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“What a disappointment ”

Dean Forest Railway
Ranked #2 of 10 things to do in Lydney
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: A heritage railway running through the Forest of Dean run by volunteers. We now have 5 stations along the line - with great walks and local pubs accessible from many.We regularly have special events - such as visits from Thomas the Tank engine, Bygone Branchline days and Sanata Specials for Xmas. At Norchard we have a large free car-park, a well stocked shop selling a vast array of books, toys and gifts - as well as a fascinating museum transporting you back in history! Our southern terminus at Lydney Junction is only a 2 minute walk from the mainline Lydney station - and through ticketing is available - so you can buy a ticket from Birmingham to Parkend! Every penny spent goes towards restoring heritage rail travel.
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“What a disappointment ”
Reviewed 25 May 2014 via mobile

Two families with children aged 2, 6 and 8 plus grandparents visited the Thomas the tank engine day. Oh dear, it didn't start well, the entrance fee was £15 per adult and £9 per child, no concessions, so over £100 for 6 adults and 3 children! So you would have thought that there would be plenty on offer right?.... Wrong, two miniature bouncy castles, a 10 minute steam train ride to an imaginary station....well the station we went to had a little tent with some colouring pencils in, where you were supposed to use your imagination! A train ride back, face paint (which was actually very well done), another 5 minute train ride up the track on Thomas and that was it!....no, sorry the telephone exchange in the miniature museum was pretty entertaining for another 5 mins. I'm sorry, but we have visited the South Devon Railway which was fantastic in comparison, 100% cleaner and much better kept, with a proper train ride to a proper destination (I won't expand, experience it for yourself!)....and yes, value for money! The Forest of Dean railway need to pull their finger out, I know it's got its heart I'm the right place, but you can't charge that kind of money and effectively offer virtually nothing. We're just sorry we can't get those few hours back!

Helpful?
3 Thank Dave M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
chepstu, Manager at Dean Forest Railway, responded to this review, 27 May 2014
After spending a long 3 days with around 60 other volunteers, it's always upsetting to see a poor review. We entertained over 2500 people over 3 days, and had no negative reports from anyone on the day - and in fact quite the opposite. Many people are return customers for us, and return because they have a good day out.
The ticket price is a £4 premium over our standard travel fare (and would be less if booked online) - and we think that all the 'free' activities such as the (not so miniature) bouncy castles, the softplay area, the facepainting, the punch & judy show, the fat controller, the imagination station and of course Thomas himself (which is hired in) all come together to warrant that premium. The steam train and Daisy (although looks like you didn't partake of that trip) are our own railway offerings.
HIT entertainment who license the Thomas events (there are only 19 railways in the UK that hold them) inspected us on Saturday and were very pleased with how the event was delivered.
So I think the other reviews here show we do better than a 1 star - and our feedback elsewhere backs that up.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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375 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Newport, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
22 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Return Journey”
Reviewed 25 May 2014

Came across Norchard Station two years ago by accident. Spent nearly three hours there looking around the museum and having a tea from the railway carriage buffet car. There and then we vowed to return and do 'the train trip'. It took all this time, but on 21st May, we got there. Parked up in Norchard, got our tickets, and with time to kill, had a wander around the shop and museum again. While nosing around, one of the volunteer workers asked if we would like to go in one of the work sheds. He showed us all the work that was going on and all the engines and coaches that were being done up. Nothing was too much trouble. My husband, being an ex boilermaker, was in his element. It was fascinating to see the wrecks in the shed and what they have turned, and are turning, them in to. The train trip, although short, is great. You can get on and off as and when you please (as long as you have the timetable). The staff on the trains are so friendly. Running commentary along the journey and at each stop there is always someone to tell you what to do or where to visit and which way to go. We had a bonus as well as Dolly (the railway dog) was on duty at Lydney Junction the day we travelled. Had a truly great day.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank Corinne S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gloucester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
2 reviews
“Superb little line”
Reviewed 22 May 2014

Although a shortish line, it is definitely not short short! A great day out, especially is the British weather is nice for a change. Extremely friendly volunteers & great scenery. What they achieve with little funding is remarkable & it is well worth a visit. Not the biggest or the tidiest, but one of the most enjoyable & friendliest!

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank Jack P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Andover, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
106 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Railway trip”
Reviewed 12 May 2014 via mobile

Had an amazing trip on the steam train - return to Lydney. Staff on train very helpful and good with the children. Good value for money.

Helpful?
Thank AstronomerPaul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Very well worth the visit”
Reviewed 5 May 2014

The people that work the railway here are mostly volunteers, but you can see a real passion in what they do.

They're so friendly and helpful too.

It's almost a step back in
time, and really worth the visir. Totally not what I expected.

Ample parking, even on a bank holiday weekend, and lots too see.

I really enjoyed the trip.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank Darren P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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