top of page

September 2019

1501 crosses Oldbury Viaduct with the Su
On the 4th August 2019, 1501 is seen crossing Oldbury Viaduct with the Sunday Lunch train. By Ian Murray

Welcome to September’s Branch Lines

The SVR is gearing itself up for next week’s Autumn Steam Gala, and there’s excitement in the air because we’re welcoming back the ever-popular Tornado to the Valley in November. We hope that you’ll be able to join us for at least one if not both of these occasions. 

We’re sorry that last month’s edition was not published – and that this month’s is rather late.  A number of issues presented themselves to cause the problems, but fingers crossed, everything will be back to normal for our October edition, which is due out on Sunday 5th.  

You won’t miss out on the news though, because this edition contains last month’s articles as well. We’ve restoration updates, a book review, more memories of Ratbag and a behind-the-scenes report from the motive power depot where preparations for next week’s Steam Gala are in full swing. 

A few readers have commented that they found our previous format was a little difficult to read, because of its grey background.  You speak – we listen!  This month’s edition comes with a new layout and a plain white background, which we hope will make things much more legible. 

As always, we love to hear your SVR-related news and views, so please drop us a line at , and if anyone you know would like to sign up to receive monthly email reminders, all they need to do is email us at the same address. 


Lesley Carr & Patrick Hearn, Co-Editors 

50031 Hood in Bewdley South cutting on 1

50031 Hood is seen in Bewdley South cutting on 11th August 2019 , heading for Kidderminster. Photo: Ian Murray

There’s a Tornado heading our way! 

60163 SVR 301009 SVR.jpg

Batten down the hatches, as the world-famous Tornado will make a welcome return to the SVR in November. There’ll be two services a day from each end of the line on November 9th, 10th, 17th and 24th You’ll be able to ride behind the iconic locomotive, on board our appropriate LNER teak set of carriages, for normal fare prices, and book in advance for special reserved seating. There will also be the chance to upgrade to first-class, complete with a luxury hamper of local food to enjoy en-route. 

The Peppercorn Class A1 locomotive, the first new mainline steam locomotive to be built in Britain for 50 years, attracted thousands of steam enthusiasts to the Railway during its last appearance in 2016 – when it drew the crowds alongside Flying Scotsman. 

Since that visit, its fame has reached even greater heights following its 100mph test run on the East Coast Main Line in 2017 – the subject of BBC documentary ‘Tornado – The 100mph Steam Engine’ and, for younger fans, its starring role in the Paddington 2 movie, also released in 2017. 

Its much-anticipated return to the SVR comes in a significant year for the locomotive itself, marking the 25th anniversary since its construction began. 

Events co-ordinator Lewis Maddox said: “Tornado was a huge hit when it last appeared here – tickets to ride behind it sold fast and our platforms were packed with people trying to catch a glimpse of it in all its glory. 

“We’re expecting the same response this time around, and to make sure as many people as possible can come and enjoy it, we’re keeping our fares at the standard rates and are offering a range of additional experiences, which can be booked in advance.” 

Tornado will haul the 10.30am and 2.30pm services from Bridgnorth and the 12.40pm and 4.40pm services out of Kidderminster. Standard fares for travel apply: adult/senior from £19.80, child from £13.00 and Family £49.00. Tickets will be available to book at the SVR Tornado! event webpage or by calling 01562 757900. 

Get set for the Autumn Steam Gala...

Three locomotives that have never visited the Severn Valley Railway before are set to star at our festival of steam from September 19th-22nd, as well as newly-overhauled Standard 4 No. 75069, back in service following its derailment thanks to some very nifty work at MPD. 


We'll have an amazing array of 12 engines in steam, including No. 76017, No. 30541 and No. 34029 City of Wells (nicknamed 'The Volcano'), all making their debut on the Railway! 

Trains will run over all four days, including overnight on Friday and Saturday. We have a feast of additional attractions along the line too; from miniature railways at The Engine House to an on-train breakfast service. 

30541 arriving at the SVR.jpg

Photo shows 30541 arriving by road at Bridgnorth ahead of the Gala 

Pre-book your tickets now and purchase your working timetable to start planning your day: SVR Autumn Gala webpage 


A commemorative DVD from Steam Valley Productions will be on sale, showcasing Southern engines that have run on the SVR over the last decade. There’s also a range of clothing with the Gala logo available from the shops and a souvenir mug.  

... As Bridgnorth MPD prepares


Volunteer shed master Martin White takes us behind the scenes at the motive power depot (MPD) in the very busy run up to next week’s Steam Gala 


“The hiring in of visiting locos is managed by locomotive co-ordinator Duncan Ballard, who is actually part of the operations team and hence isn’t covered by the MPD. Suffice to say that it’s far from being a straightforward task!  


“Once locos are selected and agreement is reached in principle with the owners, a process of checking and examining them commences. Occasionally in the past locos, declared fit for their home railway, are found to struggle, or be unfit for SVR work. Our requirements for loads, length of line and length of day may be considerably different to where they usually operate. A visit to view and examine another loco is normally a day away from work for two or three staff, but it can be two days away depending upon distance. This year two engineering services staff set off at 07.30 on a Wednesday morning to conduct an examination and didn’t get back until after 8.30 on the Thursday. Loco axle weights are particularly important. If recent weights aren’t available, then we will need to weight them and adjust them until they meet permitted tolerances. 


“When locos are delivered by road, there’s more work for staff; shunting, coupling tender and loco, filling boilers, tanks and coal spaces, lighting up and raising steam. They have to be examined and passed as fit to run and possibly moved to other end of line to be ready for their diagrammed turn. The week of a gala is always an exceptionally busy time for the loco maintenance gang who do this work. 


“Footplate crew rostering is another sizeable activity but of a different nature. Once the working timetable is finalised, the loco diagrams are reviewed and the crew turns are determined. Safety critical work is restricted to shifts of a maximum of 12 hours, hence any loco diagrams longer than this need to be split between multiple crews. Usually a loco preparation time of two hours and an hour for disposal has to be included. Also 12 hours’ rest is required between safety critical duties. Staff are asked to provide their availability for turns in advance, then a few weeks before the gala a rostering meeting takes place, attended by member of the MPD management team. Next week’s event requires around 120 footplate staff/turns and in addition we need duty shed masters, 08 drivers, spare crews to provide cover, lighting up cleaners, JCB drivers, etc. It’s usually a lengthy meeting involving lots of paper (and lots of tea!) The draft roster is then cross referenced and cross checked before being published.  


“This year’s timetable has proven to be particularly challenging. ‘Taw Valley’ for example will effectively be continually manned for 60 hours from Friday morning until Sunday evening, and it’s not even rostered for the overnight service! It’s no wonder few other railways have ever tried to do what we do!” 


Photos by Martin White show a sea of tea and paperwork at the rostering meeting, and 30541 being lowered down the ramp on arrival at Bridgnorth 


Bonus photo for this month shows the ‘driver and mate’ of Sam Tibbles’ coal lorry, making one of their regular deliveries! 

MPD rostering meeting.jpg
30541 about to be offloaded down the ram
Driver and mate of Sam Tibbles' coal lor
Plimsoll passing Arley station on Classi

Wrong turning? 


That’s the suggested caption from Branch Lines reader Phil Garner who sent us this splendid shot.  “I’m sure you know when and where this was taken” said Phil.  Yes indeed, but for anyone who’s not certain, it’s the Plimsoll Land Rover passing Arley station on its visit to the SVR for our Classic Vehicle day on August 31st.  

Donation wall is ready 

The Charitable Trust has announced the opening of the SVR’s donation wall, in recognition of the thousands of contributions made to its ‘helping hands for Falling Sands’ appeal.  The wall has been manufactured locally and displays nearly 3,000 names.  The Trust is writing personally to everyone who donated to let them know it is ready for inspection as well as posting announcements on SVR social media platforms. The Trust’s Lesley Carr explained more:

“The wall is installed on the outside of The Engine House at Highley, facing out to the track. At 23 metres long and 2.5 metres high, and containing seven arches just like Falling Sands Viaduct itself, it’s going to have considerable visual impact, and is a fitting testament to the determination that exists to save an essential part of the Railway’s infrastructure.


“This is about recognising the generosity of supporters who contributed a total of £397,000 towards restoring the viaduct between Kidderminster and the rest of the line. The success of the ‘helping hands’ appeal played an important part in unlocking a further £853,000 of grant funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, and we are extremely grateful to everyone who got behind our campaign.”


Working on the restoration of the viaduct will begin early next year, and an exciting programme of associated activities and educational events is already underway.  Although all the funding for the viaduct’s restoration has been secured, more is urgently needed for other SVR projects. Please visit the SVR Trust's donation page to donate.

Donation wall.JPG


Above: The donation wall at The Engine House


Right: Helen Russell and Paul Hallett from the education team working with a class from Sutton Park Community Primary School at Falling Sands Viaduct (Laura Hines)

Sutton Park School FSV session photo by

Falling Sands Viaduct activities are underway! 

A travelling exhibition in a Stove R carriage, a build your own viaduct challenge at The Engine House and a project to record people’s memories of the SVR are just some of the activities taking place over the next two years as part of the Falling Sands Viaduct (FSV) project.

From early January 2020, when phase 1 of the restoration work gets underway, right up until May 2021 there will be lots of exciting opportunities for people to get involved as volunteers, visitors and participants. The Charitable Trust’s Laura Hines, responsible for the events and activities programme, explains more:


“Recently, we hosted a class from Sutton Park Community School, who took part in a session with our wonderful education team on site at Falling Sands. They learnt about the lives of the men who built the bridge, the types of tools that were used and how children of their age and younger would have been involved. They also sketched and photographed the viaduct and surrounding area, creating artwork that will feature in the first FSV exhibition at The Engine House this September. Make sure you don’t miss it!


“Then, in the autumn, we’ll be kicking off both the FSV research project and the SVR memories oral history project. These mini-projects will give volunteers the chance to learn new skills, uncover untold stories about the SVR and be part of something that both present and future generations can treasure and enjoy.

“I’m really keen to hear from anyone who’d like to get involved or who has a general question about any of the projects.”

Contact Laura at or phone 07539 366820.

Something spectacular is arriving this Christmas…

Tickets sales for the SVR’s first ever Steam in Lights services are being snapped up.  Since they went on sale on 30th August, more than 75% have been sold.  


Arriving on 29th November, Steam in Lights is a dazzling, 90-minute extravaganza, featuring magical creatures, sparkling lights, snowfall and excitement. You can immerse yourself in a magical story of mischief and mystery, helping to make the lights shine along the line during your quest to find the Christmas Cacklers. 

“This is set to be a truly spectacular experience,” explained events co-ordinator Lewis Maddox, “We have never done anything like it before and are extremely excited to offer it this Christmas. This absorbing, interactive experience will be an unforgettable way to experience the Railway in a whole new light.” 

If you’d like to try something very different, our Steam in Lights services start on November 29th  and run on selected days through till December 21st.  Find full details of dates, times and ticket prices at the SVR Steam in Lights webpage or call 01562 757900. But hurry, as this event will sell out fast! 

Autumn Diesel Gala

Tickets are on sale for the SVR's Autumn Diesel Gala on October 3rd to 6th, with diesel trains over all four days. 

We'll have 15 engines in use, and a chance both to sample the Railway's home-based locomotives and the following visitors:


D8568 : Clayton Class 17 Bo-Bo

33108: B.R.C.W. Class 33 Bo-Bo (currently on hire to the SVR)

37688 Great Rocks: E.E. Class 37 Co-Co  (currently on hire to the SVR)

40106 Atlantic Conveyor: BR Class 40 1Co-Co1  (currently on hire to the SVR)

50033 Glorious: E.E. Class 50 Co-Co

Full details of the event and special attractions can be found on the Diesel Gala page of the SVR webpage

K Felstead 29.08.2019.jpg

EE Class 50 50033 Glorious was hauled from Eastleigh to the SVR by sister 50007 Hercules on 29th August, following repainting. Photo: Kenny Felstead

No leaks here! Progress on 9581 at Bewdley

The volunteers restoring GWR 9581 wheelchair and buffet car took advantage of some unexpectedly good weather towards the end of last month to apply the final coat of white paint to the roof and gutters of the coach. The team was in good spirits, as Richard Gunning explains: 

“It had rained heavily during the previous week, but this was proof that the roof is now leak-free, for the time being at least. We therefore decided to ask our contractor to remove scaffolding. This had the added benefit of freeing up a corner of the area needed for the Bus Rally on the 1st September.   

“The clear site meant we could then fit another new external door, this time to the North East corner. We now have five fitted in total. 

“Inside, we’ve started producing the ceiling supports. It’s going to take many curved sections and these will be by laminating layers of birch plywood in a former, whilst the straight ones are being made from good quality redwood. Several are already fixed inside the roof.  This is being painted in Mk 1 style, with black bitumastic paint. In all, this will be a time consuming job which we hope will be complete sometime next year with the installation of the wiring, walls and ceilings.” 

9581 external door fitted Sept 2019.jpg

Photos by Mike Cranmore show the newly fitted external door, and volunteers giving the roof a final clean before painting. 

9581 final clean before painting the roo

More donations are urgently needed to complete this volunteer-led, Charitable Trust-funded project. Please click to download a donation form 

Bradley Manor c Stephen Bottrill.jpg

7802 Bradley Manor update

Following the widely reported serious mechanical failure on Sunday 7th July at the West Somerset Railway, both locomotive and tender were moved to Tyseley Locomotive Works on 30th July for assessment to continue. While waiting for this, the Erlestoke Manor Fund commented there is little further to report at this stage.

Work continues at Tyseley on the overhaul of sister 7812 Erlestoke Manor.

Photo: Stephen Bottrill

D1062 Western Courier

Continuing the theme of mechanical failure, following routine inspections and a test run on Saturday, 10th August D1062 was withdrawn from traffic. Unfortunately the inspection revealed a fault with "B" End bogie which has required the loco to be lifted for further inspection and rectification.


After the bogie was wheeled out it was found one spring was tilted and touching the frame, as the bearing arm that links the two springs had collapsed and worn away, leading to the weight shifting and making the axle tilt.

Replacement equalizing beams are being prepared to replace the worn out one recently removed, including NDT and replacing the old fork bushes.

Notwithstanding the unexpected issues with D1062, the Western Locomotive Association volunteers continue to progress the overhaul of sister D1013 Western Ranger.

J Walker 24.8.19.jpg

Photo: Jack Walker

Bewdley bus gala.jpg

Last Bus Gala at Bewdley 

Bewdley station hosted what was its last Bus Gala at the beginning of this month. Assistant station master Dai Phillips explained that after running the event there for 10 years, it’s been decided to look for a new venue: 


“Every year we have struggled to fit everything in, due to the limitations of the site. It has always been awkward to arrange the buses and also turn them when they arrive back from giving rides, as the public and large vehicles do not mix! 


“We would like to thank everyone on site for their co-operation over the years, and also all staff who have helped with the set up and during the day. Special thanks to our colleagues from other stations and other departments for their invaluable help on the day. 

“The Bus Galas have made a valuable contribution to station funds, and we also see increased sales from the buffet on the day. We are hopeful that the event will move to Kidderminster and grow from there. It is a much larger site, and a better layout.”

Steam into Halloween


For those who dare to be scared, the SVR’s much-loved Ghost Trains will be taking people for a thrilling night-time ride out into the dark, with plenty of ghosts, ghouls and things that go bump in the night plus a goody bag for children. Services steam into Kidderminster on October 26th, 30th and 31st. For information and bookings see the Ghost Trains! webpage .

Ghost trains.JPG

Wands at the ready for our Wizard Express

There’ll be magic in the air at the Severn Valley Railway next month as the popular Wizard Express steams in once again from Saturday 26th to Tuesday 29th October. 

Young witches and wizards are invited to get dressed to impress and head to the Railway for a magical Journey to Wizard School at Highley. After collecting their wax-sealed Wizard School invitation at Kidderminster or Bridgnorth, families can board their steam train for a thrilling journey through the enchanted Severn Valley. Magic wands and tasty treats from the trolley await on board, where magicians will perform spell-binding tricks along the way. 

Your ticket will also allow you to travel up and down the line during the day. Tickets must be booked in advance at The Wizatd Express webpage.

Wizards Express.jpg

News at Ten 

Did you see ITV's News at Ten with SVR HR manager Jane Preece and apprentices Max Green and Jake Cox talking about the Heritage Skills Training Academy on Thursday 22nd August? It's now on Youtube, with the SVR featuring from 1:28. 


To feature on the main national news as having a solution to recruiting youngsters is great publicity for the HSTA and the SVR.


Jane also had three minutes on BBC Hereford & Worcester drive time and featured on the 5pm news too!

75069 back in service

Thanks to sterling work by #TeamSVR, the recently restored locomotive No 75069 re-entered service on Saturday 7th September, and is set to play a leading part in the forthcoming Autumn Steam Gala. 

BR Standard 4 locomotive No 75069 had been out of action since 23rd July, when it hit a tree which had fallen across the track between Hampton Loade and Highley during bad weather. 

The locomotive wasn’t hauling a train with any passengers on at the time of the incident and nobody was hurt, though the impact caused minor damage to the track, causing part of the line to be closed-off for the day while repairs were carried out. 

The collision also caused some damage to the locomotive, which had only returned to steam in February for the first time in more than 24 years, following the most extensive restoration project the SVR has ever completed - forcing it to stay off the tracks once again. 

75069 departing Hampton Loade with the f

75069 is seen soon after departing Hampton Loade with the first Kidderminster bound service of the day on 12 September. Photo: Ian Murray

However, the SVR’s Running Repairs Team at Bridgnorth has worked tirelessly to repair the engine, and five weeks later – two weeks ahead of schedule, it is back up and running in time to feature at our flagship Autumn Steam Gala, from 19th-22nd September. 

Engineering services manager, Neil Taylor, explained the work involved: “Team leader Will Marsh and his team had to remanufacture two new sets of steps, renew the steam heat and vacuum brake pipework, remove and check the bogie, dress out flats on the driving wheels, refurbish the running plate, remove and check the draw gear, refit new drain cocks and associated pipework and refit refurbished guard irons. 

“Although I wouldn’t call it a major repair operation, there was a lot to do in a short space of time for it to be ready for the Gala.” 




Bewdley window lintel.jpg

Photo of stonework by Philip Chatfield 

Photo of the lintel being lifted into place by Dai Phillips 

Beautiful craftsmanship at Bewdley 


The SVR’s resident stonemason Philip Chatfield continues to work his magic around Bewdley station. He’s recently completed crafting a new centre lintel for the bay window in the house to the right of the ticket office entry.  With assistance from ‘Alan the crane’, the huge piece of stonework was lifted into place, and much to everyone’s delight, the scaffolding came down in time for the recent Bus Gala at Bewdley.  


Philip used a carefully created paper plan to transfer a GWR roundel onto the stone, using traditional carving methods, and as he explained, everything takes place on site: 

Dai Phillips 24.8.19.jpg

“I often attract quite a crowd as I’m working, and I think both staff and the general public like to watch as they don’t get to see this sort of work done these days. I use simple hand tools, just a hammer and chisel, pencil and card.  I take lots of joy from the work.  On paper, I draw to full scale exactly what I’ll be carving – in this case the GWR roundel – and then I work from the drawing. I also carve by eye as well, it’s really quite simple.” 

More recollections of ’Ratbag’

In the last edition of Branch Lines, we looked into some of the reasons why our seasonal visitor 6960 Raveningham Hall got its nickname of ‘Ratbag’.  This prompted volunteer Simon Marshall to get in touch after Martin White's description of Raveningham Hall brought back several memories:


“Martin is right, it was the non-authentic approach to 6960’s apparently rushed restoration which fitted so ill with the SVR's high standards. Other sources of annoyance were a bell on the front, à la King George V, a weird shade of green paint with a hint of turquoise in it, the number plate brackets still in position on the smoke box door despite it being supposedly in GWR livery, and the front buffer beam decked out in numbers in the same font as the cabside cast number plates - not the correct sans-serif style, and an error I have seen on other preserved locos.

Cover .jpg

Photo: On 13 July 2019, 6960 crosses Oldbury Viaduct with a footplate experience (Ian Murray)

“It also had a green running plate which was wrong for GWR livery.  As a compromise the owner then allowed the SVR to paint it in very early BR green livery, with 'BRITISH RAILWAYS' on the tender, for which the green running plate was correct. However, he then insisted on fitting a cast brass smoke box number plate, so we SVR perfectionists were still frustrated!


“There may be other things people can remember, but for all that it didn't half GO! We could forgive it an awful lot once we had found that out!”

Diesel depot equipment.png

Photo: the new pipe threading equipment

New equipment in the diesel depot 

Generous donations to the SVR Charitable Trust have enabled the funding of a raft of new equipment for the Diesel Depot. As diesel volunteer Roland Bull explains, it’s mostly aimed at making the work there safer and more efficient:

“There’s an auto hook that we can use to lift and move the huge jacks inside the depot. Previously, this would have been a two-person job, with one person climbing up and down ladders to fix the hook to the jack.  Now it can all be done by one person, without the need to leave ground level.

“There’s also a pipe threading machine and completely new LED lighting to illuminate the entrance and side of the building. The new equipment is worth around £15,000 and we are very grateful for the support of the Charitable Trust.”


Please donate here to enable further support for the diesel depot.

EasyFundraising image.jpg

Online shopping can raise funds for SVR 

SVR volunteer Jim Seaton got in touch to ask if we would help him highlight a very easy way of raising funds for the SVR Charitable Trust. Recently, Jim booked a hotel room using the EasyFundraising website, and raised nearly £5 for the Charitable Trust without it costing him an extra penny.  Over to Jim:

“if you shop through EasyFundraising, using one of the hundreds of online retailers, insurance and travel companies that have signed up to their scheme, you can choose to have donations made to the charity of your choice whenever you spend.  Of course, as a keen SVR supporter, I nominated the SVR Charitable Trust, and when I booked a couple of nights at a Travelodge, EasyFundraising donated £4.75 without it costing me anything!

“There are a surprising number of companies that take part – eBay, Argos, Sainsburys, Amazon, M&S and John Lewis to name but a few – and if more of us did this, it could really pay dividends to the Railway.

“Imagine, if everyone who’s an SVR member made a similar booking to mine, we’d raise almost £60,000 in one go! Plus, when I made my transaction, I was given a link to refer other people. If you use this to sign up as a new user, then a bonus £5 will go to the Charitable Trust, on top of what you ‘earn’ for the charity with your own transaction. “

Click here to use the referral bonus donation offer

Railway Day Trips.jpg

Review of ‘Railway Day Trips’ by Julian Holland 

Freda Griffith reviews this popular Collins book, first published in 2017 and now in its second edition.


This handy book helps you plan and discover 160 classic train journeys around Britain. The front cover shows the preserved ex-LNER Class ‘A3’ 4-6-2 No 60103 Flying Scotsman as it exits Bowshank Tunnel on the Borders Railway.  This beautiful photograph is just the beginning of many well-placed pictures throughout the book, some of which are railway and locomotive-based for the enthusiasts to admire, while others are scenes of the various locations recommended as destinations for your railway day trip.


A handy map on the back cover gives you an idea of all the journeys that are described in the book. This map is repeated inside on the first few pages in more detail so that you can find the relevant page number for your day trip and see nearby routes that might tempt you to more than one outing. The comprehensive contents pages show the book is organised by general British areas (for example Central England or West Country) and would help you plan several routes in conjunction with each other, making if you wished, quite an extensive series of railway journeys using mainline and heritage routes to cover most of the British Isles mainland.

Within the pages of this useful book (104 to be exact) you will find the planned day trip that uses the Severn Valley Railway to complete a journey from Birmingham Snow Hill to Bridgnorth. Here the author manages to encapsulate Severn Valley Railway’s unique way of combining nostalgia, through recognition of the heritage they manage, with a thoroughly modern tourist attraction and functioning transport link.


What I most appreciate about this book is the combination of mainline and heritage routes that benefits everyone and encourages complete rail travel rather than just seeing Severn Valley Railway as an ‘attraction’ to be driven to in a car and used like a museum.  After using this book to try the SVR as a continuation of the mainline, I am already thumbing through the pages to discover other gems and to reach out to an area I never dreamt I would discover using rail, and all within a single day!


ISBN 978-0-00-822357-1

Cover price £14.99, but ‘The Works’ are currently selling at a hugely discounted £5!

Young SVR volunteer to feature in TV competition 


Sixteen-year-old Harun Bashir has been volunteering at the Railway for around two years, and is set to take centre stage as a contestant in the Great Model Railway Challenge on Channel 5.


Harun’s been sworn to secrecy about what happens during the series, but the producers are happy for us to tell readers that he will be appearing as a member of a team called the ‘Titfield Thunderbolts’.


Over six weeks, teams are provided with modelling resources they’ve only previously dreamt of, and are given the chance to create Britain’s ultimate model railways. Each episode explores a theme which the teams will interpret in the most exciting and unexpected ways possible. Each programme will culminate in a classic ‘reveal’ of these created worlds, before the judges scrutinise the layouts, to determine the victorious team. 


The first episode of the new series was on Channel 5 at 8pm on Friday 13th September, but the production company was not able to confirm when Harun's episode will air. You can keep an eye on upcoming episodes at Channel 5's Railway Challenge webpage and catch up on My5.

Harun Bashir Great Model Railway Challen
Horace with cash envelopes Sept 2019.jpg

Cash donation envelopes prove popular 

The SVR Charitable Trust recently launched a new-style cash donation envelope, and the response from SVR visitors has been very encouraging. 

A count up after just 10 days, saw 109 envelopes returned, containing £348.35 in donations. All the income from these envelopes will go to fund apprentice training in the Heritage Skills Training Academy.  This campaign clearly has a strong appeal for visitors, who see the value of what the Railway is doing in order to future-proof its heritage engineering skills base.  

The success of this scheme hinges entirely on the goodwill of the SVR’s TTIs (travelling ticket inspectors) who kindly distribute the donation envelopes throughout each train. Thanks to their efforts, and based on these early results, this scheme could raise up to £10,000 a year. 

Photo: Volunteer Horace Poole counting the returned donation envelopes 

Need to contact us?

Please complete the form below.









Thanks for reading!

If you receive our monthly newsletter by email and wish to unsubscribe from our newsletter please click the link at the bottom of your email or alternatively use our contact form below.


Any opinions or views expressed in this newsletter are entirely the opinions of the contributors, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Directors of Severn Valley Railway (Holdings) PLC. which owns the Severn Valley Railway, Severn Valley Railway Company Limited, the members of which are responsible for its operation, or the Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust.

Success! Message received.

bottom of page