An Act of Parliament results in the formation of the Bullo Pill Railway of company, which has been constructing a tramway from Bullo Pill to Cinderford since 1797.
The tramroad extension to Churchway comes into use, over a year later than scheduled
The tramway is sold and and an Act of Parliament forms the Forest of Dean Railway Company. The tramway would be in use for another 25 years, but as time passes, it becomes less suited to the needs of its users.
The South Wales Railway Act authorises a broad gauge line as far as Chepstow from West Wales. A proposal to extend the line along the west bank of the River Severn to meet with the Gloucester and Dean Forest Railway is considered
Extensions are authorised which will ultimately link the SWR and G&DF at Awre.
The FODR is bought by the SWR.
The SWR opens between Gloucester and Chepstow. Conversion of the FODR to broad gauge is begun in the same year.
The line is opened as a branch of the SWR. At this point it is handling freight only.
Consideration is given to a passenger station at Churchway, but it will be 50 years before the line gains a passenger service.
A serious accident at Shakemantle results in a restriction of 45 wagons per load on the line.
1870 - 1880
A line is constructed from Whimsey to Micheldean Road on the Hereford, Ross and Gloucester Railway. This is intended as a northern outlet to South Wales, but the Severn & Wye's Lydbrook branch is finished first, even before work starts on the new extension. Despite being surplus to requirements, the extension is built with the GWR ultimately financing the venture. However, the line is never used; the exact reason for this is not recorded, but it is theorised that further expenditure at Micheldean Road would have been required. A small section is opened in 1885, but the rest remains domant.
In 1877, Soudley Ironworks closes, resulting in a drop in freight along the branch.
The SWR converts to standard gauge. The FoD branch is converted at this time.
A new goods shed at Whimsey is opened and is renamed "Cinderford". The old Cinderford facilities become "Ruspidge"
Cinderford Ironworks is blown out, resulting in another drop in freight.