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Along the Severn and on to the Welsh Marches Line – UK Rail Journeys Series 1 – Episode 7
Our journey continues as we travel along the Severn and on to the Welsh Marches Line. The first part of our journey is on the Gloucester to Newport line. We pass over Maindee junction near Newport and take the Welsh Marches line.
Click on a ‘thumbnail’ to view the photographs that accompany this podcast:
Along the River Severn:
After we pass Lydney we travel down the west bank of the River Severn and soon reach Chepstow. We pass through this historic town with its famous castle and racecourse.
Just south of Chepstow we then pass the ‘first’ Severn Bridge and continue through Caldicot, passing Severn Tunnel junction.
On towards Maindee junction:
We pass the Llanwern steel works. Steel production is long gone but hot slab and steel coil are brought in for processing. The works first opened in 1962 and was the first oxygen blown integrated steelworks. Known as the ‘Spencer Works’ the oxygen was supplied by the British Oxygen Company.
We reach the junctions at Maindee, to the east of Newport. Our journey takes the east and north junctions as we join the Welsh Marches line.
The Welsh Marches line:
Many of the stations on the line closed in the 1960s following the Beeching report.
Our journey on the line starts just to the east of the river Usk. We soon pass through the disused station at Caerleon, once the site of a Roman fortress. There is a chance that the station at Caerleon may reopen as part of the South Wales Metro.
We pass through some closed stations before we reach Cwmbran station. The station opened in 1986 to serve the commuter route between Newport and Cardiff.
More closed stations before we reach Pontypool and New Inn station. The station remains open but is a shadow of its former self. Gone are the branch lines to Neath and Merthyr, the fifty line marshalling yard, the engine shed and the goods shed.
On to Abergavenny:
Yet more closed stations! Thank you Dr Beeching.
We reach the Grade 2 listed station at Abergavenny. Just to the north of the station we pass over a junction that gave access to the Heads of the Valley line that passed through towns famed for coal mining and steel production.
I hope that you’ve enjoyed this podcast. If so, please join me in a couple of weeks time when we continue our journey and reach Shrewsbury on the Welsh Dragon.
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