Great Western Railway Museum
The Old Railway Station
Gloucestershire GL16 8RH
You don’t have to be ancient to remember the pleasure of travelling on a country branch line. Sure, it could be slow and sooty but it was so nice to be greeted by name by the station porter, or to have the guard hold the train for you as you raced on to the platform because he knew you always caught his train to work!
Founded in 1988, the Coleford GWR Museum in the Forest of Dean, brings back all these memories with its wonderful collection of artefacts, photographs, restored rolling stock and tank engine, and a fully restored signal box.
This museum does not have a restored line on which to show off its treasures but if you must ride on a train they have a 7.25" gauge miniature railway with steam and electric locomotives, which runs around the site.
The Museum is based in the former Goods Shed at Coleford
. Erected in 1883, this Listed building is the last surviving part of Coleford
Station, which once connected the town with Monmouth to the north, and Lydney to the south.
The collection covers the history of railways in the Forest of Dean
, dating from 1809 when the first Act of Parliament allowing a railway in Britain was passed, to the wholesale closure of branch lines in the 1960s and the subsequent revival of the Lydney Junction - Parkend section as the Dean Forest Railway
in the 1970s.
Accommodation - Search & Book through Expedia here:
History of the Line
In 1875 The Severn & Wye Railway Company opened a branch line from Parkend to Coleford. This was the first railway to reach the town, connecting it to Lydney.
A second railway from Monmouth, using parts of an old tramroad route, was completed in 1883. This line, known as the Coleford
Railway, crossed the Newland
road to run to a station next to that of the Severn & Wye Co.
A junction was made between the two railways in 1884 after the Monmouth line had been taken over by the Great Western Railway (GWR). Passenger services on the Severn and Wye line ceased in 1929 and the line was abandoned in 1967. The track between Parkend and Whitecliff had all been removed by 1971.
All that was left of Coleford Junction was some old railway buildings and the Goods Shed. These remnants were turned into the fabulous Coleford GWR Museum.
The collection includes photographs and documents (many dating from the Victorian era), railway artefacts such as signs, signalling equipment, tools and locomotive fittings, static models in 00, 0, 1, 3.5", 5" and 7.25" gauges, a restored signal box, and full-sized railway vehicles including a restored Peckett Steam Loco Works No. 1893.
The Museum acquired a Peckett 0-4-0ST locomotive from Stourport in 1987. It was restored to working order during 2002 - 2005, gaining the 10 year boiler ticket in October 2005. In October 2007 the loco successfully passed the 2nd annual boiler inspection.
The loco is regularly fired up. When she is in steam, visitors are welcome to make a footplate visit for a small additional charge.
Junction Signal Box is a genuine GWR box built in 1906. It was formerly sited at Cogload Junction, near Durston in Somerset
. The box is equipped with everything necessary to safely and efficiently control two busy branch lines and a junction – token dispensers, machinery to open the level crossing gates, plus all the signals and points, and even a stove for keeping warm and making that essential cup of tea.
Plan Your Visit
Accommodation - Search & Book through Booking.com here:
Fridays, Saturdays and Bank Holidays 14:30 – 17:00 hours
Prices from around Adults £3.00 Children £1.50 Miniature Train £1.50 per Passenger Peckett Footplate Visit (when in Steam) £2.00
Please visit the Coleford GWR website below for current prices:
If at all possible go to the Museum when it is open because there is lots to see inside the buildings. If you cannot do this, the Museum’s official website has excellent photo galleries well worth visiting.
Contact & Further Information
+44 (0)1594 833 569
+44 (0)1594 832 032