As early as 1847 the Midland Railway obtained an Act to build a Ledbury Branch, but did not proceed with the line when the Great Western Railway granted the Midland Railway running powers over their line from Stoke Works to Worcester and Hereford.
In 1873 two separate railways obtained Acts to build railways in the district. The first, the Newent Railway, was empowered to build a line from Dymock through Newent to a junction with the Great Western Railway's main line at Over Junction, and thence over the GWR to Gloucester. The second, the Ross & Ledbury Railway, was empowered to build a line from Ledbury to Ross, also via Dymock. By an Act of 21 May 1874 the Ross & Ledbury Railway agreed to abandon the Dymock to Ross section and to join up with the Newent Railway in building a through line from Ledbury to Gloucester. Not much had been achieved towards this end by the time the powers granted by the Acts lapsed in 1878.
By an Act of 16 April 1878 the period for completion of the Ross & Ledbury Railway was extended until 28 July 1881, and by an Act of 16 April 1878 the period for completion of the Newent Railway was extended until 21 May 1881. Again not much was done, and it was necessary to extend the companies' powers for an additional three years under the Great Western Railway Act, 1881.
The 12 miles from Ledbury Junction to Dymock opened on 27 July 1885, but remaining 13 miles from Dymock to Over Junction, Gloucester did not open until 27 July 1888. Much of the line was built over the Herefordshire & Gloucestershire Canal, which had been begun in 1792 but was only ever built from Gloucester to Ledbury. The Great Western Railway had purchased the Canal in 1863 and began converting it to a railway under the 1881 Act.
At first the two companies were nominally separate, though their Boards had the same Directors and the two railways shared the same Officers. The Chairman was Sir Charles Alexander Wood, and the Secretary was A. E. Bolter, both of whom had Great Western connections and the GWR worked both lines as one. The Great Western Railway absorbed the two companies and merged them as the Ledbury & Gloucester Railway in 1892.
The Ledbury to Dymock section was originally double-tracked, but one of the tracks was removed in 1917. In the 1920s there were five passenger trains each was daily on weekdays only. The line closed to passenger traffic on 11 July 1959, and goods service ceased on 30 May 1964. Between 1885 and 1959 Ledbury Station (GWR) was known as Ledbury Junction. There were intermediate stations between Ledbury Junction and Gloucester at Ledbury Town Halt, Greenway Halt, Dymock, Four Oaks Halt, Newent, Malswick Halt and Barbers Bridge. The Ledbury Branch was popularly known as the "Daffodil Line."
Ledbury & Gloucester Railway extracted from the Great Western Railway system map
Hereford Road Skew Bridge between Ledbury Junction and Ledbury Town Halt on the Ledbury Branch. Photograph courtesy of Wikipedia Commons
Newent Station, Ledbury & Gloucester Railway, from a postcard of c. 1905
Another view of the Hereford Road, Ledbury skew bridge, showing the construction from ribbed courses of "engineer's blue" bricks