Dean Forest Railway has announced 2023 as the year it hopes to unveil an £8 million expansion of the railway to Cinderford.
The plans, which would extend the line from the terminus at Parkend through the Forest of Dean to Cinderford, already have the backing of the local council and provisional support from the Forestry Commission, which is aiming to increase tourism to the area.
The new section would include a station, using recently salavaged buildings made of Forest stone and would terminate close to Valley Road in Cinderford as the original station site is no longer available.
DFR’s director of civil engineering and director of development Jason Shirley told the Forest Review the railway had been talking about expansion for 40 years and “it was time to do something about it.”
“FC are provisionally happy with the idea as their aim is to increase tourism without destroying the fabric of the Forest with car parks and signage,” he said.
“The council are interested as we could potentially bring 100,000 people into Cinderford and even link the town to main line services.”
Mr Shirley said the railway would be seeking central government funding because of the project’s status as strategic regional development.
“The main costs will be for constructing bridges, a level crossing and a tunnel,” he said.
“We have around 250 volunteers, many of whom love development work and we’re always looking for more. This isn’t a DFR project, it’s a community project.”