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February 2024

1 The yard is cleared to enable rails to be lifted on roads 1 & 2 on 11-1-24 John Titlow.j
The yard is cleared to enable rails to be lifted on roads 1 & 2, as seen on 11-1-24 : John Titlow 

Welcome to your latest edition of Express Points!

We hope you’re as delighted as we are that the Railway is about to re-open to the public on Saturday! It’s the first time we’ve been open this early for a number of years, and there’s some great half-term entertainment for families lined up, in the form of a personal meeting with the Gruffalo at The Engine House! 

Our lead article covers the recent confirmation of Gus Dunster as permanent managing director of SVR (Holdings) Plc, a move which chairman Chris Walton describes as “great news for the Railway”. We also report that most regular day-ticket prices have been frozen at last year’s rates, to help make a visit to the SVR more affordable, and we’ve exciting news of one of the guest locomotives for the Spring Diesel Festival. 

Express Points always aims to bring you news from all corners of the SVR, and this month we meet Lewis Kennedy, an apprentice in C&W, who’s been chosen as a case study by Kidderminster College for National Apprenticeship Week. A 3.5 tonne baseplate arrived the other day, destined for the Hydroshunter project, and we’ve some film footage of that for you, plus we catch up with Kidderminster head gardener Bob Mitchell to learn of his plans to wow visitors in 2024, and we go behind the scenes to catch up on important closed-season maintenance work. 

Hope you enjoy reading it all! 

Lesley Carr, editor


The Express Points team: Amy Baker, Pete Cherry, Karen Crick, Nicola Fox and Dave Redbourne

Next edition Thursday 14th March

What's new?

Gus Dunster confirmed as permanent MD 

The Railway has announced that it has approved the permanent appointment of Jonathan ‘Gus’ Dunster as managing director of SVR (Holdings) Plc with immediate effect. 

Gus has been fulfilling the role in an interim capacity since 1 March last year, following his retirement from his previous role as Avanti West Coast’s executive director of operations and safety.


He was already an extremely well-known face at the railway, having volunteered for more than 30 years. 

“This is great news for the Railway,” said Chris Walton, the chairman of SVR (Holdings) Plc. “It’s yet another step in stabilising our organization, as we continue to meet the many challenges we face. 

“Over the past year, Gus has worked closely not only with me, but also the rest of the Board, the senior leadership team and our paid staff and volunteers. He has made a huge contribution to the Railway’s operation, galvanizing the entire team, and putting many new measures in place to secure the future of the SVR.   

“He has brought in new Board members, who have significantly strengthened our leadership, and he has also been instrumental in forging the SVR’s landmark partnership with Network Rail, the first of its kind in the UK. His experience and connections with main line rail companies continue to yield invaluable benefits for us, and enable us to secure diverse income streams, and benefits in kind.” 

Gus added: 

“It’s been a pleasure to be the SVR’s interim MD for the past 11 months, as the Railway works hard to counteract the long-term impacts of pandemic lockdowns, rocketing costs, and the ongoing cost-of-living crisis that threatens visitor numbers. It’s still early days, but there’s a very real sense that we are now firmly heading in the right direction. I want to pay tribute to everyone across the SVR who has ‘done their bit’ in recent times. Despite the challenges, we have much to look back on with pride from the 2023 season. I am very proud to be part of the team at this important time in our railway’s history. 

“I must reiterate the message that tough times still lie ahead. We cannot be under any illusion that things are ‘back to normal’. Like all heritage railways, we face continuing challenges, but I am confident we can meet these, if we all work together for the good of the SVR. 

“As we approach our 60th anniversary in 2025, I hope everyone associated with the Railway will share my optimism, and my determination to safeguard the SVR’s future.”  

Ticket price freeze for 2024

In a move that’s aimed at making it more affordable for cash-strapped visitors to enjoy a heritage day out, the Railway has frozen most of its regular fares at the same levels as last year. Visitor engagement manager Lewis Maddox said: 

“We’ve worked really hard to make sure we have a range of tickets to match the needs of all our visitors, and we’re particularly pleased that we’ve been able to keep most of our day-tickets at the same price as last year. Prices are rising all around us, so this was something we really wanted to do to help out our visitors and ensure as many people as possible can enjoy a trip on our amazing trains.” 

In addition to the great-value Freedom-of-the-Line ticket, the SVR is also continuing to make its Short-Journey tickets available. These lower-priced tickets allow a return journey along part of the 16-mile route. These proved popular last year with those travelling with younger children, or those with limited time. Cyclists and walkers are also accommodated with single or return journeys that can be bought at booking offices on the day of travel.  

Price Freeze - Image from Press Release - Credit SVR copy.jpg

In a new move, the SVR’s Unlimited Passes, for visitors who want to make repeat visits on normal operating days, will now be valid for a full 12 months from the date of purchase, not just for the current season.  

Tickets are now on sale for day tickets throughout the service-train calendar until October half-term and details on all the SVR’s ticket types are available at  

First guest announced for the Spring Diesel Festival!

Class 37 37409 owned by Locomotive Services Group Brad Joyce.jpg

After the outstanding success of the SVR’s diesel events last year, tickets are now on sale for the Spring Diesel Festival and the Railway has announced the first confirmed guest locomotive. 


Class 37 37409 ‘Loch Awe’ will be joining the home fleet and additional, still-to-be-announced guests, as the SVR looks to build on the outstanding success of its diesel events last year. The event will run across four days from 16 –19 May and promises an intensive timetable of diesel traction.  

‘Loch Awe’ is a universally popular and successful locomotive with a long and continuing history in service on the mainline. Recently overhauled and painted into a 1980s ScotRail livery, it will be appearing courtesy of its owner, Locomotive Services Group (LSG), with whom it works in front-line service hauling premium charter trains. Managing director Gus Dunster said:  

“This locomotive is newly restored, and recently returned to traffic in a very striking new livery. It will be an honour to welcome 37409 to the Valley. Our event will be one of the first occasions on which it appears in this guise, and we’re very grateful to our friends at LSG, and delighted that, once again, they are giving such great support to our events.” 


More than 300 Class 37s were built, the first entering service at the end of 1960, with the final locomotive delivered in November 1965. New to traffic in March 1965, the loco spent 20 years working in Wales and the south-west, before conversion to a Class 37/4 in 1985. A transfer to Scotland followed, where the loco would remain until its sale to DRS in 2008. 

Following its recent overhaul, 37409 now carries a livery it has never previously run in. The ScotRail livery allows it to represent the second generation of the class, which emerged during the extensive refurbishment by British Rail in the 1980s. 

Interestingly, a Class 37 appeared at the SVR’s first ever diesel gala, in May 1987, and classmate 37263 is already in residence at the SVR, on an extended visit from Telford Steam Railway, and it will also appear at the festival.   

Class 37 37409 owned by Locomotive Services Group  :  Brad Joyce

Volunteers make huge contribution to the Bridgnorth Yard project 

After the excitement of the Winter Gala, the excitement of getting on with work in the yard started on 9 January, as volunteer project manager Nick Yarwood reports: 


Within the first week, the old rails and turnout on roads 1 and 2 - the ones nearest to the station - were lifted. Some of it was thought to have survived from BR days, and in places the rails in the section used only to store wagons and locos were very wasted below the surface. 


A delivery of second-hand sleepers enabled Barry Light and his team to assemble the turnout. This uses components recovered from Brownhills, as reported in Express Points November 2023 edition.  


Meanwhile, retired civil engineer Gordon Malcolm led the alterations to the pit on road 2.


After the rails were removed and surrounding concrete cut back, the surface was prepared to receive an additional 270mm of concrete. This is the height gain needed to raise road 2 to the same level as the rest of the yard. 


Holding-down bolts for the rails were extended using threaded rod before the thought-provoking task of assembling and aligning the formwork commenced.


This was skilfully and satisfyingly achieved by volunteers, all of whom had never worked with anything like it before. Concrete was accurately placed by an overhead concrete pump and left to cure overnight. The next day, formwork was removed to reveal excellent concrete work. Everyone was justifiably pleased with the result! 


Some days the team has had to wait for the concrete to fully cure before rails can be bolted down, and some inclement weather has seen the permanent way team diverted to other jobs. Track laying recommences this week along with preparations for the next concrete pour. All being well, completion should be around mid-March. 


You could make a difference by volunteering for a day or two, especially if you’re available during the week. Please call Martin White on 07400 460659 for details. 

Click on the gallery to see larger images and photo credits.

Shareholder vouchers in time for half-term

Shareholder vouchers.jpg

By the time you read your February Express Points, complimentary vouchers for the 2024 season should have dropped through the letterboxes of Severn Valley Railway shareholders who have at least 125 shares.

“If you’re living abroad, it may take a little longer for your vouchers to arrive,” explained shareholder relationship manager Karen Bromell, “But don’t worry, they’re on their way.

“Although each voucher is printed with the shareholder’s name, you’re free to pass these on to family and friends. You must visit the booking office to exchange vouchers for travel tickets, as the vouchers themselves are not valid for travel. We’re very much looking forward to welcoming you back!”

Shareholders with 1,600 shares or more already have a photo ID pass, and these have automatically been updated for 2024. The passes are valid for travel by the pass-holder only, as well as three accompanying guests, and are not transferrable to others. Pass-holders do not need to visit the booking office to obtain a ticket before boarding the train.  

If you have a query related to your vouchers, pass or shareholding, please contact    


What's coming up?

Live music night at the King and Castle

Common People are appearing at the King & Castles live music night on 23 February.jpg

Live music is back at the SVR’s pub in Kidderminster. On Friday 23 February, the joint will be rocking to the sound of Britpop and indie anthem band Common People. 

“It’s great to be able to bring back live music to the pub, and we’re expecting a big crowd,” said K&C manager Paul Corner. “It all starts at 7.30 pm, and although entrance is free, you’ll need to collect a ticket in advance from the pub. This is so we can manage numbers. We’re looking forward to an amazing evening!”  

The Gruffalo is coming to The Engine House!

February half term this year will see the SVR open! The Railway will be operating services along the full length of the line on the 10 - 11, 13 - 15, and 17- 18 February, with a very special children’s literary guest making mid-week appearances.


For the very first time, the Gruffalo will be appearing on 13 – 15 February at The Engine House, Highley. 

Families can take a ride to The Engine House from either Kidderminster or Bridgnorth, for a pre-booked, in-person meeting with the Gruffalo, who will be appearing at regular intervals throughout the day. 

Visitor engagement manager Lewis Maddox said: “We are excited to have the Gruffalo visiting us. Families will be able to travel in style by heritage train to Highley and meet their favourite character whilst creating memories together.” 

A variety of tickets, including family tickets, can be purchased online with travel from either Kidderminster or Bridgnorth. Tickets include travel on a heritage train and timed-entry ticket to meet the Gruffalo at The Engine House. Pre-booking is essential. 

For more information and to book tickets please visit 

The Gruffalo’s visit to the SVR will be the first of three famous children’s character visits this year, so watch this space for more announcements!  

Gruffalo graphic for half-term article.png

Premium dining experiences and the Spice Train – back for 2024 

There’s an exciting line-up of on-train dining experiences for 2024 with February and March dates available now for booking. From vintage afternoon teas to delectable Sunday lunches and gin-train experiences, there’s something to please everyone who wants to splash out on some stylish luxury. 

On selected dates in both February and March, guests can step back in time and indulge in a delightful Vintage Afternoon Tea.  

Gin enthusiasts won’t want to miss the Gin Train on selected dates in March. On board the beautifully restored teak dining carriage 7960, the renowned gin-connoisseur team from Piston Gin will take guests on a captivating journey along the line. There’ll be the chance to sample innovative gin creations while learning about the artistry behind this well-loved spirit.  

For those craving a more substantial meal, the SVR’s catering partners at Bewdley-based Paisley Flour will be offering exceptional Sunday Lunch Dining on selected dates in February and March, including on Mother’s Day. 

 "We are thrilled to offer these extraordinary dining experiences," said Nicky Freeman, visitor experience manager. "Whether you're a lover of vintage vibes, a connoisseur of fine dining, or a gin enthusiast, we have the perfect on-train dining experience for you." 


STOP PRESS! An evening Spice Train has also been added to the dining line-up, on Saturday 23 March.   

So, if all this talk of food is making you feel peckish, head to the website now. 

On-Train Dining Experiences | Severn Valley Railway (  


In memoria

The passing of volunteers is a sad occasion for both family and the Railway. We pay respects to those leaving us and send our deepest sympathies to their families. 


Roger Amies who passed away on 19 December 2023 started volunteering as a member of the fledgling SVR, with the small Bridgnorth permanent way team. As time progressed, he became a fireman from 1979 to 1981. His sociable enthusiastic character resulted in many photographs of permanent way team activities appearing in SVR News.  

After considerably volunteer input, he decided in the 90s to concentrate on worldwide travel and his work, but maintained contact with his SVR colleagues. He was a true gentleman who will be missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him. Roger’s funeral took place on 18 January. Barry Moreton, volunteer liaison office  


David Dillistone David joined the Friends of Hagley Hall group in 2016/17, initially manning the sales stand but soon getting involved with the physical side of locomotive overhaul. He would happily admit to knowing nothing about the workings of a steam locomotive other than it looked good and sounded great. He was just happy to be involved, with tasks such as cleaning, scraping, painting of components and always with a smile. Despite recent restricted mobility, Dave assisted with the final painting of 4930 ready for its return to steam in September 2022.  David’s funeral took place on 31 January. Barry Moreton, volunteer liaison office 


Philip Fryer Philip was a devout GWR supporter and with his forte of basic woodwork, it followed that he became a supporter of GW(SVR)A. It was not long after joining the department that he assumed the title ‘Fearless’ on account of the gusto which he attached to any project and which is illustrated by the many lead roles he took in carriage restoration, including Passenger Brake 1145 - now the sales coach for GW(SVR)A - and 2426.  

Philip’s volunteering interest with us faded in the 1980s, and his restoration expertise and company have been missed by those who knew him. Sadly, Philip passed away on 16 January. His funeral is at Stourbridge Crematorium (DY8 3RQ) on 16 February at 11.40. We send condolences to his family in remembering a very talented volunteer whose expertise we have the honour to have inherited. Barry Moreton, volunteer liaison office 


Godfrey Stewart We are very sad to announce Godfrey’s passing; many will recall him as an early member of Bridgnorth MPD. His extensive experience of locomotive maintenance led to him joining the ranks of footplate staff, becoming a fireman and later a driver. 


As time progressed and squeezing into locomotive motions for oiling became more difficult, Godfrey trained and qualified as a signalman, initially at Highley and Bridgnorth, preferring to cover Saturday evening dining trains for reasons best known to him! 

Godfrey’s funeral took place on 29 January. Barry Moreton assisted by Steve Tull and Tony Pirie   

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

SVR apprentice is highlighted during National Apprenticeship Week 

The SVR was delighted when Kidderminster College asked to use one of the Railway’s apprentices as a case study for National Apprenticeship Week, 5-11 February. 

Lewis Kennedy is a carpentry and joinery apprentice in the Carriage and Wagon works at Kidderminster, and has day release to study at Kidderminster College.  

“I’m doing something I love,” said Lewis. “I’ve met so many people here who are keen to pass on their knowledge, and I’m keen to learn. I think they really value the fact that a young person is here on an apprenticeship, and is going to carry on using the traditional skills that are needed here to work on heritage rolling stock.” 

Lewis will be featured on social media (Instagram and LinkedIn) during National Apprenticeship Week which is currently in full swing, and the college will continue to use his case study to promote its apprenticeship schemes.  

SVR apprentice Lewis Kennedy inside the carriage and wagon workshop. Lesley Carr.jpg

Across the Railway

Highley points are back ‘on point’ once more

A fairly large and completely essential track project took place towards the end of January to points at Highley station. Ten 22ft lengths of timber on which the points metalwork was sitting had deteriorated badly and needed urgent attention. 

“To get to the timbers, we had to lift off a considerable amount of metalwork,” explained permanent-way manager Barry Light. “This included crossing noses and check rails. When we got down to the timber, safe to say, it really wasn’t in the best condition and that’s not surprising considering how long it’s been down there. It was, as they say, ‘life-expired’! 

“The removal and replacement of the timbers and track-work took a week, and then it was time to replace the ballast. That was easier said than done, as the ballast itself had frozen solid in the wagons in which it was stored! Fortunately, we managed to get it all finished on Thursday 25 January.” 

Another example of the essential hard work that goes on during the SVR’s ‘down-time’, away from the public gaze, but which is all part of keeping the Railway in good shape.  

 Click on the gallery to see larger images and photo credits.

Successful log-train operation

Nine volunteers from Bridgnorth station boarded a works train on Saturday 27 January. Their mission - to tackle the clearance of a fallen tree at Alveley Woods.  

The whole process was very carefully planned, and the team did a great job to clear the site on both sides of the track, except for two big pieces of tree trunk which will need chainsaw attention. 

“It was a fairly labour-intensive, but enjoyable task,” explained Sue Thomas of Bridgnorth station staff. “There was a stop for packed lunch at midday and the wood was all unloaded at the cattle dock back at Bridgnorth station. Well done to Chris, Oliver, Paul, Mike, Mick, Steve, Chris, Adam, Tony and Mike for their hard work!”  

Click on the gallery to see larger images and photo credits.

Busy behind the scenes

Bridgnorth signal box has been receiving some much-deserved attention during the winter shut-down period.  


Work took place during January to replace the life-expired wiring in the box, which dated back to the 1970s. Led by Signal Engineering team leader Matthew Morgan, a group of volunteers devoted considerable time to the lengthy task of replacing and testing the wiring.


The job progressed well and even ran ahead of time, the signal box being signed back into use by 26 January, over a week earlier than planned. 


“Huge thanks to everyone who has pitched in to get this essential project finished so efficiently,” said managing director Gus Dunster. “The speed with which this project was successfully achieved is due to huge volunteer input, ensuring everything was completed in time. It’s a testament to the hard work and dedication that exists across the Railway, and I’d like to say how very much we appreciate it.” 


The signal box wiring is one of many areas hidden from public view, but which is essential to the safe operation of the Railway. With this successful project under the team’s belt, attention is now turned to other essential maintenance projects ahead of the February half-term opening.   

Click on the gallery to see larger images and photo credits.

A Cornucopia of colour for Kidderminster

Alongside its impressive collection of locomotives and carriages, the SVR is also known for its stunning stations and the picturesque floral displays that welcome passengers during the spring and summer months. Bob Mitchell has been a volunteer gardener at Kidderminster station since 2017 and is currently planning the planting for 2024.

Previously, the station themes have been inspired by the big events of the year, such as the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, which provided a specific range of colours. However, for 2024, Bob has chosen a theme with a different inspiration. He told Express Points:

“This year, I’ve given a lot of consideration to the theme for Kidderminster Station platforms and concourse gardens. With all the troubles in the world, I decided that the gardens should project a real splash of colour this year, with a cornucopia of bright and blousy flowers on display. This theme will incorporate unconventional combinations of plants, colours, and foliage from a broad spectrum of colours from the colour wheel. Why not join me and plant your own colourful extravaganza of plants this summer?”


The station platform beds are already home to a variety of perennials, but despite the limited space to incorporate annual plants, Bob is not discouraged from being creative. The current list of prospective plants easily runs into double figures, including familiar names such as pansies, begonias and petunias, alongside lesser-known flowers such as alstroemeria ‘Tierce’ and Calibrachoa. The display will be planted in a range of pots, baskets, and half-oak barrels. 

During the cooler months, the plants will be nursed at home before being transferred to their summer locations on Kidderminster Station in time for the 1940s weekends, when the full range of Bob’s plans will be seen in full bloom.  

After a rather grey and dreary start to the year, a station overflowing with colour is certainly a bright thought to look forward to!  

Click on the gallery to see larger images and photo credits.

Can you help? 

There are two areas of the Railway where two sorts of very different help is needed: 

The team at the SVR Charitable Trust’s historical exhibition coach inside the Stove R is looking for additional volunteers. Since it opened in 2022, it’s welcomed more than 2,000 visitors, including three managers from the National Railway Museum in York who were highly impressed, and said they’d copy the idea for the NRM! 

Currently just two volunteers have the task of manning the displays, and engaging with visitors, and they’d like to boost their numbers. 

Volunteer Bob Coates, also known as ‘Navvy Bob’ said, “We’re looking for people who would enjoy explaining about the history of the railway, and talking about the exhibits. Please contact me on 07398 160287 or email , or the volunteer liaison office on 01299 401776  or  


Meanwhile, the GWR Coach Association, whose sales shop is based in coach 1145 in the dock siding at Bewdley, is asking for donations of OO gauge rolling stock, and would welcome items that are only fit for spares or repair. This is to help volunteers keep the Association’s automatic model railway operational. 

“The OO gauge railway has been in place for around seven years,” explained Alan Coley. “It’s a great enticement to families to come in and browse for a few minutes.   Our sales shop raises much-needed funds to enable the ongoing restoration and support of the SVR GWR coach fleet and loco 7325. 

“If you’re having a tidy up of your OO layout this spring, please pop over to Bewdley Station and either drop items off in our sales coach, or into the mess room labelled for our attention. Many thanks!”  

Rolling stock

Early spring clean at MPD

Space might be limited at Bridgnorth, but work continues, and on more than just locomotives, as volunteer shedmaster Martin White reports: 

Phase 2A of the Bridgnorth MPD yard re-lay project is in full swing, which means that roads 1 and 2 - the sidings nearest to the station - have been lifted for replacement. At the same time as this, work has been taking place to rewire the signalling and track circuit systems in Bridgnorth signal box, which has necessitated all of the track-circuited lines in the station being kept free of rolling stock.


Obviously, these two projects have resulted in the remainder of the MPD yard and works becoming congested, especially as plant, equipment and materials for the re-lay project have to traverse the loco yard in order to reach the works site. 

A number of locomotives - 1501, 43106, ‘Omaha’ and ‘Welsh Guardsman’ - passed much of January in the Hollybush Road siding at the north end of Bridgnorth station.


Meanwhile, 4930 ‘Hagley Hall’ has spent much of the time with D3586, the Bridgnorth-based 08 diesel shunter, at the south end of the yard, by the exit signal.

All of this disruption is of course a means to an end. Not only was the renewal of the track and point work on roads 1 and 2 desperately needed, but also the replacement permanent way has been raised by approximately 200mm, bringing it to the same level as the rest of the yard area. This will make the whole yard easier and safer to navigate around, especially when moving access platforms or pushing barrow loads of ash and clinker etc.


Within the works itself, the long pit and wheel drop have had a deep clean with a steam cleaner, and the pit walls have received a couple of coats of white paint, all of which should make a considerable improvement for any staff who need to work beneath locomotives. Stanier Mogul 2968 has been receiving paid-staff attention to finish off several tasks and complete some fettling after its appearances on some of the Christmas services. It too has had a number of deep cleans with soapy water, ahead of it being shunted into the paint shop for its transformation into 13268. 

The large drag box casting for 813 has been returned from the external contract-machinists, with all of its mounting holes drilled in the correct places, and the bunker/cab assembly and buffer beam have been moved back inside from their storage area. Hopefully, reassembly of the little saddle tank locomotive will start to see significant progress in the near future. 

The Bridgnorth works machine shop remains very busy, but not just on SVR locomotive components. Machining tasks to assist the p-way with their various re-laying jobs, work on carriage brasses for Kidderminster, and commercial contract work for a variety of customers, including valve liners for Castle, 9F and Black 5 locomotives and other components are all taking place or will commence shortly.  

Click on the gallery to see larger images and photo credits.

Turnaround for LMS wheelchair coach

A significant milestone was reached on 19 December when Porthole Brake 26921 was taken for turning to Kidderminster from the Bridgnorth cattle-dock carriage-repair siding.  

Owned by SVR (Holdings) Plc, 26921 is one of three porthole brakes on the SVR but hasn’t run in service for more than 30 years. However, work has been progressing to restore it to working order, including remodelling the former guard’s van area into a wheelchair-accessible saloon with disability lavatory and two-and-a-half LMS open-style seating bays. 

When the remodelling of the compartment-side bodywork had been completed, 26921 made the journey to Kidderminster to be turned on the turntable so that volunteers could have access to the opposite side when the coach returned to Bridgnorth. Moving 26921 required a certain amount of preparation, as Hugh McQuade of Kidderminster Carriage and Wagon explained: 


“To move vehicles in and out of the cattle dock, it is first necessary to put the replica of 1802 locomotive ‘Catch-Me-Who-Can’ out of the way. This was done the previous weekend, using a special tow bar attached to the resident 08 shunter. That left the way clear the following Tuesday for easy access to 26921, which was taken to Kidderminster by the class 33 diesel with the Southern Railway goods brake.” 


From this point, the process was a smooth one, and after turning, 26921 is now ready for its second side to be rebuilt during 2024. This work is being carried out by Bridgnorth volunteers with funding assistance from the SVR Charitable Trust.  

Click on the gallery to see larger images and photo credits.

Special delivery for the Hydroshunter project

A rather unusual load arrived at Kidderminster recently – the 3.5 tonne steel baseplate that’s destined as a key component in the Harrier Hydroshunter project. 

This project is a joint venture between the SVR and Vanguard Sustainable Transport Solutions, based at the University of Birmingham, and will see the creation of the Uk’s first-ever conversion of a diesel shunter to run on hydrogen power. It’s a ground-breaking initiative and aims to help reduce the railway’s carbon footprint.  

“The baseplate will form the foundation for the hydrogen power system,” explained Vanguard’s project manager, Ben Aitken. “Having this on site represents a big milestone, and we were delighted to capture the occasion on camera as it was transferred to the diesel depot where the project is based. 

“In the coming months we’ll be building up the vehicle’s battery and some of the more heavy-duty electrical equipment, and craning the battery into position. Keep a close watch on the SVR’s YouTube channel for more updates!” 

A group of young SVR volunteers based at the Diesel Depot continues to play a huge role in bringing this project to fruition.   

Other news

Join the SVR’s table at the Visit Worcestershire awards!

There‘s still chance to add your name to the ballot for a complimentary evening at this year’s glittering Visit Worcestershire awards. 

The SVR has been shortlisted as a finalist in the Large Visitor Attraction category, and the winners in all categories will be announced at Ombersley Court in Worcestershire on Friday 15 March. 

The evening starts with a drinks reception with canapés, followed by a two-course menu, table wine and entertainment. Guests are asked to ‘dress to impress’, and free mini-bus transport is available to and from the event, with pick-up points at Bridgnorth and Kidderminster stations. 

A link to the ballot entry form was sent out in a recent NBI from SVR Company Limited chairman Diane Malyon. The SVR Company Limited is funding the table and there are places for six volunteers to attend. 

The deadline for entries is 5pm Friday 16 February, and the lucky winners will be contacted on Monday 19th.  

v1 8th February

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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.

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