The line ran from Ross to Grange Court, Gloucester, via Weston-under-Penyard, Lea and BoxBush to name a few places along the line.
Weston under Penyard
The line towards Gloucester from Ross ran through the village of Weston under Penyard. There were several bridges around the village. Most of which have been removed in the last 20-25 years although the remains can be seen.
This is the site of the most westerly bridge around Weston and very little of it actually remains.
The site of a railway bridge (Click for a larger image)
The railway line (Click for a larger image)
This is the where the line ran along the north side of the village after the bridge. To the right (south) of this section of the line is the Leadership Trust business school which occupies the building that used to be the "Wye Hotel".
The school was setup in 1975 by an ex-SAS officer who wanted to establish a charitable organisation to develop and promote good leadership practice. This was then restructured in 1998 to produce a more commercial set-up called "The Leadership Trust Foundation".
These photos show the entrance to Weston-under-Penyard station and the bridge that was next to it.
Weston-under-Penyard bridge [Photo: J.C.Coombes] (Click for a larger image)
Weston-under-Penyard Station [Photo: J.C.Coombes] (Click for a larger image)
The two shots below show 4161 and 7815 in Weston-under-Penyard station.
No. 4161 was a 2-6-2 'Prairie' tank built for the GWR and is seen coming from the direction of Grange Court. This loco was subsequently based in the Worcester shed and was
withdrawn from service in November 19651.
4161 in Weston-under-Penyard station [Photo: J.C.Coombes] (Click for a larger image)
7815 in Weston-under-Penyard station [Photo: J.C.Coombes] (Click for a larger image)
In the 2nd shot No. 7815 Fritwell Manor is seen coming from the direction of Ross. Fritwell Manor was built in January 1939, was based at the Gloucester shed for
its entire working life until it was withdrawn in October 1964. It was finally scrapped at Bird's, Bridgend2.
The tender, as used by Fritwell Manor between June and December 1963, was No. 2065. This was built in 1919 and was used behind a series of 2-6-0s and 2-8-0s
prior to being used behind the Manor. After 1963 it was allocated to 2-8-0 No. 3802. Although Fritwell Manor has been scrapped the tender has survived.
The restoration of the tender has progressed steadily since 1981 with a new well tank fitted, a new water tank welded inside the original plating and many original parts restored for use3.
Here we see the remains of another bridge that is in the middle of the village. This one is a little hump back bridge that is quite scary if driven over too quickly.
The line ran in a deep cutting that ran along here which has been filled in, in the last 25 years, so that houses can be built on the line of the track.
Railway bridge (Click for a larger image)
The line of the track (Click for a larger image)
The line then ran across the field here, following the line of the fence, on a large embankment and the next road then ran under the line.
This is the site of the eastern bridge at Weston where the road ran back under the track. I used to walk up through the bridge and climb up onto the embankment to walk over the bride. The bridge was only removed in the last few years and the 12' restriction signs are still on the ends of the lane. (I believe it was around 20 months ago as of 8/4/06)
Site of a railway bridge (Click for a larger image)
The railway bridge at Ryeford is still there and regularly used as an access way to the houses on the north side of the embankment.
The bridge at Ryeford (Click for a larger image)
The views out of the south and north entrances of the bridge (Click for a larger image)
The top of the bridge is pretty clear of brambles although to either side of it, it is very overgrown as can be seen in the photos.
The views along the line back towards Ross (left) and on towards Lea (right) (Click for a larger image)
After this bridge the line swung sharply south and crossed the A40 before turning back east to run south of Lea and then into Lea Line tunnel and onwards towards Grange Court. There was a cutting around the area where it passed the A40, adjacent to Wharton Farm, and this was filled in to improve agricultural use of the land in around 1980 (a planning notice was reported in the Ross-on-Wye Advertiser on 25th October 1978) and there is virtually no sign of the line in this area now.
Mitcheldean Road Station
The station at Lea was called Mitcheldean Road Station. Mr Reginald 'Dick' Noden was the Station Master from the mid-1940s until the
line's closure on 2nd November 1964. He is remembered by 'Noden Drive' which is the name of the housing estate that sits near the site
of the station (of which nothing of any note remains).
The Lea Line Tunnel, Lea, Ross-on-Wye, is an impressive structure which has had one end blocked up. It is 771 yards long with a falling gradient of 1:144 to the east and it is the highest point on this stretch of the line. It can be clearly seen that it was built for broad gauge.
The western end of the tunnel (Click for a larger image)
The western tunnel mouth (Click for a larger image)
One of the safety shelters in the tunnel (Click for a larger image)
Inside the tunnel, every dozen yards are safety refuges where workers in the tunnel could hide when a train passed. Most are brick or stone back, but some are backed by the raw rock through which the tunnel has been cut.
Mineral formations in the tunnel (Click for a larger image)
Mineral structures in the tunnel (Click for a larger image)
The shelters backed by the bedrock are particularly interesting. Where the lime and other minerals have been leached out of the surrounding rocks by water, then they have been deposited, as seen above, forming these amazing structures both in the shelters and below on the tunnel floor.
A section of brick lining in the tunnel (Click for a larger image)
The brick lining at the east end of the tunnel (Click for a larger image)
Inside the tunnel, towards the eastern end, is a section of brick lining. This may well have been added at a later date due to instability in the original stone lining. The east end of the tunnel is also lined with bricks presumably because more strength was needed or because the tunnel needed repair.
This is the eastern tunnel mouth.
The eastern tunnel mouth (Click for a larger image)
There are no ventilation shafts but catchpits down the centreline provide access to a drain. Being as the drain no longer functions very efficiently and although the tunnel is mostly dry, water ingress results in streams running at the foot of either wall.
The north side of the bridge at Boxbush (Click for a larger image)
There are two bridges at Boxbush, one crosses the A40 and the other crosses a single track road that links Boxbush and Aston Ingham. These are photos of the one that crosses the single track road, the bridge crossing the A40 has been partially demolished and is very overgrown.
The south side of the bridge (Click for a larger image)
The remains of the A40 bridge at Boxbush (Click for a larger image)
This is the 2nd bridge at Boxbush, that used to span the A40. The bridge supports were faced stone with brick supports for the bed of the bridge, which has since been removed.