top of page
SVR logo (1).png

May 2024

1369 pulls the goods train up the bank at Eardington, just as the sun was starting to set.
1369 pulls the goods train up the bank at Eardington, just as the sun was starting to set. Friday 19 April 2024. ROBERT BATTY 

Welcome to your latest edition of Express Points!

As we go to press, the Railway is in great fettle, following a very successful Spring Steam Gala and a busy early-May Bank Holiday weekend. It’s been wonderful to see the place so alive, especially as we move towards the main part of the 2024 season. Preparations are now well underway for the Spring Diesel Festival, which promises a full and varied timetable and plenty of exciting guest locomotives alongside the SVR’s superb home-based fleet. 

We have details of the SVR’s Supporters’ Day and how to get tickets – this is a special day, to say thank you for the unstinting support that’s been shown over the past few difficult years. A big demand for places is expected and a great day out guaranteed.


If you’ve already picked up on the news of the break-in at Eardington station, you will have been as shocked as we were. We have an update from the SVR’s smallest station, which has been rocked by the recent theft, but is now heartened by the support that’s pouring in. 

There’s a report on the Spring Steam Gala, news of another award for the SVR and an account of the recent corporate day held by Network Rail on SVR metals. Plus plenty more from across the 16 miles of the SVR.  

Lesley Carr, editor

The Express Points team is Lesley Carr, Karen Crick, Amy Baker, Dave Redbourne, 

Pete Cherry and Nicola Fox.

Next edition Thursday 13th June

What's new?

Tickets for the SVR Supporters’ Day in June

A busy platform at the Spring Steam Gala STEPHEN THOMAS.jpg

The Railway will be open exclusively and free-of-charge to its close supporters on 21 June, the day before the Annual General Meeting of SVR (Holdings) Plc.  

Managing director Gus Dunster explained, “This is to express our gratitude to those who’ve stuck by the SVR’s side through the turbulent past few years, and during the challenges we continue to face. On the day, you’ll have the chance to travel the line on steam- and diesel-hauled services, and book onto behind-the-scenes tours.” 

Tickets will be complimentary and available only to shareholders, members, working members, and patrons or guardians of the SVR Charitable Trust. Each entitled person/couple/family will be able to bring one guest only, and places must be pre-booked, in order to prevent overcrowding.

Bookings open at 10am next Monday, 13 May. So if you are an SVR shareholder, member, working member or a patron (regular giver) or guardian (legacy pledger) of the SVR Charitable Trust, please visit and follow the instructions to secure your tickets.   

A busy platform at the Spring Steam Gala. STEPHEN THOMAS

Heartwarming response to heartbreaking theft

On Tuesday 16 April, Eardington’s stationmaster Steve Downs discovered that the station had been the target of a raid, which has left volunteers at the SVR’s smallest station devastated.  

Intruders had forced the door of the tiny station’s lamp room and taken up to a dozen lamps, a cast iron door sign, some polished brass oil cans, a milk churn and an enameled advertising sign. One very personal loss was the theft of volunteer lamp-man Phil Harris’ toolbox. Phil said: 

“This had something like 20 years’ worth of accumulated spare parts, and special tools that I’ll find very difficult to replace. Whoever took this has no concept of the upset this has caused the team here at Eardington. 

“We’ve lavished so much care and attention on this, and to have somebody come and do this, well, it’s shocking. Plus, by taking my toolbox, you’ve taken away my ability to carry on my job.”  

Following the theft, the police have been informed, and and all the stolen items have been listed on the HOPS Stolen Items Register, with photographs widely circulated to relevant organisations and social media groups. Local, national and heritage rail media have covered the news, and this has led to a phenomenal response from SVR supporters and the wider public. Phil said: 


"Several people have got in touch with the SVR via the website contact form, offering to donate lamps and other items, particularly tools. SVR HQ were most efficient in forwarding the enquiries to me, and I have since spoken to or emailed every potential donor. Clearly, people were as shocked as we were by the theft. The story has resonated with many, and I am overwhelmed by people's kindness and would like to thank everyone for their generosity."  

Eardington stationmaster Steve Downs was also delighted to receive messages from other preserved railways:  

"Many expressions of support and offers of help have come in from a number of sources, including other railways, and it just goes to show how the heritage railway movement is willing to share resources and help others in times of need." 

The station’s volunteer team have now made significant security improvements at the station, following Police advice, and their investigations into the theft are ongoing. Anyone with information that could lead to the recovery of any of these items can contact West Mercia Police using Crime Number 22/33309/24, or get in touch with Steve directly at  

Phil Harris in the now depleted lamp room at Eardington station. LESLEY CARR

Phil Harris in the now depleted lamp room at Eardington station LESLEY CARR.jpg
Eardington - STOLEN lantern.jpg

Springing back in style at Steam Gala 

Delighted passengers, an array of motive power and an intensive timetable; all features of the SVR’s Spring Steam Gala, which took place between 18 and 21 April. 


Sadly, after several days of delighting the crowds, Stanier Mogul 13268 failed in the earlier hours of Sunday morning and was unable to appear on the final gala day. In his article 'A pain in the ash pan' which appears later in Express Points, Martin White gives a full explanation of what happened.   

However, as always ,SVR staff and volunteers rose to this and other challenges during the four days to deliver a highly successful event. Manager Director Gus Dunster said: 

“This was another excellent event, showing our Railway at its very best once again. I received so many complimentary comments both online and face-to-face while I was around the Railway during the four days of the Gala. These have been from visitors, including a great many who are also volunteers at other railways, which is a wonderful compliment. 

“My thanks to everyone involved in planning and delivery of the gala; despite the challenges presented in recent weeks, and in the few days leading up to our event, once again we’ve shown why the SVR is the finest UK heritage railway. 

“With almost 4,700 people coming for the event, passenger figures and secondary spend were very good, especially on the Saturday.” 

The SVR’s next dedicated steam event is the Autumn Steam Gala, scheduled to take place 19 -22 September.  

Click on the gallery for larger images and descriptions.

SVR wins UK Transport Award 

The SVR has won a  UK Transport  Award as the Best Regional Heritage Railway Attraction for 2024. 


The UK Transport Awards are run by SME News, a quarterly digital publication aimed at small-to-medium businesses. They are given to commend companies that show ingenuity, hard work, and distinguish themselves from their competitors. Managing director Gus Dunster said: 


“We’re delighted that the SVR has added another award to its trophy cabinet. Our April Spring Steam Gala showed just how well we can do things here, and the feedback from our visitors has been hugely positive.  

“Running a heritage railway attraction is very much a balancing act. You have to make sure visitors have an excellent experience, so they’ll not only return but also tell their friends to come. And you’ve got to do it in a way that’s financially sustainable. We work hard to get that balance right.” 

SVR wins UK Transport Award SVR.jpg

The UK Transport Awards coordinator Jack Ford added:  

“Changing oneself to meet the ever-changing needs of such a versatile industry is no easy feat. The demand for such flexibility creates an expectation that anybody would struggle to meet. Thankfully, our awardees have onboarded the responsibility, and have developed award-winning methodologies that may very well define the future of the trade.”  

Network Rail board visits the SVR 

Network Rails corporate day at the SVR LESLEY CARR.jpg

Network Rail’s board of directors spent a day at the Railway last week, travelling the length of the line and seeing behind the scenes to get a better understanding of how a heritage railway operates and the challenges it faces. 

The visit also meant an opportunity to strengthen the already well-established relationship between the Severn Valley Railway and Network Rail, following the joint signing of a landmark collaboration and partnership agreement between the two organisations last September. 

“The fact that Network Rail’s board has chosen to spend a full day out on the Valley is extremely gratifying,” said SVR managing director Gus Dunster. “Of course, we’ve welcomed them here before, and, as always, it was a complete pleasure.   

“The SVR has already reaped significant benefits from the partnership we have with Network Rail. For example, they provided some surplus track and pointwork from their Brownhills site, which we recently installed at Bridgnorth Yard during the latest phase of our improvement work there, saving us a significant sum. 

“Last month, NR drone operators were on site, and they completed a survey of the ‘Pickfords’ building at Kidderminster for us, to identify potential issues. There are definitely more opportunities on the horizon, and we’re delighted with how the partnership is progressing.”  

Network Rail's corporate day at the SVR.   LESLEY CARR

What's coming up?

Bumper roster for Spring Diesel Festival! 

The roster for the Spring Diesel festival, which runs 16-19 May, continues to go from strength to strength, with further guests announced.  


The Railway recently announced that Colas have agreed to the use of their HST set, which consists of power cars 43301 and 43303 and three coaches. This will run on local services during the four-day event. 


In addition to this, a further pair of Class 20 diesel electric locomotives, owned by Michael Owen, will now appear at the event, to complement the already-announced pair and single locomotive from the same class. This will allow two pairs of Class 20s to haul full-line services and one single locomotive rostered on local services. The locomotives concerned are 20205, 20007, 20048, 20189 and 20142.  


Commenting on the recent guest announcements, managing director Gus Dunster said: 


“This really is an impressive and substantial line-up, and right now, we’re in a period when enthusiast interest in HSTs is at an all-time high. It’s fair to say that the Colas set has a particular rarity value for diesel enthusiasts, as it’s generally used for test-train duties on the main line and it’s pretty much unheard of for it to carry passengers. It’s a real privilege to have this at our event and we’re very grateful to Colas for agreeing to its appearance.  

“We’re also delighted that Michael Owen has agreed to a further pair of Class 20s appearing at the Spring Diesel Festival and are grateful for his support for our event. Working as a pair, they’ll be ideal to haul full passenger trains at the Festival, and we look forward to hearing their distinctive helicopter-like sound across the Valley, reminding us why they are nicknamed ‘choppers’.” 

In other diesel festival news, the previously announced Colas Class 70 can no longer attend, but Colas are hoping to send another member of their fleet in its stead, which will be announced in due course.  

The full and exciting line up as well as options to book tickets can be found at and the event timetable can also be downloaded there!  

Rail Adventure power cars at the SVR's May 2023 Spring Diesel Festival. DAVID BISSETT

Colas HST power car 43301. MATT ROBINSON

Happy birthday, Hagley Hall! 

4930 Hagley Hall approaching Bewdley in 2022 credit Anthony Carwithen.jpg

This month sees the 95th birthday of 4930 ‘Hagley Hall’. To mark this, the SVR are running first-class afternoon tea services on the 25 and 26 May.  


Originally built at Swindon works as one of many Hall Class locomotives, ‘Hagley Hall’ entered traffic in May 1929 and spent its working life for the GWR (and later BR) carrying out a variety of both passenger and freight duties throughout a career that ended under BR in December 1963.  


The locomotive was fortunate enough to be sold to the famous Woodham’s scrapyard in Barry from where it was purchased for preservation in 1972.


Following restoration, it entered service in 1979 and worked on both SVR and mainline metals until withdrawal in 1986.   

Decades on static display followed, but with the help of the ‘Friends of Locomotive 4930 Hagley Hall’ and the SVR Charitable Trust, the completion of a lengthy £1.3m overhaul saw the locomotive’s triumphant return in 2022.  


This year also marks the 40th anniversary of the opening of the SVR’s new Kidderminster Town station, with the official opening train for this headed by none other than Hagley Hall! 


The special celebratory services will see passengers enjoy first-class travel in style in luxurious vintage carriages. Here they can indulge in a glass of bubbly and a delectable spread of sandwiches, cakes, tea, and coffee, all beautifully presented on traditional vintage chinaware and served directly to their table. Tables can be booked for two or four. Booking onto this service includes a Freedom of the Line ticket for unlimited travel all day.  


For more information on times of services and to book, visit  

4930 'Hagley Hall' approaching Bewdley.   ANTHONY CARWITHEN

Drive a train this summer 

If you’ve always dreamt of driving a train, an SVR Footplate Experience is your chance to make your wish come true!  The summer programme of Footplate Experiences runs on selected dates from Friday 7 June, with the opportunity to drive steam or diesel locomotives. 

Expert volunteers will welcome you on board and ‘show you the ropes’ before letting you experience the wonders of driving a steam locomotive or heritage diesel. 

There are four packages to choose from, and up to 10 friends and family members can travel on the train as well. Footplate Experiences are a popular choice, and some dates are already fully booked, so to find out more, click below and make a booking soon! 

Footplate Experiences - Steam | Severn Valley Railway ( 

Footplate Experience - Diesel | Severn Valley Railway (  


Half-term fun at the SVR’s Brick Live™ event

216_Brick Ocean MayFINAL.jpg

The Railway is ready for a week of spring half-term fun, with daily steam and diesel services and an amazing ocean-themed Brick Live™ event at The Engine House, running from Saturday 25 May to Sunday 2 June.  

Spring has well and truly sprung along the Severn Valley, with striking green and yellow fIelds and lots of bluebells in flower along the route.  

Children and grandchildren will want to make a beeline for The Engine House at Highley, where 18 Brick Live™ installations are on display, including an octopus, parrot fish, turtle and large squid. Each one is hand-built, using thousands of bricks. 

Families can also let off steam in the outdoor play area, or get hands-on sorting mail in the Travelling Post Office. Entry to The Engine House is free, but parking is limited, so the best way to get there is by heritage train. 

Along the line, the cafes, refreshment kiosks and gift shops will be open for treats and snacks to enjoy during a visit. 

Starting from this week, Wednesday 8 May, the Railway will be open Wednesdays and Thursdays, and even more days for school holidays and special events.

Plan your visit at   

June visit for Hey Duggee

There’ll be plenty of family fun at the Railway on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 June, with appearances from the energetic and much-loved TV character Hey Duggee. 

Families can take an exciting heritage train ride out to The Engine House, Highley and see Duggee, who will be appearing at regular intervals throughout the day. 

Lewis Maddox, visitor engagement manager said: “This will be the first-ever appearance at the SVR for Hey Duggee, and we can’t wait to see him. This is a chance for parents and grandparents to create special memories with their young ones as they travel on board a heritage train to The Engine House, Highley, where Duggee will be waiting to meet them in their pre-booked time slot. It’s going to be a fantastic photo opportunity!” 

Visitors can pre-book train tickets, and make their journey from either Kidderminster or Bridgnorth. Tickets include reserved seats on a heritage train and timed entry tickets to see Hey Duggee at The Engine House, Highley. Families can travel back on a train of their choice, with unreserved seating. 

As well as meeting Duggee at The Engine House, there are plenty of other fun activities to keep everyone entertained. Children can let off steam in the outdoor play area or get hands-on sorting mail in the Travelling Post Office. There will also be magic shows throughout the day and mini-golf for all the family to enjoy. 

For more information and to book tickets please visit

206_Graphics for socials-HEY DUGGEE - Square.png

Father’s Day is just around the corner

Fathers Day ideas 1.jpg

Father’s Day is on Sunday 16 June, and if you are looking to treat a loved one, the SVR has some great gift ideas. 

There’s a premium Sunday lunch train on Sunday 16 June. Departing from Kidderminster, you’ll enjoy a delicious three-course roast dinner, accommodated in a show-stopping first class carriage. This is a truly luxurious experience, provided in collaboration with the SVR’s partners at Paisley Flour, and places are limited. Book now at

The range of products at the SVR’s online shop is expanding, and there are plenty of unusual gift ideas for Father’s Day at Spring Diesel and Steam Gala items include t-shirts at £16.95, key rings at £3.95 and coasters at £4.00.  There are SVR favourites including mugs, hats and Top Trumps, and heavily reduced bargains on sale. 

But if you simply can’t decide what to buy, why not give your loved one an SVR gift voucher?  Various voucher values are available, or you can select your own at Vouchers can be redeemed for special events including the galas, or for treats such as dining experiences.  


Final call on lost keys

Two sets of keys have been languishing in the lost property box at Bridgnorth for some time, but staff at the station are certain they belong to SVR volunteers or paid staff.  


“We’ve held onto these for some time,” explained Ken Buttress, Bridgnorth’s platform inspector. “Particularly as they were found in areas only accessible to SVR staff. However, time is now running out and they’ll be heading to the scrap metal bin if they’re not claimed soon! 


“The set shown with ref 615 was found in the Bridgnorth station porters’ room a considerable time ago, but despite posting a notice on the board and colleagues asking around, particularly in MPD, they have never been claimed, despite the number of keys and the potential cost of replacement. 


“Likewise, the set ref 682 was found in a compartment of a carriage on the N1 service reserved for staff and TTIs, again some time ago. 


“If we don’t hear by Friday 31 May, it’ll be time to move these on to the scrap metal bin.” 


If the keys belong to you, please visit Bridgnorth booking office on any day when trains are running, or make alternative arrangements by emailing   

Lost keys ref 682

Lost keys ref 615

Volunteer Vacancies at the DMU Bar  

DMU sits waiting at Arley Station 7812 Earlstoke Manor with the goods service ROBERT BATTY

The class 108 DMU Bar is now fully refurbished, refreshed and ready to open for business, and the DMU Group (West Midlands) are appealing for volunteers to join the on-board team. 


They need a team of bar staff volunteers and a bar manager. DMU Group (West Midlands) Chairman James Cooper said:  


“Providing refreshments for passengers contributes to a valued part of the passenger experience and generates income for the continuous restoration and maintenance of the DMU. We need an enthusiastic team to operate the bar and are keen for whoever takes on the bar manager role to develop it to their strengths.”  

Bar staff will serve passengers, replenish bar stock, take payments and keep the bar area clean and tidy. 

The bar manager will work with and lead the bar team, co-ordinating staff via a roster, and will also manage and order stock, and keep a purchase and sales record. The manager will liaise with the DMU committee, train and develop staff, and ensure compliance with health & safety requirements.  

If you’d like to express interest or get further information on either of the roles, please contact or telephone 07791 64 8502. 

DMU sits waiting at Arley Station.   ROBERT BATTY

Express Points needs a new team member

The Express Points/Branch Lines team is looking for a volunteer to help with writing and editing articles for our monthly newsletters. 

You’ll already have some experience of writing for publication or other newsletters, along with a good level of computer literacy, an eye for potential stories and a desire to share news about everything SVR-related. Express Points, (for working members) Branch Lines for the Railway’s wider supporter base, have around 20,000 readers in total. 

The role can be carried out remotely, and you’ll be putting in around 10 -15 hours during the week or so before the newsletters publish, on the second Thursday of every month. We publish every month throughout the year. 

Please contact in the first instance, giving details of your experience, and why you would like to join the team.  

Screenshot 2024-05-07 at 14.00.55.png

In memoria

Bob Florence It is with great sadness I have to report the passing of a dear friend and colleague Robert Florence, known for 30 years on the SVR as 'Bob the Jock'. 

He came to the SVR in the early seventies as a regular in the loco department, making several visits to Barry scrapyard to secure spares and prepare locos for their journey to Bridgnorth. 

Bob became involved in the bar department, and later became a leading light in the formation of the SVR Buffet Car Fund, which facilitated the very popular Severn Valley Venturer dining car service. 

His engineering skills helped us to maintain the coaches, and he became a most competent assistant cook. 

He was a good friend and one of the people that 'made' our Severn Valley Railway. 

Bob’s funeral will take place at Walton Lea Crematorium, Warrington, WA4 6TB at 12.00 on 17 May. A video link will be provided for those unable to attend. Pete Williamson  

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

Rolling stock

A ‘pain in the ashpan’ at Bridgnorth MPD

A case of unfortunate timing at Bridgnorth Motive Power Depot, as volunteer shed master Martin White reports in his shed notes for this month: 


‘Oh well, these things happen’. That’s a phrase we have probably all uttered or heard at some point in our lives. And of course, it’s true. Unplanned events, occurrences and mishaps do occur occasionally in all walks of life.


Most of the time we take them in our stride and without too much fuss or bother.


Occasionally the circumstances of an unplanned event are such that it’s a bit more noticeable. One such example happened during the recent Spring Steam Gala, when Stanier Mogul 13268 failed to make an appearance on the Sunday, the fourth day of the event. 

13268 coming into Hampton Loade station 18th April 24 LUKE VINES.jpg

It was just one of those things. In the early hours of Sunday morning, we found that the ashpan, beneath the grate of loco had become very hot. Yes, it’s a steam loco and yes it has a very hot fire in the firebox, but the ashpan isn’t meant to get too hot. If it does, the pan can become distorted, as can the damper doors which admit air into the bottom of the grate and the hopper doors which release the ash when the locomotive is being disposed in the MPD. If the doors become distorted this can leave gaps sufficient for hot cinders to fall out, which if they land near any dry material at the lineside can be the cause of lineside fires.  

So, due to the ashpan problems and some evidence of distortion, the loco was failed and didn’t run on that Sunday. This loco, like many on the SVR, has an ashpan spray which is controlled from the footplate, which squirts water into the pan, both to cool the ashes and also to reduce dust when the ashpan is emptied. So why didn’t this stop the ash in the pan from getting too hot? The answer to this became clear when we examined the loco prior to Engineering Services staff undertaking repairs in the works at Bridgnorth. Quite simply, one of the ashpan spray heads (a pipe with small holes in it) had become smothered with ash, which prevented it from effectively spraying the contents of the ashpan. It meant a relatively straightforward modification to fabricate and install a shield/shroud, to prevent ash falling directly onto the spray head and blocking it. 


We need to bear in mind that when built, and throughout its working life, this loco, like many on the SVR, wouldn’t have had a hopper ashpan fitted nor an ashpan spray. This is a labour-saving device that we have designed and fitted, and as such there are bound to be a few teething troubles and a little trial and error. We hope this particular issue has now been resolved. As one of the Bridgnorth engineering staff said to me the week after the Gala, ‘It was nobody’s fault, these things happen’. Just a shame that it happened on a Gala weekend - Sod’s Law some might say.  

13268 comes into Hampton Loade station 18 April 24.  LUKE VINES

Taw Valley bows out 

SR WC 34027 Taw Valley running as 21C127 on Oldbury Viaduct on the 0825hrs ex Bridgnorth S

21C127 ‘Taw Valley’ has been withdrawn from service, as it prepares for its intermediate overhaul.  


The loco was due to make its final appearance at the Bank Holiday weekend 4 – 6 May but sadly, its final day in service was not quite the swansong expected, as the locomotive was failed a week earlier on 28 April, with a badly leaking regulator stuffing box.  

The problem was spotted in the morning and monitored as the locomotive entered service but later in the day 21C127 was deemed a failure as the leak was emitting a jet of steam into the fireman’s side of the cab.


Fortunately, all booked services were still able to be steam-hauled as 75069 was already in steam for a charter earlier that day.  

On further examination it was found that the gland follower nuts for 21C127’s regulator stuffing box had seized solid. 

Given that the locomotive was due to come out of the service imminently, the amount of work required to get it back running would have been uneconomical, so it was withdrawn a week early. Head of traction & rolling stock engineering Martin White said:  

“The loco was originally intended to be withdrawn after the Winter Gala but experience told us that it would be good to retain it in case a spare was needed in the early season, so despite bowing out ‘early’ it’s fair to say it fulfilled its potential.” 

This final appearance marks 21C127’s last appearance in wartime black, because after its forthcoming overhaul, the locomotive will be returned to BR Green Livery. Depending on the level of work required by the overhaul, Taw Valley is currently expected to return to service in late 2025 or early 2026.   


SR WC 34027 Taw Valley running as 21C127 on Oldbury Viaduct on the 0825 ex Bridgnorth; SVR Spring Steam Gala. KEVIN WHITEHURST

Barry coach No 163 leaves Hampton Loade

On Monday 29 April, Barry Coach No 163, which for more than 30 years has resided on an isolated piece of track at Hampton Loade, was moved onto SVR rails for the first time. This was the first stage of a journey that will result in the carriage travelling to a new home at the Gwili Railway. 

The Heritage and Museum Projects team from Allelys Heavy Haulage undertook the sideways movement of the coach onto the dock siding at Hampton Loade, using lifting jacks, trollies, and beams. Allelys have well-proven capability in this sort of work, as demonstrated when loco 82045 was moved onto the rails at Bridgnorth a few years ago. The decision to use their services this time round was taken after lengthy consideration of numerous alternative options, including the use of in-house SVR equipment and personnel.  


Known as the ‘Barry Coach’, 163’s body arrived on the SVR in 1992 and was followed later by a suitable underframe. The unification of the two, on the isolated piece of track, was accomplished using the SVR 30-ton capacity steam crane. Unfortunately, the restricted access on the site, the condition of the track and surrounding area and the total combined weight of underframe and body, meant that the steam crane could not readily undertake a lift and slew of the carriage onto the siding at Hampton Loade.  

Removal by road wasn’t possible due to the limited headroom beneath the rail bridge. An earlier assessment of the condition and configuration of the dock siding and the isolated piece of track also showed that the p-way could not be slewed sufficiently for the carriage to join the SVR by that means.  


Allelys initially aimed to lift the carriage using one of their road cranes. Measurements of the bridge height, with additional guidance from volunteer Hugh McQuade who lives locally, revealed that a clearance of just a few millimetres could be achieved, but sadly the end-on approach by the crane to the carriage, mandated by its location, meant that the crane would have insufficient lift capacity to do the job. A tandem lift, utilising an Allelys road crane and the SVR steam crane was even considered and whilst it might have been very photogenic, the complexities and risks meant that this approach was not adopted. 


And so it was that on 29th April, a relatively simple lift and slide operation took place. The only hitch that occurred was a need for the Allelys team to get more wood packing from their Studley HQ. A rail movement to Kidderminster was due to take place this week, from where the coach will leave by road transport.  

Click on the gallery for larger images and descriptions..

Bye-bye, Blue Peter! 

BLUE PETER pictured at Hagley shortly after leaving the SVR where it completed its testing

Successful testing of LNER A2 Pacific, 60532 ‘Blue Peter’ concluded in April and the locomotive has since departed for Crewe.  

While at the SVR, 60532 underwent light engine and loaded testing as well as some 'first in class' testing for ERTMS* for Network Rail at Kidderminster, and TPWS** tests. 

In addition to this, it also starred at the recent Spring Steam Gala, as a static exhibit at Kidderminster station, allowing visitors the chance for a good look at this iconic locomotive prior to its return to main-line charter services.  

On April 30, after turning on Kidderminster turntable, 60532 left SVR metals under its own power, running with a diesel locomotive for contingency and hauling its POB (private owner brake, also known as support coach).  

From its homebase at Crewe, 60532 has since begun main-line loaded testing.  


*European Rail Traffic Management System 

**Train Protection and Warning System   

'Blue Peter' pictured at Hagley shortly after leaving the SVR where it completed its testing ready for the mainline.  KEITH WILKINSON

Bluebell sojourn for 7812 and 7714 

Two SVR locomotives are currently taking a break from their SVR home base, to head south. 


As announced in January, 7812 ‘Erlestoke Manor’ is due to appear at the Bluebell Railway’s Branch Line Gala Weekend on 10-12 May, where it will be joined by fellow-GWR locomotive 7714.  

In preparation for the gala, 7812 departed the SVR on 30 April and 7714 left on 7 May; both departures were by road transport, and went without a hitch.  

Following its trip to the Bluebell Railway, 7714 will return to the SVR, while 7812 will make the journey west, to spend the summer season on hire to the West Somerset Railway.   

7714 on its way to the Bluebell by road. MARTIN WHITE.jpg

7714 on its way to the Bluebell by road. MARTIN WHITE

Other news

Model Railway weekend brings the Bank Holiday crowds

Good weather and the added attraction of a Model Railway event at The Engine House, Highley, meant a busy and buzzing early-May Bank Holiday weekend at the Railway. 

The Model-Railway event took place last Saturday and Sunday, with more than 30 layouts on display at The Engine House. 

“It was wonderful to see everyone at the event,” said visitor engagement manager Lewis Maddox. “The Engine House was very busy with passengers enjoying the miniature masterpieces and the sunny weather. It proved extremely popular, so much so that we saw a significant increase in secondary spend at The Engine House. Together, the café and shop generated around £10,000 across the two days, which is extremely good news. 

Visitor experience manager Nicky Freeman added, “In fact, sales across the whole of the Railway were strong for the entire three days of the long weekend. Our bars and buffets took around £30,000 and the shops almost £10,000! The online shop at saw a 34% increase in sales compared to the same week last year. It’s good news all round!”  

The Model Railway event at Highley Engine House. NICK WILLCOX

Afon Adit goldmine layout. NICK WILLCOX

It's all a question of perspective. The BAY layout in front of full-size locomotive No 46443.  LEWIS MADDOX 

Rush Green Colliery layout. LEWIS MADDOX

'Ciao bella!' at Bridgnorth

On Sunday 28 March, Bridgnorth station hosted an impressive gathering of Ferrari and Lamborghini supercars, as the Italian AutoMoto Club held its annual event. Previously, the event has taken place in the town’s marketplace, but this year for the first time, road and rail combined to bring some Italian style to the SVR. Feast your eyes on our gallery of photographs!  

v1 9th May 2024

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