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SVR Engineering Services

The Severn Valley Railway has built up significant skills and equipment to enable the preservation, refurbishment and maintenance of our large fleet of locomotives. Many of these areas of expertise and component supply are available to other loco owners and railways.



  • Locomotive parts cast or machined.

  • Boiler overhauls and component supply.

December 22nd 2017

from 1 January 2018, Neil Taylor will be appointed as Engineering Services Manager with responsibility for Engineering Services Carriage and
Wagons Department and Motive Power. Bringing our engineering teams at Bridgnorth, Kidderminster and Bewdley under one Senior Management lead will enable further collaboration and co-operation across paid and volunteer colleagues who jointly are responsible for the overhaul and running of our entire fleet of steam locomotives and carriages.
As a reminder, Neil joined SVR in November 2016. He is a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and has over 30 years of engineering experience in the aerospace and defence sectors. Over the past twelve months, he has
taken every opportunity to immerse himself in the complexities of overhaul and maintenance of our steam fleet.
David Mead will continue to be involved in key C&W projects and strategic planning in a part-time capacity, reporting directly to Neil. He will also continue with his other roles as a member of the SVR (CT) Board and the Heritage Skills Training Academy Board. Thanks to
David for his tenure as C&W Manager and the progress he has made during this time.

From January 2018, Neil’s week will be split between Kidderminster and Bridgnorth.

Nick Ralls General Manager

October 20th 2017

am very pleased to announce that following recent advertising on the Railway and in the press, Martin White has been appointed to the role of Works Planner with effect from October 16th 2017. The Works Planner ensures the overhaul, repair and maintenance workflow is planned and adhered to supporting the other Team Leaders as necessary. Martin is well known to SVR having spent 41 years here as a volunteer within the loco department at Bridgnorth. In his volunteer capacity, he is Bridgnorth Shed Master, a passed fireman, and a member of the SVR Safety Committee. We have been working recently to finalise recruitment to our vacant Team Leader positions in MPD and Martin’s appointment is part of this process. A review of the department reporting lines has seen Duncan Ballard, Locomotive Coordinator joining Matt Robinson and Martin Bannister in the Operations Team with immediate effect. Duncan’s role has been enhanced and will focus on the coordination of locomotive hire on and off the Railway, providing an interface between Engineering Services and Operations, liaising over locomotive requirements, record keeping, diagramming locos, coordinating charters on and off the Railway, maintaining washout frequencies and loco examinations as required. He will be based at Kidderminster but continuing to spend time at Bridgnorth too. Duncan was first employed by the SVR over 20 years ago as a boilersmith apprentice, returning to the SVR over eight years ago as a boiler contract foreman. Like Martin, Duncan is another familiar face on the footplate, as he drives both steam and diesel types of locomotives.

Jane Preece HR Officer

October 2016

Following a presentation to the Holdings Board, Directors agreed unanimously to support a recommendation to alter the management structure at Engineering Services Motive Power (ESMP) in support of the Works Manager and in the pursuit of an increase in output.

Please click on the below for the noticeboard issue (NBI).

A staff organogram is included in this NBI for reference.

Nick Ralls General Manager

E.S.M.P. 2016 - July 2016

The development of ESMP over the last four years has seen considerable improvements:

  • We have moved from a cluttered dirty working environment towards something the Railway can be proud of.

  • There has been significant investment in equipment, facilities, storage and more staff.

  • We set the target of a locomotive being outshopped by MPD every 200 days within five years.


The management team at the Motive Power Department have taken the initiative on much of this development, for example seeing the potential for the investment in CNC and semi-automatic lathes, renewal of air compressors and the removal of the office from the workshop.


What has become clear over the last four years is that the challenges of undertaking maintenance on the running fleet of locomotives and progressing overhauls to a timescale with one team has been extremely challenging. Therefore, working with the management team of ESMP we have devised a plan of investment to improve productivity. This plan has received the unanimous support of the Holdings Board.

There will be three teams in the mechanical workshop consisting of three fitter machinists and a team leader each. Two of these teams will be tasked with a locomotive to overhaul, the third team will undertake running maintenance and contract work.

In the Boilershop there will be two teams, of three boilersmiths and a team leader each. One of the teams will undertake fleet overhauls, the other team will undertake contract work.

Each team leader will be responsible for the delivery of overhauls/boiler restoration to agreed target dates. There will be no distractions from the loco or boiler at hand.


This work does not underestimate the considerable input that continues to be made during the week and at weekends by volunteers in to the overhaul and maintenance of the locomotive fleet. This contribution is essential.

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