In the later part of the nineteenth century there were plans to connect South Wales to the West Midlands via Pontypool, Monmouth, The Forest of Dean and Gloucester. Most of the railways for such a link existed. The exception was a short line from Elton to Cinderford and a spur at Coleford. In the Dean the line would have other advantages: it could tap the heavy and extractive industries, give better access to the county town of Gloucester and make the arrangement of the railways more logical. The line, as many in the Dean, would have been single track, steeply graded and tightly curved. Unsurprisingly the line was never built. I have assumed that it was brought to completion as the Dean Railway (DR). After a few years the Midland Railway took over the floundering DR, mostly for its running powers. In 1916 the Great Western Railway (GWR) withdrew passenger services and partly closed the line from Monmouth to Coleford, curtailing through services. Lines in the Dean were located to serve industry rather than the towns and villages and suffered an early withdrawal of passenger services, mostly in 1929 and 1930. By the 1930s curtailment of through and passenger services meant the DR, now owned by the LMSR, had to exist on local freight. This allowed closure of the section from Ruspidge to Cinderford, severing the connection to the Seven and Wye Railway (S&WR). Trains interchanged with the GWR at Elton and used running powers over the GWR to Gloucester to reach the main LMSR system.
[This layout has been retired. The exhibition details were as follows: "Name of layout: Ruspidge. Prototype and period: LMS/BR[LM] Branch Line (1948-56). Gauge: 16.5mm. Scale/modelling system: 1:87/HO. Layout details: The layout is HO (a scale of 3.5 mm to the foot on 16.5 mm gauge track). Peco code 70 track has been used throughout, using SEEP solenoids for the turnouts. Buildings are scratch built, while the trees come from a number of sources. Rolling stock and locomotives have been detailed and are from a number of manufacturers, such as Lima and Roco. Size (now): 48 inches by 15 inches, table sitter. Size (future): 7 ft by 5 ft. When complete, the Dean Railway will be seven feet long, five feet wide, viewable on four sides, and designed to sit on two 6 ft by 2 ft tables. No barriers required. 1 operator plus relief(s). Approximate value of exhibit for insurance purposes: £2000."]