is a branch off the website of the Order of the Bed, which aims
to encourage people to take a more relaxed and easy-going life,
featuring a lot of lazing around and dozing peacefully in bed.
The Wye Valley Railway re-opening scheme featured on this website
therefore fulfils three aims for the wider Order:
- To show that
a slow, relaxed railway can still be proposed in this day and
- To sit heavily
on a competing scheme, which wants the trackbed to be used for
- To provide
a nice showcase for our skills at writing, taking photos and
mucking about with graphical editing software.
As long as
you steer clear of the "How would we re-open it" section
you should fail to find anything meeting aims 1 and 2, instead
finding that it also represents a bit of a clearing house for
information on the WVR and surrounding lines. If you want to
imagine a bias, it is probably pro-rail. However, we try to keep
that to our re-opening schemes - which you probably shouldn't
spend too much time reading if you believe (wrongly, of course)
that all railways should be abolished, axed and done away with.
It also allows
us to offer case studies into a variety of modern fads, such
as environmentally-friendly energy production, and pass comment
on the various definitions of the phrase "An English investment
of unusually satisfactory character" (which means that you
lose less than nine-tenths of your investment).
we do show a certain lack of relaxation and bits of the area
get reformatted, so we would like to apologise to anyone who
linked to the planning pages before they
were re-written at Easter 2011 and is consequently now feeling
a bit lost.
The Wye Valley
Railway section is divided into five major parts. The first is
a basic introductory session. The long history is quite interesting
if you have the energy to read it. The short history is shorter.
The location maps are probably worth a look just to get your
The next section
is how we would re-open it, which is subdivided into further
sections. The main scheme is ten pages of varying degrees of
comprehensibility. The latest re-write aimed to make these a bit more intuitive;
the titles now largely describe what you get. Parts 1, 3, 5, 6 and 7 have lots of pictures
accompanying blocks of text, while parts 2 and 4 have fewer pictures and more text.
Parts 8 and 9 have very few pictures and lots of textual detail. Part 10 has a series of small but hopefully
attractive views representing what you would get to see out of
a train window along the way. "Appendices" is a string
of articles which cover the bits which are relevant and cited
in the main articles but which are slightly too long-winded to
go into the main bit (being interesting and all). "Other
pages on this topic" are two pages on other bits and pieces
which are a bit peripheral but which we feature anyway.
looks mostly at various helpful bits of history. Largely this
section ignores any prospect of the railway re-opening. The presence
of this area means that we can produce some more specific bits
of history here, rather than trying to fit them into the full
tends to ignore the presence of the railway, with the exception
of "Local Entertainment", and concentrates on providing
some background on the Wye Valley area as a whole. This may also
be a useful starting point if you don't know the Wye Valley and
want some geographical background to fit the railway into.
Railways" covers other lines in the area and is useful for
getting a general grasp of other lines which are mentioned along
the way. The main four are arranged into something approaching
chronological order. The Coleford, Monmouth, Usk and Pontypool
Railway came first and was the last to close. The Monmouth to
Pontrilas line was never built, despite multiple schemes being
promoted to construct it. The Ross and Monmouth Railway was the
one which opened just before the WVR and lost its passenger trains
at the same time. The Coleford Branch was the shortest-lived
of the four stretches of railway to serve Monmouth. "Other
Monmouth Railways" is a lengthy article connecting the history
of Monmouth's four railways together and occasionally glancing
at outside events.
Of the remaining
three articles in this section, "The Main Line" covers
the route from Severn Tunnel Junction to Gloucester, from which
the Wye Valley Railway was one of several branches (it receives
no preferential treatment) and so qualifies as an adjacent railway.
The Forest of Dean Central Railway was another branch off this
route which we refer to from time to time in the main history;
it is not an adjacent route but might pass as a near neighbour.
The Great Western Railway Tunnels page is primarily trivia and
is only concerned with this area due to the WVR's Tidenham Tunnel
being one of those featured.
Of the smaller
bits at the bottom, "Other Internal Links" offers access
to various other relevant pages around the Order of the Bed website,
while "External Links" connects to some generally relevant
pages concerning the Railway and its surroundings. The external
links list is not updated very often and generally at least one
of them will be dead. External links open in a new window. The
Bibliography is a generally handy list of sources which we have
consulted when writing these pages.
should the line be reopened, we would like it to form a bit of
a prototype for similar re-openings of railways to provide clean
and frequent services from more rural areas to centres of population.
The idea is that the locals should be able to get in and out
more easily, younger people should be able to be successful without
having to completely up sticks and tourists can come in without
bringing their car. Our current plan is that such a service should
be offered with modern electric trains running hourly on normal
days, with "peak" periods seeing some sections of the
line (principally Tidenham to Tintern) given a more intensive
service with various bits of historic stock. Largely the idea
is a transport route where the scenery will be encouraged as
an additional "revenue stream", so tourists will be
welcome but it will be run as a working railway aiming to earn
its keep (just).
This is a large
website which makes up over half of the Order of the Bed's web
presence. Don't try to read it all at once.
The Order of
the Bed does not always intend to be taken seriously. However,
your suggestions on how it can ponder serious things in a better
way are always welcome. The Contact link is in the "Other
Internal Links" section.
quote at the top is from Nigel Harris, editor of Rail magazine,
during an interview with Ian Brown, head of Transport for London,
in Rail 562 (2007)