Kent railway enthusiast takes in a special railway visit during his holiday in Ross-on-Wye

Contributed by editor on Jul 16, 2017 - 02:00 PM

By Dana Wiffen

While on holiday with my wife in Ross-on-Wye we decided to branch out to see the wonders of the Wye Valley and visit The Old Station, Tintern in Monmouthshire


This wonderfully restored station once served the village of Tintern on the Wye Valley Railway. It was opened in 1876, but sadly closed for passengers in 1959 and freight in 1964, when the line was shut completely.

A view along the river from a bridge into Tintern town  Photo: Dana Wiffen

A stone train in 1963 hauled by a steam locomotive departing southwards from the station was probably the last train to run on the line.

Tintern signal box  Photo: Dana Wiffen

At the station was a signal box, sidings, goods shed, station building, three platforms, two of which were island platforms, and a section of double track to allow trains to pass each other.

It was a substantial station because the railway company hoped to generate much income from tourist traffic visiting the famous Tintern Abbey several miles away in Tintern town.

It was bought by Monmouthshire County Council for just £1,500 after it closed and was then refurbished and opened as a visitor attraction.

Tintern railway platform  Photo: Dana Wiffen

The station is now a wonderful cafe and there is an exhibition on site housed in one of two carriages moved to the station which also includes a shop, tourism information and a model railway which shows the railway as it was before closure.

The old station site sits on a particularly beautiful part of the river Wye with breathtaking riverside views and offers a shorter walk of just under a mile within its own site and then there is another longer and tougher walk which takes you across the river and into Tintern town itself.

This is the one we set off on after completing the shorter walk and eventually arrived at the Abbey ruins.  We were exhausted after walking back through the town and along the river into the old station site.

Tintern preserved signals  Photo: Dana Wiffen

By then we were both thirsty and hungry and we dined at the station cafe noticing that the signals, signal box and platforms are still preserved and on view.

We enjoyed a local singer performing for customers from a small stage.

The two on-site railway carriages housing the shop, model railway and history of the line film display  Photo: Dana Wiffen

We eventually walked along a small section of the track-bed we had missed and observed where the railway line had once entered a tunnel under the road before returning to the shop and then our car after a full day, for the journey back to our hotel in Ross-on-Wye.

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