Ross became cut off from the rail network in 1964 when the station and lines were closed. We’ve recreated the feel of it at Five Ways, where trains were especially obvious as they passed over bridges on Brampton Road and Over Ross Street.
Hereford, Ross & Gloucester Line
The line in our recreation is the Hereford Ross and Gloucester Line which was opened in Ross on 1st June 1855. Hereford to the left, Ross Station and Gloucester to the right.
There’s much more detail on the opening of the line on Ross Civic Society’s website.
From Ross’s train station, trains ran to Hereford and Gloucester and, from 1873, to Monmouth. The station was rebuilt in 1892 by GWR in a French chateau style. The building housed a booking office, waiting rooms, a refreshment room, staff quarters and cloakrooms. It was demolished soon after its closure in 1965. In 1911 GWR employed 37 men at Ross Station. Now just a few railway buildings remain in the Asburton Industrial Estate (also the site of the station) including The Engine Shed, now Ross Garden Store.
Happily the design was copied in 1982, and you can see a replica at Kidderminster on the Seven Valley Railway.
The Wye Valley Line
The other railway to run from Ross Station, from 1873, was the picturesque line through the Wye Valley, very much tracking the Wye for much of its route to Monmouth and beyond down to Chepstow. Its closure has long been lamented; it would have been a major tourist magnet now, had it survived, and most possibly the best scenic railway in the country.
Buildings and street scene
The single story building in our reconstruction is public lavatories, built in the 1950s and demolished in the early 1990s to make way for the railway display we see today. You will notice a much more substantial building in the delightful 1912 postcard below. This was Cross House. In 1865, until a disastrous fire in 1935, this was William Williams’ bakery, confectionary and grocery shop. The building, along with the cottages behind it, was demolished in 1940 and the road layout changed to the one we have today (apart from the addition of the two roundabouts much more recently).
The artwork for the Railway in Ross was created by Jerry Whitehouse
Jeremy Whitehouse is a native of Ross. He spent his working life teaching, but in retirement has had the opportunity to pursue more fully his interest in drawing and painting. Initially, Jerry spent a lot of time painting aeroplanes, but expanded that over time. These themes have prompted several exhibitions and a video on the railways around Ross.
Jerry’s main medium is acrylic but he also uses watercolours and oil. Some of his work is on a larger scale such as scenery painting for the local dramatic society and a very large railway painting on the wall of the old Engine Shed in town.