The broad gauge track through Longhope was part of the 30-mile long Hereford to Gloucester line and was opened
on 1st June 1855  . At first it was only leased to the Great Western Railway but was taken
over completely by 1862  . In 1869 the GWR converted the entire line to
standard gauge and was expected to take around 14 days. The army of 300 plate-layers commenced
work on Sunday, 15 August 1869 and actually took only five days to complete  .
Seven passenger trains a day travelled back and forth along
the line by 1910 and was worked by the GWR up until nationalisation
in 1947. Three freight trains ran on weekdays. The line had junctions at
Grange Court and Ross-on-Wye.
Many country folk conducted their day by the time of the trains. They knew that, say, the
9:15 train meant that it was time to start work or that the 3:15 was milking time [2,3] . A
country station could be deserted for an hour or two and suddenly spring to life in preparation
for an approaching train  .
Originally only the west-side platform existed containing just a small waiting room  as
seen in the photograph on the left. The date is unknown but the Ordanace Survey map of
the area from 1889 clearly shows just one station contaning the two buildings in the picture.
Later, a second platform was added to the east of the line and a signalbox was built on
the west platform. In order to accomodate more than one train on the entire strentch of the
line, Longhope, like many other stations along the line  , was home to a passing loop
which allowed two trains to pass each other.
Longhope also had mail receiving and pickup facilities. The receiver consisted of
a large net into which bags of mail could be thrown. By 1879, letters would arrive by train
from Mitcheldean at 7:00am and from Gloucester at 8:10am, to be dispatched at 6:50pm. On Sundays
letters would arrive at 7:00am and be dispatched at 10:00pm 
End of the Line
The line was closed to passenger trains on 2nd November 1964, but freight trains
still ran between Ross-on-Wye and Gloucester. However this service was also closed a
year later on 1st November 1965.
The steel from the line and bridges was melted down and reused. The brickwork supports of the
bridge over the Ross Road are still standing but the bridge at the bottom of Hopes Hill was
demolished when the bypass was built. Some remote stations along the rest of the line still survive
but have been converted into private houses. Longhope station has been demolished apart from the waiting
room which still survives to this day, but has also been converted to a summerhouse. The
signal box was converted to a garden wall upon demolition.
Following the course of the line through Longhope can be tricky in places as many parts of
it have been built on since the line was removed, this only applies to the parts near the centre of the
village where development is taking place. The picture here shows the railway embankment
from Longhope station looking along the line to Ross-on-Wye.
T. A. Ryder, "A Portrait of Gloucestershire", Robert Hale, London, 1976.
H. Phelps, "A Gloucestershire Notebook", The History Press, 2008.
P. Whitehouse and D. Thomas, "The Great Western Railway: 150 Glorious Years", David & Charles, 2002.