Dean Forest Railway prepares for 50th anniversary celebration

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The Dean Forest Railway Society (DFRS) will celebrate the 50e anniversary of the operation of the first public train.

The original celebration was marked for 2020, but the pandemic has hampered plans.

On October 23 and 24, short trips by brake van will be on the program for the railway anniversary gala.

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The schedule includes three steam locomotives operating daily; 2-6-2 ‘Small Prairie’ 5541, 0-6-0 austerity ‘Swiftsure’, while the Peckett ‘Rocket’ locomotive will travel to Parkend from the Telford Steam Railway for brake van rides in tribute to the journeys offered behind ‘Uskmouth N ° 1’ exactly 50 years ago.

On the diesel side, the DMU and the Class 14 D9521 will operate the trains. Focusing on the birthplace of the Parkend Railway, there will be an exhibit of museum artifacts specially chosen for the exhibit and the unveiling of a 50th anniversary plaque.

“Driver for a Fiver” will be offered as an attraction at Norchard, the main center of the railway with access to the hangar to see the progress of the restoration of “Uskmouth” as well as saddlebag tanks 9681 and 9682; Hunslet 0-4-0 locotractor D6688 ‘salty’; Hunslet 0-6-0 ‘Gunby’ saddle tank; and the Mk1 TSO 4862 coach.

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There will also be the official launch of the anniversary book written by DFRS President Dr Alastair Clarke.

It is intended to be the definitive pictorial history of the Dean Forest Railway, from the birth of our company in Parkend in 1970, to the development of the Norchard site from scratch, to the present day. Our line now runs four and a quarter miles from Lydney Junction to Parkend and all Gala train journeys will be at our regular Rover ticket price. “

“Five Decades in the Forest” includes 164 pages of images, many of which have never been published, and is printed on high quality fine art paper.

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All proceeds from the book will go towards the continued maintenance and development of the Dean Forestry Railway and it can be ordered from the DFR Company website at dfrsociety.org.uk/shop

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