Volume 23

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Situated on the upper reaches of the River Severn, Gloucester handled the once immense trafiic transported by rail between the West Midlands and South Wales via Severn Tunnel Junction. Scenes at Gloucester focus on the wide variety of services using the former Midland Railway's Eastgate and Great Western Railway's Central stations, together with their attendant loco depots of Barnwood and Horton Road, which played host to 'Halls, Castles, Granges, Manors' and freight locos of all descriptions.

Heading south from Gloucester to Severn Tunnel Jct., a fascinating record of ex-GWR operations and engineering is featured, including the now demolished Severn Railway Bridge, which spanned the River Severn at Lydney. At Severn Tunnel Jct. the scale of rail operations is impressive, with diesel power making its presence felt and a visit to the depot finds an ex-Southern Railway 'Z' class loco, transferred to the area for shunting trials! In addition to main line traffic, the classic GWR 'autotrains' are viewed in the Golden Valley between Gloucester and Chalford and, on branch line services, railbuses were being introduced in an effort to reduce costs. Their use enabled cameramen to record detailed views of the routes, a practice illustrated on branch line journeys from Kemble to Cirencester and Tetbury.

Gloucester was also a major inland port, linked to the navigable lower reaches of the River Severn by the 19th century Gloucester and Berkeley Canal. The sedate passage of heavily laden barges contrasts with the often frantic bustle of rail operations. Finally, a journey to Bristol Temple Meads Station, with a mixture of ex-GWR and LMS locomotives on view, brings this fascinating programme to a close.

DVD Info

Region: 2
Running Time: 63 minutes

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