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Stonehouse and Nailsworth Railway

Stonehouse and
Nailsworth Railway
Cross Country Route
← to Birmingham • to Bristol
Stonehouse (Bristol Road)
Stroud Wallgate

The Stonehouse and Nailsworth Railway was a short railway line in the county of Gloucestershire, England, which brought the Cotswold town of Nailsworth into the UK national rail network. (Often called the Dudbridge Donkey Line). The line was 5.75 miles (9.3 km) long, and ran from a junction with the Midland Railway's main line between Bristol and Gloucester at Stonehouse to a terminus at Nailsworth.[1]

The line was completed in 1867 and its backers had further plans to extend it southwards to Tetbury and Malmesbury. But it ran into financial trouble very quickly and the company was subsumed into the Midland Railway.[2]


  • Stations 1
  • Decline and closure 2
  • The site today 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


The line was run as a branch from Stonehouse (Bristol Road) station, though the junction with the Midland Railway main line was a little to the north of Stonehouse station. A separate platform for the Nailsworth services at Stonehouse was joined to the mainline station by a covered walkway.[3] There were intermediate stations at Ryeford, Dudbridge and Woodchester, all except the last named having stone buildings on a large scale.

Dudbridge was originally advertised as "Dudbridge for Stroud" after the market town only a mile or so away. In 1885, however, the Midland opened for goods traffic a short branch from Dudbridge to a station in Stroud that was variously known as Stroud Cheapside and Stroud Wallgate.[4] Passenger services began the following year, 1886, and connected to the main branch line services at Dudbridge.

Decline and closure

The Stonehouse and Nailsworth Railway, along with the rest of the Midland Railway, became part of the London Midland and Scottish Railway at the 1923 Grouping. Passenger services were suspended on the line as an economy measure to save fuel in June 1947, and were officially withdrawn from 8 June 1949. However, the line, including the Stroud branch, remained open for goods traffic until 1966.

The site today

Much of the line, including the three-mile section from Dudbridge to Nailsworth, is now in use as a cycle path, a section of National Cycle Route 45 from Salisbury to Chester.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Oakley 2003, pp. 100–101
  3. ^ Oakley 2003, pp. 125–126
  4. ^ Oakley 2003, p. 129

External links

  • Stonehouse Station on the Stonehouse to Nailsworth Line
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