Forest of Dean

The Severn and Wye Railway originally began as an early tram road network established in the Forest of Dean to facilitate the movement of coal, iron ore, stone and timber to the small harbour at Lydney. The tram road opened its line to Parkend in 1810, and was progressively extended northwards, and a second line, the Mineral Loop was opened to connect newly opened mineral workings.
To facilitate transfer of traffic to the neighbouring South Wales Railway main line from Gloucester to Chepstow, the Severn and Wye Railway network was converted from a plateway to a locomotive worked broad gauge edge railway, and then to a standard gauge railway. Extensions were made to Lydbrook, Cinderford and Coleford.
The Company's finances were dependent on the mineral industry of the Forest of Dean, and in 1879 economic difficulties caused it to amalgamate with the Severn Bridge Railway. In fact this resulted in a worsening of the situation, and the combined company sold its business to the Great Western Railway and the Midland Railway jointly.
Further disappointing financial performance led to most of the passenger operation being discontinued in 1929, and after World War II decline in mineral extraction resulted in progressive closure of the network. None of the Severn and Wye Railway system is in commercial railway use today, but the Dean Forest Railway has reopened a line from Lydney to Parkend.

Severn & Wye to Lyonshall

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