SOME travellers today might echo the feelings of railway users more than 140 years ago, about the difficulties of getting on to a train with a massive gap between the platform and carriage.

Then the platform was nearly three feet lower than the train, and with the constraints of women’s fashions at the time, complaints were loud about the indignities of being unceremoniously bundled on to the train by helpful guards.

An ambitious scheme, to raise the stone station buildings in their entirety and then build up the platforms underneath, was adopted and successfully carried out by Chepstow contractor Cuthbert William Whalley.

This was a new and bold project – wooden buildings were being lifted complete in America, but raising a stone building was something new.

The building, estimated to weigh 200 tons, was braced together, windows and doors remaining in place and intact, and massive needles of timber were threaded through holes made beneath the string course.

41 jacks were used underneath the ends of all the timbers and turned in unison. Over two days, February 12-13, the station building was gradually raised by 22 inches.

A feat of engineering by a Chepstow firm.