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April / May 2016 Round-up

Page updated on: 30/05/16 at 07:46

Diesel Festival and Depot Opening

The Diesel Festival from 19th to 21st May attracted over 4,690 passengers and visitors. The event budget was 2,500 so it was an event that really exceeded expectation. There was a very good variety of modern and heritage diesel traction and interesting timetable.

The Diesel Depot opening took place on the Friday of the event, we were very privileged to have Sir Peter Hendy CBE, Network Rail Chairman, unveiling the plaque and John Smith, Managing Director of GBRf, naming diesel 66763.

The opening of the Depot and the impressive Diesel Festival was undertaken most professionally by a very large team of people. Thank you very much indeed to you all, I am not sure how that event can be topped next year; let’s wait and see.

Thanks must also go to the owners of all the visiting traction both heritage and modern that made the event such a success.

Revision to the Safety Management System SMS-POL-101

The main railway safety document issued six years ago has been undergoing a comprehensive review. A Safety NBI will be issued shortly to let all staff know when it will be released and how and when it will become active.


Events and Marketing

Spring Steam Gala

Gala pre-bookings were very healthy, however with the failure of Witherslack Hall the numbers were down on budget, with 3,550 against a budget of 4,300. Normal passenger visits in March were healthy with numbers of 7,489, compared to 4,704 in the previous year.

Peppa Pig

The event sold out, prior to the event.

2017 Timetable Brochure

Consultation on the timetable and Working Timetable for 2017 has begun and will be open for a month. This work will be undertaken by Bill Griffiths and Steve Chapple, the new Operations Manager. Consultation will utilise email and a small team of advisors, including the Operational Heads of Department.

A photo shoot has already taken place to provide suitable images for the 2017 timetable brochure. The timetable will be agreed and in the racks by the end of September 2016, ready for distribution to passengers during Pacific Power and Santa Specials.


Engineering Services Motive Power

Work on loco 813 is now focused on spring gear, coupling and connecting rods.

4930 Hagley Hall work is taking place on the tender chassis rebuild with inspection of one of the cylinder blocks to see if the block can be repaired.

There has been considerable hire out of SVR locos to other Railways in March, including 1501, 43106 and 34053 Sir Keith Park.

The computer controlled lathes have been busy producing stays for other contractors and railways, as well as components for the SVR Dunrobin contract job.

The Graham Hill Building at the top of Station Lane is being internally refitted to be bought in to use for ESMP.

Engineering Services Carriage Department

Mechanical work has centered on LNER 24056 (Pigeon Van) as contract work.

David Mead is working with a contractor to provide new springs for breakages of LNER carriages.

The carriage department at Kidderminster now has a fully functional wood work shop and upholstery shop on the ground floor.


The track relay at Eardington has been fully welded, the stressing of the rail remains to be completed. This took place week commencing 25th April.

Contractors are completing the painting of Bewdley Canopy and the two Bewdley water tanks.

Hampton Loade up platform will be resurfaced with a resin bonded surface which will give a good heritage appearance.

The volunteer stone mason, following a period of illness, is returning the SVR to complete the work at Bewdley which will allow the scaffold at the front of Bewdley station to be removed.

Heritage Skills Training Academy

Considerable work has been focused on the writing of the modules and syllabus for carriage restoration mechanical and bodywork, locomotive restoration mechanical and boiler. The carriage department have written their syllabus. The Boiler and Engineering Skills Training Trust have written a syllabus for boilersmithing. They have very kindly agreed to undertake the writing of modules for locomotive mechanical engineering, and the SVR has commissioned the first two of these. The SVR will be looking for support from other heritage railways to finance the writing of the other modules.

Potential Share Offer 2016 Bridgnorth Development

The Holdings Board have agreed in principle to launch a share offer in 2016 for the Bridgnorth Development Project. Whilst the Company holds funds from the 2012 share offer to ‘kick start’ the funding of this project, the total masterplan as devised by the Bridgnorth Development Committee will cost circa £5 million.

The Directors will request permission for the new share offer at this June’s Holdings Plc AGM, and if this is agreed to by the shareholders the offer will launch at a date to be confirmed. Further details will be released post the AGM.


Catering have been reviewing all their suppliers in order to get the best deal for the Railway.

Kidderminster Buffet and The King and Castle will be repainted this Spring in more appropriate heritage colours.

Stock taking has been undertaken and evaluated at the two bars on the Railway. The performance of stock takes is the first step on improving the control of stock. A review of EPOS is currently being undertaken, and will result in a short and then long term objective regarding data management and software usage.

The forecast cash position at the Year End 2016, will show a growth in our cash position from being £500k overdrawn at the end of 2013, to an in hand balance of £281k. This is an improvement of £781k, with only £219k to go in order to reach the £1 million improvement over four years by the end of 2017. We are still looking at ways to further improve and control the cash position in this financial year.

Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust

Many thanks are due to colleagues at the SVRCT who have donated £60,000 towards the costs of the Eardington Track Relay.

A Heritage Lottery Fund application is being made for the major works that will be required on Falling Sands Viaduct.

A number of working members are aware that The Department for Transport advertised expressions of interests for a funding pot of £1million for Community and Heritage Rail projects.

David Mead and Shelagh Paterson submitted a bid for the conversion of two carriages, one for disabled dining and a further passenger carriage so that all sets have disabled access, plus the purchase of a number of lightweight ramps for wheelchair users. Representatives from the Railway were invited to undertake a 'Dragons Den' style selection process on Tuesday 10th May and you will have seen from the recent NBI that we were successful in our bid; well done and thank you to all those involved.

Nick Ralls General Manager





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