The Dean Forest Railway Society fully supports ambitions to extend the DFR north of Parkend, with the first target of Speech House Road / Beechenhurst. As of early 2020, the Development team within the DFR are continuing to work on a solution to the issue of Travellers Rest; in order to construct a 'new' level crossing, the Office of Road and Rail (ORR) must be satisfied that all alternatives have been considered. Previous feedback has demonstrated that further evidence is required, although we hope to bring further news later this year.
Extending to Beechenhurst would bring the Dean Forest Railway to a length of around 7 miles, from the current four and a quarter miles. Although the original station site at Speech House Road is now unsuitable due to it's close proximity to a main road, and the subsequent need to cross it with a bridge (instead of the original level crossing), an alternative site has been proposed near Beechenhurst Lodge and Pedalabikeaway, two popular local tourist attractions. There remains the possibility of a further extension to Cinderford, another 3 miles away, which would bring the Railway to a total of just over 10 miles in length.
In October 2018, Network Rail very generously donated around 3 miles of track from disused branch lines on the Wye Valley and Glascoed lines. This quantity of material would be sufficient for the DFR to extend to the bottom of Serridge Bank, a 2200 yard gradient of 1 in 40. The DFRS has committed to manage the project of removing the rail and sleepers from these locations, and moving them to the DFR for intermediate storage and later use for the extension. If you would like to help out, please get in contact with us!
The road ahead, north of Parkend
A glimpse of the future? No. 41312 rolls into Parkend from the Speech House Road direction