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Severn Valley Railway

INFORMATION FOR THE VISITOR

RCD’s Overview

This is one of the UK’s premier heritage lines. Along with just 12 railways, it gets our very top rating.

The Severn Valley Railway is one of the UK’s most successful heritage railways, running 16 miles through the Shropshire and Worcestershire countryside, following the course of the River Severn for much of its route. It has one of the most extensive collections of operational steam locomotives in the country, as well as a large collection of former British Rail express diesel locomotives, so much so that numerous engines are now housed in its museum, close to Highley station. It is one of the most authentic heritage railways, with most of its locomotives being of Great Western Railway origin, and its stations being from the GWR period. The intensive timetable means it is realistically possible to stop off at various stations, each of which have something to offer, and then re-alight on following services. The railway connects with national rail services at Kidderminster, making it easily accessible by rail from the entire West Midlands and beyond. Ironbridge and Coalport are nearby although not on the rail route, making it possible to combine these historical places into a full day’s trip.

 

Key Facts (where and when)

Extent of Railway (where to where):

Kidderminster to Bridgenorth (Shropshire)

Principal Visitor Centre:

Bridgenorth (WV16 4AX) and Kidderminster (DY10 1QX) Stations

Period of Operation*

- March to October (Weekends)

- May to September (Near daily, save Mondays and Tuesdays)

- November and December (Special Event Trains)

 [* This is a summary. Please go to the railway’s website for definitive operating days] 

 

Key Facts (what you’ll see)

Services usually steam or diesel?

Both steam and diesel trains operate on most operating days

Type of Steam / Diesel Locomotives Used:

Full range of steam and diesel locos (large, mid and small-sized)

Length of Line:

16 miles

Time taken for a round trip:

Up to 3 hours

Number of trains per day:

Up to 8 in each direction

Number of Stations:

6 stations (plus 2 halts)

Prices:

Adult Rover: £25. Child Rover: £16.50. Family Rover: From £45

Time to allow for Visit:

Half to Full day

Museum:

Yes. Engine House, adjacent to Highley station

Shop/Cafe:

Yes/Yes

Picnic/Play areas:

Yes

Preservation Established:

1965

Car Park Facilities:

Pay and display at Kidderminster, Bewdley and Bridgenorth stations. Limited parking at Highley and Hampton Loade

 

Key Facts (Galas/Events/Dining)

Dining Trains:

- Three Course Sunday Luncheon

- Three- Course Midweek Luncheon

- Afternoon Tea                                                                                               

Event Trains:

- Steam in Lights: Mid November and December

- Enchanted Express: Mid November and December

- Santa trains: Late November and December

- Carol Trains: Late November and December 

Principal Galas:

- Spring Steam Gala: March

- Spring Diesel Bash: May

- Autumn Steam Gala: September

- Autumn Diesel Bash: October 

Experiences:

- Large range of steam and diesel driver experiences

- Murder Mystery Experience                                                            

 

Contacts

Email:                                                                   contact@svrlive.com

Telephone:                                                           01562 757900

Website:                                                               www.svr.co.uk

Social Media:                                                       www.facebook.com/svrofficial

                                                                              Also on Twitter/ Instagram/ YouTube

 

INFORMATION FOR THE ENTHUSIAST

Brief History of the Railway and its Preservation

The Severn Valley Railway was opened 1862, and linked Hartlebury (on the Birmingham - Droitwich - Worcester main line) with Shrewsbury, a considerable distance of 40 miles. The line ran through the Seven Valley, in many respects the birthplace of Britain’s industrial revolution, however by this time much of its resources had been exhausted. Nonetheless the line ran through significant towns including Stourport-on-Severn, Bewdley, Bridgnorth, Coalport, and Ironbridge. In 1878 a link line was opened between Bewdley and Kidderminster allowing trains from Birmingham and the Black Country to run directly to the Severn Valley. The line however was never a financial success, in large part due to its considerable length and the existence of alternative albeit less direct routes between Kidderminster and Shrewsbury. The line was slated for closure before the Beeching Report, and closed to passengers in 1963, save for Kidderminster - Bewdley - Hartlebury section that closed in 1970. Coal traffic however survived from Alveley (close to Hampton Loade Station) southwards until 1969.


In 1965 a preservation society was formed with the intent of preserving as much of the railway as possible, initially a small section of the line that had closed in 1963 between Bridgnorth and Hampton Loade. This was bought in 1966 and regular services began running in 1970. In 1969 the coal traffic from Alveley ceased, and this enabled the Severn Valley Railway to purchase the further 8.5 miles of railway southwards to Bewdley and Foley Park, on the approaches to Kidderminster, which it ultimately reached in 1984.

 

Steam Operational Locomotives:

(1) GWR Class 49xx - 4930 ‘Hagley Hall’

(2) GWR Class 28xx - No. 2857

(3) GWR Class 57xx Pannier - No. 7714

(4) GWR Class 15xx Pannier - No. 1501

(5) GWR/ Hudswell Clarke Saddle Tank - No. 813 (on loan out)

(6)  SR West Country Class - 34027 ‘Taw Valley’

(7) LMS Ivatt Class 4 - No.43106

(8) BR Standard Class 4MT - 75069

(9) GWR Saddle Tank – 813 (out on loan)

 

Diesel Operational Locomotives:

(1) BR Clayton Class 17 - D8568

(2) BR Class 40 - 40106 ‘Atlantic Conveyor’

(3) BR Class 50 - 50007 ‘Hercules’

(4) BR Class 50 - 50031 ‘Hood’

(5) BR Class 50 - 50035 ‘Ark Royal’

(6) BR Class 50 - 50049 ‘Defiance’

(7) BR Class 52 - D1062 ‘Western Courier’

(8) BR Class 52 - D1015 ‘Western Champion’

 

Steam Locomotives Under Overhaul:

(1) GWR Class 78xx - 7812 ‘Erlestoke Manor’

(2) GWR Class 78xx - 7802 ‘Bradley Manor’

 

Diesel Locomotives Under Overhaul:

(1) BR Class 33 - 33108

(2) BR Class 42 - D821 ‘Greyhound’

 

Engine House Museum

(1) GWR Small Prairie - 4566

(2) GWR Class 57xx Pannier - 5764

(3) GWR Class 78xx - 7819 ‘Hinton Manor’

(4) LMS Stanier Class 8F - 48773

(5) LMS Ivatt Class 2 - 46443

(6) BR Standard Class 4 MT - 80079

(7) LMS Class 3F Jinty - 47383

(8) WD Austerity 2-10-0 LMR - 600 ‘Gordon’

(9) Hunslet Chest Class – ‘The Lady Armaghdale’ 686

 

Stored/ Under Restoration/ Out of Service:

- GWR Mogul - 7325

- GWR Large Prairie - 5164

- GWR Large Prairie - 4150

- LMS Stanier Mogul - 42968

- LMS Stanier Class 5 - 45110

- Manning Wardle 0-6-0 – No. 2047 ‘Warwickshire’

- BR Standard 3MT 82045 (under construction)

 

INFORMATION ON THE SUPPORT GROUP

Note the main means of supporting the railway is through its support group, the Severn Valley Railway Society. However it is possible from time to time to acquire shares in the operating company, Severn Valley Railway (Holdings) Limited, in respect of which should be made to the railway’s website.

 

Name of Support Group:

Severn Valley Railway Society (See also Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust)

Annual membership fee:

Adult: £25. Senior: £24. Student: £16. Family: £43. Life: £500

 

Benefits of membership:  

-          A third (33%) off standard day services, Step Back to 1940s and Spring and Autumn Galas

-          Priority booking on all special events.

-          Discount (10%) in Refreshment Rooms and in retail stores across the railway.

-          Behind-the-scenes visits to rarely seen areas of the railway during the annual Members’ Weekend

-          The opportunity to become a working volunteer on the railway

-          Quarterly Magazine.

 

How to Join:                                                          Go to www.svr.co.uk/membership

 

What They Say About Volunteering:

There is a vast range of volunteering opportunities across the Railway, and you can be sure of a warm welcome wherever you decide to offer your services. Give us a little of your spare time, meet new friends, enjoy yourself and learn new skills whilst helping us run the Severn Valley Railway. Don't worry if you haven't got any previous experience working on railways, full training will be provided.

 

How to Volunteer:                                            Go to www.svr-vlo.org.uk/volunteering.html

 

How to Donate:                                                 Go to www.svrtrust.org.uk/Make-a-donation

 

WHY JOIN: With its large collection of locomotives and rolling stock, help is always needed to maintain this prestigious railway  

 

INFORMATION ON OTHER SOCIETIES WITH RELATED INTEREST

Those interested in this railway may also be interested in the following railway societies also listed on this

website:

 

Traditional Railway Societies:

- Great Western Society

- Shropshire Railway Society

 

Locomotive Societies (steam):

- 813 Preservation Society

- 2857 Society

- Stanier 8F Locomotive Society

- Stanier Mogul Fund


Model Railway Clubs:

- Wyre Forest Model Railway Club                  

 

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