Passenger services on the Severn & Wye Railway from Lydney Junction to Drybrook Road commenced on 23rd September 1875. The branch line crossed the unclassified road leading to Moseley Green on a level crossing and the Railway Inn was situated a few yards to the west. At some time in its history the inn was known as the Travellers Rest and the signal box at the railway level crossing took on this name. The name of the pub was changed in 1875 because of confusion with the Travellers Rest at nearby Blakeney.
It is not clear what came first – the inn or the railway. Before the construction of the Severn & Wye Railway there were tramways serving the iron furnaces, tin plate works, stone works and colleries in Parkend. Maybe the inn was named after these early tramways.
The Railway Inn was put up for auction at the Feathers Hotel in Lydney on Wednesday 23rd April 1884. It was described as ‘being close to the Severn & Wye and Severn Bridge Railway Station’ and comprised a ‘Bar, tap-room, parlour, club-room, four bedrooms, front kitchen, back kitchen or scullery, large and commodious cellar, large front and stable yard containing brew-house, stabling for four horses, hay loft, piggery, etc. The property sale was aimed at ‘brewers, innkeepers, capitalists and others’.
In 1891 the Railway was owned by the delightfully named Samuel Price Scrivenger Evans of the Blakeney Brewery near Newnham on Severn. Patronage of the Blakeney Brewery had passed to Arthur Burke who sold the business in 1897 to the Wickwar Brewery. ‘Arnold, Perrett & Co. Ltd. of Wickwar Brewery having purchased the Blakeney Brewery from Mr Arthur Burke, beg to notify that the Blakeney Brewery will be closed from 30th day of March 1897 and that the business in future be carried out from their stores in Lydney.’ The acquisition of the Blakeney Brewery secured two tied leasehold houses, the Vine Tree in Monmouth, the Lamb Inn in Coleford and three freehold houses – the Bird in Hand in Blakeney, the Albion Inn in Viney Hill and the Railway in Parkend.
The Railway Inn was licensed as a humble beer house and had an annual rateable value of £12.0s.0d. Closing time was at 10 pm.
The Railway Inn closed in 1959. It is now a private house called Old Railway Inn.
The Dean Forest Railway has expressed interest in extending their line northwards towards Speech House Halt near Cannop Ponds, and ultimately Cinderford. Whether this will ever come to fruition is dependent on re-instating the level crossing at Travellers Rest and working out how a live steam railway can share the same trackbed as the already established and popular cycling trail. In 2001 there were even plans for a rail freight depot at the old Coleford Junction that was turned down by county planners.
Landlords at the Railway Inn include:
1776,1884 John Morse
1885 Mrs Mary Edwards (listed at the British Lion in 1876 and 1881)
1891 William Jones
1903 William Watkins
1939 William Poulton