History of the SVR
The Severn Valley Railway is a full-size standard-gauge railway line running regular steam-hauled passenger trains for the benefit of visitors and enthusiasts alike between Kidderminster in Worcestershire and Bridgnorth in Shropshire, a distance of 16 miles.
The SVR was originally in the transport business from 1862 until 1963 but, due to the advent of motorised vehicles, both freight and passenger services dwindled over the years.
The past five decades have seen the Severn Valley Railway graduate from relative obscurity to a prominent position in British railway preservation. This success is due to the efforts of a group of visionary railway enthusiasts who formed the Severn Valley Railway Society at Kidderminster in 1965, and to their successors, who have committed themselves to the preservation of the Railway ever since.
A remarkable feature of the Railway, that visitors may not readily appreciate, is that it is largely run by unpaid volunteers, of which there are around 1,500. On operating days, as many as 200 volunteers appear on the Railway to perform many tasks, including repairing and repainting stations, maintaining track and rebuilding locomotives and rolling stock, not to mention operating the trains.
Many of the trades involved require training that is provided by professionals who give their time to teach younger generations the skills needed to keep the Railway running.
The Railway continuously seeks to improve its position as a pre-eminent national and international visitor attraction as evidenced by its recent Visit England bronze award, which places it in the first three attractions in the country, in the ‘Best Tourism Experience’ category.
It is enjoyed by more than 240,000 visitors every year, and 13,316 school children benefit from learning about our railway heritage as part of our educational programmes.
Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust Ltd
Number One, Comberton Place, Kidderminster, DY10 1QR Registered Charity Number: 1092723