Hundreds of steam train enthusiasts gathered at Lydney Station on 20 August to greet one of the famous Merchant Navy class locomotives, 35028 Clan Line, built by the Southern Railway. This was part of a tour organized by Steam Dreams, a company running Cathedral Express rail tours. The tour started in London and travelled to Cardiff, but many passengers took the opportunity to alight at Lydney and experience an excursion on the Dean Forest Railway. Many were eager to see the new Whitecroft Station for the first time.
At Parkend, many passengers opted to take a coach tour through the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley, guided by two Forest of Dean & Wye Valley tour guides, both rail fans themselves. The tour showed off the lush, green Forest roads, going through towns of Coleford and Cinderford, villages such as Lydbrook, Ruardean, Clearwell, eventually landing up in Tintern – the jewel in the crown of the River Wye. We enjoyed the spectacle of Tintern Abbey, looking glorious in the sunshine. On the way back, the passengers had a chance to see the River Severn, as the tour went by Chepstow, back to the Forest via Tutshill and St. Briavels, where the coaches skirted around St. Briavels Castle. On the way back to Lydney, the coach driver and guide treated the passengers to a debate on whether Bream should be called a village or a town. The jury is still out on that one!