VOLUNTEERS have finished the restoration of a railway wagon that recalls the days of steam and coal in the Forest.

The wagon, restored by volunteers of the Dean Forest Railway (DFR), appears to be a coal carrier that would have been common when coal was exported from the Forest.

In fact it was originally built as a high-sided goods wagon, probably around 1930, by the Southern Railway.

The wagon, which will have a home at the Marsh Siding opposite Parkend Station, is painted in the livery of Parkend Deep Navigation Collieries Ltd – although it was never actually used by the local mines.

The lettering was done by George Smith of the Dean Forest Railway’s wagoneers group which carried out the extensive overhaul.

Ian Pope, of the DFR, said: “The wagon is an ‘approximation’ of once fairly common seven-plank mineral wagons as used by many of the collieries in the Forest of Dean including the Parkend Deep Navigation Collieries Ltd.

“However, the actual wagon at Parkend was built for one of the mainline railway companies and has been greatly rebuilt to how we see it today.”