top of page
SVR logo (1).png

August 2023

D7076 arrives at Bewdley with the 4.11 from Kidderminster during the Diesel Gala on the 1s
The announcement of the 'Magnificent Seven' (see below) is an opportunity to share this image of visiting Class 35 Hymek D7076 arriving at Bewdley with the 4.11pm from Kidderminster during the diesel gala on the 1st October 2015.
The photographer was the late Ian Murray.

Welcome to your latest edition of Express Points!

The summer season is now in full swing, and it’s great to see plenty of visitors at the Railway. Undoubtedly, our ‘free return’ offer is doing its bit to boost the numbers, and of course the returning passengers will add to that all-important secondary spend.
There are two Galas on the horizon, and both the steam and diesel events are shaping up to be not-to-be-missed occasions. We bring you up-to-date on guest announcements and other details.

A brief update on the Survival Fund appeal - this continues to grow, and now stands at more than £400,000.  

We also have coverage on the 60th anniversary of the Severn Valley line’s closure to passengers under British Rail, rolling stock updates, stonework repairs to Hay Bridge, news on upcoming events and much, much more

Lesley and Patrick, co-editors

The Express Points team is Lesley Carr, Patrick Hearn, Amy Baker, Nicola Fox and Pete Cherry.

Next edition Thursday 14th September

What's new?

Autumn Steam Gala latest!

Bagnall 'Vulcan'.jpg
Watching trains at Eardington during the 2019 Autumn Steam Gala. Jason Hood.jpg


Vulcan at Embsay station.

Watching trains at Eardington during the 2019 Autumn Steam Gala. Ex-GWR 1450 leads a southbound train. Jason Hood

The Railway has announced that industrial 0-6-0 saddle tank locomotive No 401 ‘Vulcan’ will be the second guest visitor at its Autumn Steam Gala, between 14th and 17th September.  

‘Vulcan’ will be the first Bagnall-built steam locomotive to visit the line, SVR managing director Jonathan ‘Gus’ Dunster said: “It will be real pleasure to welcome Vulcan. The class was commissioned in the early 1950s and featured what was very modern technology at the time. We’re delighted to be welcoming our first-ever Bagnall locomotive to the SVR!” 

The railway has also confirmed that for the first time in more than 40 years, Eardington will feature as a stopping point throughout the four days of the event. Local trains between Bridgnorth and Highley will make several stops each day at the tiny station, often referred to as the SVR’s ‘hidden gem’. This news was warmly welcomed by the loyal band of volunteers that has looked after it over the decades. Eardington’s station master Steve Downs said: 

“Our last timetabled train stopped in 1982 and it’s no exaggeration to say that it’s a dream come true that we’re back on the map again in 2023. Visitors to Eardington can sample our renowned home-made cakes, and we’ll have an historical display about the station, uniquely the only entirely oil-powered station that’s left in the UK.” 

The Gala continues the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the formation of the ‘big four’ railway companies and will also feature two nights of overnight running. For more information and to book, visit 

Editor’s notes: 

The Stafford-built W. G. Bagnall ‘New Standard 18’ class included low maintenance features such as roller bearings, Walschaerts valve gear and a rocking grate. These were unusual for industrials but were features of modern main line locomotives. 

In 1923 the government grouped together over 100 smaller railways into four. The ‘big four’ companies were the Great Western; London, Midland & Scottish; London & North Eastern, and Southern Railways.

The ‘Magnificent Seven’ are announced for the Autumn Diesel Bash

The Railway has announced the four diesel-hydraulic guest locomotives that will be joining the line-up at its Autumn Diesel Bash, from 29th September to 1st October. For further information and to book tickets, please visit

Subject to availability, these will be Class 35 ‘Hymeks’ D7017, D7018 and D7076 and Class 42 ‘Warship’ Class 832 ‘Onslaught’. The visitors join the SVR-based D821 ‘Greyhound’, D1015 ‘Western Champion’ and D1062 ‘Western Courier’ to complete the ‘Magnificent Seven’ line-up. 

Also in operation will be Class 14 No D9551, and on display will be Hymek D7029 and D1013 Western Ranger, both of which are under restoration.  

“This is a very ambitious event,” explained managing director, Gus Dunster. “We’ve pulled together the largest-ever gathering of main-line diesel-hydraulic types. We needed plenty of faith to attempt this. But the SVR is home to the only two currently working Class 52 Westerns, and these were our initial seeds of inspiration. And our Spring Diesel Festival proved we’ve got serious drawing power in terms of our visitor numbers. Together these factors gave us the confidence to go for it.  

“The ‘Magnificent Seven’ theme for our Bash is the final element of celebrating 50 years of heritage diesel preservation. What better way to do this than muster this impressive showing of former Western Region diesel-hydraulic classes, which were the pioneers of early diesel locomotive preservation. The SVR is setting out its stall as the leading venue for heritage diesel events, and by providing this unique opportunity, we think we’ll nail it. 

“We know that people are keen to see the timetable, but an event of this size is complex and we’ll be announcing it as soon as possible.”  

Before the Bash gets into full swing, there’s a BR Blue-themed photoshoot on 26th September (followed by a further event ‘The Magnificent Seven’ on 6th October). Details and tickets will be available soon on

ADB 2023 poster.jpg

Then, on Wednesday 27th September, an ‘excursion day’ train will offer three return trips from Kidderminster, each hauled by a different locomotive; visiting D7076 on the 10am departure, D821 Greyhound on the 1pm departure and D1062 Western Courier on the 4pm departure. The ticket price of £30 (children and members £25) includes a full day of travel on this train and a guaranteed seat. If you're purchasing tickets for the Autumn Diesel Bash, you'll receive 10% off your excursion day ticket. 

Gus added: “We’re also working on something very special for Sunday 1st October as a final flourish to round off the Diesel Bash in true SVR style, which we hope to announce very soon.”  

D7017 and D7018 are owned by the Diesel & Electric Preservation Group and based at the West Somerset Railway, and 832 ‘Onslaught’ and D7076 by the Bury Hydraulic Group and based at the East Lancashire Railway. 

What's coming up?

Vintage Transport Extravaganza - this weekend!

Vintage Transport Extravaganza.jpg

Come to the SVR this weekend for a fabulous day out celebrating vintage transport on Saturday 12th (timetable C) and Sunday 13th August (timetable B)  


There’ll be displays of vintage vehicles including steam-powered traction engines, buses, motorbikes, cars and tractors across our six station sites. Among other attractions, once each day a road run will take place from Kidderminster Town station down Comberton Hill, along the ring road and back up Comberton Hill. 

Subject to availability, a Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Spitfire will fly past on both days!  


Volunteers will lead guided tours around The Engine House visitor centre at Highley.  

Standard fares apply, and ‘free return visit’ vouchers can be exchanged at Kidderminster, Bewdley or Bridgnorth booking offices.  

Visit for more details.

Summer events continue – with local discounts! 

People living in local postcode areas will now be able to take advantage of a special discount when they visit on Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays until the end of August, as the SVR extends its offer to anyone with an address in the DY10, DY11, DY12, DY13, DY14, WV15 and WV16 postcodes. 

Each Freedom-of-the-Line ticket purchased receives a 33% discount. Proof of address will be required, such as a driving licence or utility bill.

For everyone coming to the SVR, a programme of activities and additional attractions is underway.  


Summer of Science runs until 3rd September, delighting young lovers of science with exciting interactive exhibits and workshops. Activities will be taking place at The Engine House including Sublime Science (as seen on Dragon’s Den), TrainTime UK’s giant trainset and nine-hole crazy golf!  


Food & Craft Fayre 19th and 20th August at The Engine House, Highley,

To find out more about these themed events and to book tickets for travel visit 


To pre-book local residents’ tickets, please visit Discounted tickets can also be bought on the day of travel, on production of proof of address.  

Freedom-of-the-Line tickets include a free return visit (terms and conditions apply). That means visitors will get two Severn Valley Railway visits this summer for the price of one!  

Murder mystery dining experience – tickets still available

Murder mystery photoshoot 2012. Lewis Maddox.JPG

On Saturdays 2nd September and 14th October the Railway continues its season of murder mystery dining experience trains. Visitors’ reviews for these trains are excellent, describing them as “beautifully organised and a joy to step into an imaginary past” and “a very good experience and magical at night.”

The train starts at Kidderminster Town station at 7.30pm and diners enjoy a four-course meal on the Severn Valley Limited, our prestige heritage dining train. During the journey to Bridgnorth, passengers become embroiled in a murder case, and try to crack the clues.  


There is approximately 30 minutes to explore Bridgnorth station with and its award-winning Railwayman’s Arms pub, before the dining train returns to Kidderminster, arriving at around 10.30pm.  



To join in the fun, and the feasting, visit

Bridgnorth Beer Festival 2023

The annual Bridgnorth CAMRA Beer Festival will be held from 7th to 9th September at Bridgnorth station, hosting up to 50 real ales, ciders and perries. There are more details at  

Opening times will be:


Thursday 7th September 5.00pm – 11.00pm. Timetable A will be in operation, with the last arrival handily at 4.45 pm.


Friday 8th September 11.00am – 11.00pm. Timetable A will be in operation.

Saturday 9th September 11.00am – 11.00pm. Timetable B will be in operation. 

Photo: Inside the beer tent at Bridgnorth beer festival, 8th September 2022. Stephen Thomas 

Inside the beer tent at Bridgnorth beer festival, 8th September 2022. Stephen Thomas.jpg

A new season of SVR branch meetings at Stourbridge 


The new season of meetings starts in September for the SVR’s Stourbridge branch. Meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month and they are open to all. The programme of talks for the rest of 2023 is: 

  • 6th September, Paul Downey: Paddington - Wolverhampton digital slide show.  

  • 4th October, David Hayes: ‘Kent Coal 1970s – 1990s' slide show. 

  • 1st November, Michael Clemens: 'Midlands Miscellany’ stills & cine. 

  • 6th December, David Postle: ‘Railways in Colour, 1950s - end of steam’ slide show. 

The branch meets at the Bonded Warehouse, Canal Street, Stourbridge, DY8 4LU, commencing at 7.30pm. Please note that admittance is now £3.  

Details and future events are shown on the venue’s website. 

Photo: the 9.00am 'Inter-City' from Paddington has arrived at Wolverhampton Low Level with ex-GW 5032 'Usk Castle' on 31st March 1958. Ben Brooksbank. Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike license 2.0  

RailArt 2023

The Guild of Railway Artists is holding its prestigious RailArt exhibition from Saturday 19th August until Sunday 24th September. Once again this will be held at its spiritual home of Kidderminster Railway Museum which has hosted the Guild’s exhibitions since 1994. 



Admission is free, and opening times are 10am to 5pm daily (except the final day of the exhibition, when it will close at 2pm.) Any changes to these arrangements will be announced on the Guild’s website at 



The selection of exhibits will take place just a few days prior to the exhibition, with around 60 paintings in total to view. Most of these are new works, and none will have been on display at a previous RailArt. 



Visitors can of course combine their visit with a ride on the Railway, with trains running on Thursdays to Sundays, plus the bank holiday Monday 28th August.



The SVR’s last BR man steps down from the footplate

On Saturday 29th July, a 60-year career in steam came to an end as driver Don Shadwell had his last turn at the controls of 75069, a few days ahead of his 75th birthday. Don’s retirement marked the end of era not just for him, but for the entire Railway. Don is the very last of the SVR’s footplate crew to have served on steam under British Railways. 


Don joined British Railways in 1963 and worked as a fireman during the final years of main line steam, before transferring to diesel locomotive duties, latterly becoming a freight Guard at Saltley before leaving British Rail to join British Telecom.

Don arrived at the SVR with locomotive 8233 and his skills were very much in demand in the early days of the preserved Severn Valley Railway, where he trained budding footplate crew who were completely new to the role. In the years since then, he’s passed on his experience and knowledge to countless volunteers including

current locomotive crew manager Jon Teuwen who used to work regularly with Don on the footplate.

 “Don has put his heart and soul into the SVR for over 50 years and was a familiar face on and off the footplate” said Jon. “He’s featured in quite a number of TV productions over the years that involved the SVR; if you search old footage of the SVR on Youtube there are two gents who always managed to get in front of the camera. Don was one of them, the other was a chap called Martin White! It’s also worth noting Don was our most senior driver at the SVR for a number of years and now that he’s finished, that’s it, we have no one left active on the footplate who worked steam in service on BR.”

“I suppose I’m the last link with BR really,” said Don. “I came from the main line to volunteer here in 1969. I’ve been heartened to see many of our volunteers going on to have full careers as railwaymen on the main line! It’s wonderful to think that many of them started on that ladder with the SVR and are now working across the network.

Don will continue to volunteer at the Railway and is a key member of the group looking after the 08 shunter fleet.

Click on the gallery for larger images, descriptions and credits.

In memoria

Alfred Astbury Please see separate item below. 

David Hamer passed away at Severn Hospice on 10th July. David joined Bridgnorth's ‘Wailing Wall’ station maintenance team last year and quickly fitted in. He was popular, good to work with and good humoured, with a fund of stories. He turned his hand to all things, and with a desire to get on with the job in hand, his input was prolific. Unfortunately, his cancer returned, although he managed to visit from time to time and remained cheerful. His funeral was held on 25th July, attended by representatives of the Railway. Chris Thomas, Bridgnorth station master. 


John Price (senior) passed away on 1st August. He was an engineman on the mainline from 1962 until 2017. He volunteered on the SVR from the early 1970s in departments including steam and diesel locomotive, on-train dining, 1940s, DMU Group and latterly catering at Arley tearoom. John contributed generously to several locomotive groups.  

John proudly held the role of loco superintendent. He said that main line drivers he worked with passed on their knowledge to him, and it was his job to pass on to others at the SVR the art of being an engineman. He retired from the footplate in 2021 after nearly 60 years. John impacted so many people and he set many people up to have long-lasting careers, doing a job he loved doing himself. Harry Bradley and Tom Clarke 

Chris Scurrell passed away on 23rd June. Chris was a valued volunteer, joining the ticket inspecting department in 2008 where he frequently became involved in special trains, managing parties etc. Unfortunately, two years ago he had to resign from volunteering because of the ill health to which he eventually succumbed. His funeral was held on 17th July. Barry Moreton, Volunteer Liaison. 

Space precludes fuller obituaries appearing in Express Points. These appear in internal NBIs and later in SVR News.  

A trip down memory lane for a former volunteer

Colin with his dad Alf in front of 4930 'Hagley Hall'.jpg
MicrosoftTeams-image (1).png

When 85-year-old Alfred Astbury visited the Railway at the end of June, no-one could have known how poignant the occasion would turn out to be. 

Alfred, who’d volunteered at the SVR for 30 years, came to experience the atmosphere of Kidderminster station, all decked out for the 1940s events, along with fellow residents of Foley Grange care home. Sadly, Alfred died just a few weeks later, as his son Colin (who works in the carriage & wagon department) told us: 

“Dad died peacefully on the day that the newspapers carried the story of the Foley Grange visit which had taken place a month earlier. He really enjoyed meeting some old friends and showing his fellow residents the railway he loved." 

Alfred first visited the line in its early days of preservation in the 1970s, and started volunteering when the railway extended to Kidderminster in the mid-1980s. Colin followed in his father’s footsteps, and has now worked and volunteered on the SVR for 40 years. 

The visit in June was the first time that Alfred had been to the Railway in ten years, and was, very sadly, to be his last. His funeral will take place at Wyre Forest Crematorium on Friday 18th August at 12.30.  

Across the Railway

Hay Bridge repairs

Unfortunately, the Railway suffered a hit-and-run bridge strike in the spring which caused damage to part of the masonry on the south-east pilaster of Hay Bridge, south of Eardington station.  Repairs were completed last month by the SVR’s regular stonemason, Philip Chatfield.    

Infrastructure manager Chris Bond said, “We know Philip well and after the bridge strike I contacted him, so he could assess the damage and work out a repair strategy.” Readers of Express Points may remember Philip’s work at Bewdley, Falling Sands Viaduct and elsewhere.  


Philip added, “We were able to use the three-day Monday to Wednesday period of no public service.  The repair necessitated a road rail vehicle (RRV) making a trip out on the Monday morning from Highley to Hay Bridge, prior to the diesel footplate experience starting, to lift off the capstone so that the lower stonework could be dismantled and rebuilt. Two days later, once the lower stonework had set, the RRV returned from Highley to set the capstone back in place.” 

Hay Bridge (bridge 26) is situated just south of Eardington and carries the Railway over the B4555 Bridgnorth to Highley road. Despite a 3.8m ‘red circle’ mandatory height prohibition, it's been subject to several illegal strikes by road vehicles.

Click on the gallery for larger images, descriptions and credits.

Help wanted at Bridgnorth booking office

Bridgnorth booking office is looking for additional staff. No previous experience is necessary, because new recruits will work with existing staff and will soon pick things up on the job. 

Duties include selling tickets and answering visitors’ questions face-to-face – these range from “Where’s the toilet?” to “How can I best spend my day at the Railway?” You’ll also check online bookings. A willingness to engage with people and a desire to get their day off to a great start are of course essential! 

In time, you could gain enough experience to run the office by yourself, or you might work as an assistant. There's plenty of flexibility in setting a work schedule. 

To find out more, please contact the Volunteer Liaison Office at  

Help is needed at Bridgnorth booking office.jpg

Do you want to keep more up-to-date?


If you do, please join the SVR’s invaluable weekly briefing every Tuesday at 9.30am in the Teams ‘SVR TODAY’ channel. This is a 10-minute online update from senior leaders on what their departments across the Railway are doing during the week. 

Managing director Gus Dunster said: “It’s open to all staff, both paid and volunteer. I’d encourage more to attend; I think you will be surprised just how much insight you would get into the day-to-day business of running the Railway. We look forward to seeing you!” 


If you can’t join live, a video recording is made available after the briefing on the same ‘SVR TODAY’ Teams channel. In addition, you can read written updates posted by each department in the channel every Tuesday morning. 


To get access to the SVR’s Teams system, see the ‘Getting Access to SVRLive’ page, which also includes information on ‘Getting started with Teams’. More information including screenshots on how to access the meeting and recording is in NBI-H-1100 Weekly Briefings.  

Rolling stock

Our 90-year-old Stanier mogul won’t be rushed!


Activities in Bridgnorth works are seldom centred on just one locomotive. But every now and then a single loco does become the focus of attention. Now is one of those times, as Bridgnorth shed master Martin White explains: 


Currently both visitors and staff are enquiring, “How are things progressing with the Stanier mogul?” In recent updates I have mentioned that the mogul’s boiler was successfully tested and that it was being lagged and clad in the boilershop, these tasks also requiring the installation of various lengths of pipework which spend most of their time hidden beneath the cladding. By mid-July, that work was completed and the boiler was lifted into the frames, along with the ashpan, using the 30-ton overhead crane in the boiler shop. This may sound straightforward, but it wasn’t, as some cutting, slicing, bending and welding of the ashpan was necessary to make it fit in the frames correctly. 


The loco was then shunted into the main works and reunited with its tender, to become the centre of attention for many staff to descend upon it and commence the final reassembly.  

An early job was erecting work platforms and access equipment around the loco so that it could be worked on in greater safety. The last sections of boiler lagging material and cladding sheets were then fitted (these cannot be fitted prior to the boiler being lifted into the frames, because the cladding would be wrecked by having the lifting chains slung around them). Amongst the many other tasks since undertaken has been the fixing down of the smokebox to the saddle, requiring numerous holes to be drilled and bolts to be fitted. Many of the cab fittings have now been installed, whilst some were still being finished or tested in the machine shop. One of these, an injector steam valve, was found to be porous when it was hydraulically tested in-house, and so a replacement had to be machined from a bare casting. 


So, we must be a little vague and just say that it’s progressing okay, with a few ups and downs. “Ah, but,” I can hear people cry, “When will it be ready to be steamed? Will it be ready for the Gala? Will it be ready for Christmas?” The answers to these questions are simple. It will be ready when it’s ready! 


The dear old thing is almost 90 years old. Have you ever asked a 90-year-old to hurry up? And if you did, what was the result? Have patience, it’ll be worth the wait!  

Ex-LMS mogul 13268 general view 7th August 2023. Duncan Ballard

Ex-LMS mogul 13268 cab 7th August 2023. Duncan Ballard

Revarnishing GNR 2701 isn’t so ‘quick’ after all  

Collaborative working has come to the rescue with the Bridgnorth loco paintshop stepping in for a ‘quick revarnish' of one the SVR Charitable Trust’s superb Gresley teak coaches. Head of traction & rolling stock engineering Martin White told Express Points more: 

Richard Gunning, doyen of the SVR’s LNER coach fund, was watching ‘Pendennis Castle’ steam past and spied that some varnish was lifting off the teak panels on Great Northern Railway (GNR) carriage 2701 of 1922. It seemed to be confined to the panel edges, and he thought that a quick fix now would save a much bigger job later. 

The carriage & wagon (C&W) team were struggling to fit in 2701, as Kidderminster paintshop is occupied by LMS 24617, the carriage shed painting platform with GWR 6913 and Bewdley paintshop with LNER 43612. Bridgnorth MPD, however, had a gap in their schedule sufficient to undertake a quick revarnish. 

Entering the paintshop on Monday 12th July, work commenced immediately stripping the flaking varnish, which quickly turned into the complete stripping and sanding of more panels than expected. Led by Bridgnorth painter Ronan O’Brien, volunteers made quick progress with occasional assistance by Kidderminster C&W staff.  

Water seeping under the old, peeling varnish had led to dark patches, which were restored to their natural teak colour using oxalic acid. The sanded panels were then given a couple of coats of linseed oil, which alone brought out the vibrant grain in the wood. Two coats of goldsize (a kind of thicker version of varnish) followed and then multiple coats of varnish. 

Three different shades of blue paint were required to be sent from Kidderminster. Yes, blue paint on a teak carriage…. The next time you see 2701 in traffic, take a close look and you may see it! The lettering, numbering and lining were saved and touched up where possible. Transfers were used, where necessary, to replace lettering or numbering that could not be saved during the panel stripping. However, the gold sections of these and the lining must be gilded with gold leaf applied by hand. 

The estimate was that the ‘quick’ revarnish would take about three weeks. The extent of the panel stripping necessary, along with the need to resolve some interior damage, means this is likely to be doubled. It will have involved hundreds of man-hours of effort, 15 litres of varnish and a few hundred pounds worth of 23ct gold. Think about that the next time you see it! Nevertheless, six weeks’ effort is better than six months, which could have been the case had it not been attended to as a priority. 


Please click on the gallery for larger images. 

Photo 1 – A compartment side panel on 18th July after stripping and sanding. The dark patches are water marks where the varnish has lifted. 

Photo 2 – The same panel on 21st July, following treatment with oxalic acid to remove the dark patches and after the application of two coats of linseed oil. 

Photo 3 – Saved numbers being regilded with gold leaf on 25th July 

Photo 4 – taken 2nd August. New GNR transfers applied, awaiting the application of gold leaf 

2857 fundraising and new volunteer opportunities

Visiting Hymek D7018 piloting GWR heavy freight 2857 into Bridgnorth on 16th October 1988
2857 on goods approaching Little Rock on 30th March 2012. Andy Taylor .jpg

Following the withdrawal from traffic in January of ex-GWR steam locomotive 2857, the owning group, The 2857 Society, have turned their attention to fundraising for the next overhaul.  

Society trustee Harry Bradley told Express Points: “We wish to increase the funds we can contribute to the future overhaul, to add to the substantial six-figure sum already available, and we’ve  launched a couple of fundraising initiatives.” 

  • 2857 ‘From the Footplate’ DVD was filmed on Boxing Day 2022 with six cameras mounted on the locomotive to give an up-front view of the 16-mile Railway. DVDs are priced at £14.95 and Blu-Rays at £17.95, with all proceeds going to the Society. To order a copy please contact  


  • The 2857 Society Etsy shop has a range of products available. During August, all orders will be subject to a 10% discount when using the code ‘28SUMMER’. 


Harry added: “As we plan for the loco’s overhaul, we also want to get more people involved. We're encouraging as many people as possible to sign up as members and shareholders, and we’re looking for new volunteers to assist with sales stands at galas and in the future to become involved with the engineering/overhaul of the locomotive. You would need to join or be a member of the 2857 Society, and of the SVR to volunteer on the Railway. We’ll also be looking for new trustees.

“If you wish to make any donations, discuss any fundraising opportunities with us or want to become a volunteer or trustee, please get in touch. The Society’s trustees can be contacted at”

Editor’s note: The 2857 Society is a Charitable Community Benefit Society and donations attract Gift Aid/tax relief. 


Visiting Hymek D7018 piloting GWR heavy freight 2857 into Bridgnorth on 16th October 1988 during the Autumn Diesel Gala. Kevin Whitehurst. D7018 is to revisit the SVR for the 2023 Autumn Diesel Bash. 

2857 on goods approaching Little Rock on 30th March 2012. Andy Taylor. Little Rock cutting is around a mile north of Hampton Loade station. 

Other news

Spring Steam Gala DVD set – now available 

RailAdvent 3-disc DVD of 2023 Spring Steam Gala .png

Rail Advent, the online rail news platform, has produced a three-disc DVD set showcasing the SVR’s Spring Steam Gala, and it’s available now, with a Blu-ray version also on offer.

You can re-live (or see for the first time if you weren’t there!) the three-day event that took place between 14th and 16th April this year, featuring visitors 4079 ‘Pendennis Castle’, BR Standard 2 78018 and GWR Prairie 4555, alongside the home fleet. There’s also some behind-the-scenes action from Bridgnorth loco shed. 

Rail Advent are generously donating £5 from every sale to the SVR’s Survival Fund. For more information and to order your copy, go to  

Footplate experiences are back! 

Diesel footplate experiences (FEs) made a welcome return in July, as our images show.  


Visitor engagement manager Lewis Maddox told Express Points, “For both steam and diesel FEs the Railway has quite a few pre-paid voucher-holders, to whom we are giving priority booking. 


“The diesel FEs will run on Mondays until 4th September and we’ve contacted the voucher-holders to either book their experiences in 2023, or to retain their voucher for 2024. Only a few remaining spaces are on sale to the public, and these are advertised on the website, socials and in marketing emails. 


“For steam, the Railway has contacted all voucher-holders with an update. We offered those with ‘taster’ or ‘introductory’ FE vouchers a complimentary upgrade to a full-line footplate ride. It’s been very successful, carrying over 75 participants, and we've received excellent feedback. A big thank-you to our steam locomotive crews for accommodating this. More dates will follow in September. 


“We are also planning a programme of FEs in 2024 for the remaining voucher-holders, and for the wider public.” 


At Bewdley, volunteers continue to provide catering on FE days. Volunteer Rob Green explained, “Although there’s no public service on Mondays, the buffet will be open whilst the footplate experiences are running (every Monday through to 4th September, except bank holiday Monday 28th August). Breakfast and lunch facilities are available to participants, volunteers and the public. Opening hours are 8am to 2.30pm.” 

Photos by Rob Green:

Bob Dunn with 37263 and diesel footplate experience guests at Bewdley on 31st July 2023.

Lots of happy faces making memories with 50035 Ark Royal at Bewdley on 17th July 2023 as diesel footplate experiences return.

Bob Dunn with 37263 and diesel footplate experience guests at Bewdley on 31st July 2023. R
Lots of happy faces making memories with 50035 Ark Royal at Bewdley on 17th July 2023 as d

‘From the Window’

From the Window 2023.png

From the Window is a booklet published by the SVR which for many years has been available free on request from ticket offices.


It highlights many of the points of interest which are visible from the train. It has long been popular with our visitors, adding to their enjoyment and understanding of the railway and its surroundings. It carries a small amount of advertising, which covers the cost of printing.  

The last (2016) edition had become somewhat dated and a new edition has now been published, after several months’ work. The booklets are being given to visitors as they check in at our booking offices. Do take a copy when you next visit, and we hope you enjoy it!  

Time for tea at Arley again

The refreshment kiosk at Arley is back up and running! 


Known as Tom’s Cabin, the reopened kiosk will now be open for business on all operational dates for the rest of the year, thanks to the hard work of a small but dedicated team of Arley volunteers. The kiosk will be selling light refreshments including hot and cold drinks, snacks and, of course, all-important ice creams. Assistant station master Catherine Martin said: 

“We’re delighted to share this good news. This is an important facility to get opened again for passengers, walkers and cyclists - and staff too! Our thanks go to Lorraine Spendlove and all the volunteers who have really worked hard to make this happen.”  

Arley refreshments.jpg

60 years since closure of the Severn Valley Line

Friday 8th September will mark 60 years since the last BR trains ran on SVR metals, prior to its closure.  


Back in 1963, it had been a weekend of last trains and although by this time the line was served by diesel railcars, the final departures were steam-hauled. On Saturday September 7th the last Bridgnorth to Shrewsbury departure was strengthened from two coaches to four and hauled by 2-6-2 tank locomotive 41207. On board were around a dozen passengers and, according to the Birmingham Daily Post, 200 enthusiasts who had travelled from around the country for the occasion. The platform itself was crowded with well-wishers and detonators were placed along the line to mark the event.  


The following day saw the very last trains along the line; the last service from Bridgnorth to Birmingham Snow Hill was hauled by ex-GWR pannier tanks 9624 and 4665 carrying a ‘Special Last Train’ headboard.  


Fittingly, the very final service was a standard passenger service, the 8.30pm Hampton Loade to Snow Hill service, which was formed of a three-car diesel set. As this train pulled into Snow Hill, over 100 years of Severn Valley railway history came to a close.  


The Railway plans to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the occasion by running 7714 on S1 on Friday 8th September, paired with the maroon mark 1 set. On Saturday 9th, it will be on display at Kidderminster until it works S3. On both days, it will carry a special headboard to commemorate the occasion.  


v1 9th August 2023

v2 10th August 2023 - Small edit to content 

Need to contact us?

Branch Lines Logo3.png

A dedicated newsletter for SVR supporters - Branch Lines

A monthly newsletter dedicated to SVR Supporters has been created, this allows Express Points to be directed to our working members. ​CLICK HERE for the latest edition of Branch Lines.

If you're a supporter of the SVR, but not a Working Member then please email to be added to the distribution list

Thanks for reading!

If you receive our monthly newsletter by email and wish to unsubscribe from our newsletter please email

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.

bottom of page