth
(Click for a larger image)

This is a scan of a photo of Collett '14xx' class 0-4-2T engine, number 1445, with two carriages as it approaches Ross-on-Wye station from Monmouth. In the background can be seen houses at Hildersley that were just outside the station.

Here we see a photo taken off a train as it sits in Ross Station after it has been snowing.

This shows the back of the station with the main station building in the background and the West Signal Box can be seen in the foreground, dating the photo to sometime after 1938 when that box was added. Many people can be seen on the platform and hanging out of the doors of the train. I believe this train would have been coming from or going towards Monmouth on the Ross to Monmouth line thus the photo was taken pre-1959 which was when the last passenger train ran.

The Station Ross on Wye
Photo of Ross Station from the east
Many thanks to Andrew Hiley for allowing
me to use a copy of this photo.
(Click for a larger image)

The road, spearhead fencing and trees to the centre and left of the photo are still there today but none of the station buildings themselves remain and this area is now part of the Ashburton Industrial Estate.

The trees, now much larger, have recently had a preservation order put on them because there was a plan to cut them down, but after some petitioning and effort by the people living in the locality, they have been saved.

The loading dock and Hildersley
The loading dock and Hildersley
(Click for a larger image)

Here we see the view back towards Hildersley. In the background can be seen the houses at Hildersley, with the engine shed in the middle and the loading dock or platform in the foreground.

This is a photographic view of the south platform as a train pulls into the station and people wait to board it. The layout of the station is quite clear. The bridge between the platforms can be clearly seen as can the various waiting rooms for the different passenger classes with the main station building behind.

The Station Platform Ross-on-Wye
A photograph of the south platform
(Click for a larger image)

Ross Railway Station
Ross, Railway Station in around 1906
[published by Friths]
(Click for a larger image)
Ross Station frontage
A photo view of the Station
(Click for a larger image)

Above are postcard and photograph views of the outside of Ross Railway Station.

The main station building in Ross was of a similar design to the one in the photo below. The station below can be found at Kidderminster on the Severn Valley Railway line.

Kidderminster SVR station
Kidderminster's SVR Station (Click for a larger image)

next Wye Street Remaining Evidence previous

1 Track Layout Diagrams of the G.W.R and BR W.R. Section 36 Ross, Monmouth and Chepstow - R. A. Cooke
2 The Ross and Monmouth Railway Act, 1871 - printed in London by George Edward Eyre and William Spottiswoode
3 Wye Valley Railway - BM Handley/R Dingwall - Oakwood Press
4 Ross Gazette - Article: Tireless worker for town...
5 Ross Gazette - Article: In Memoriam August 31st, 1835

[Page updated: Mar 18 2011 00:45:38]

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