Severn Valley runs £10 Special Train to aid Stricken Heritage Line

Severn Valley runs £10 Special Train to aid Stricken Heritage Line

THE SEVERN Valley Railway, floored by severe flooding in 2007 and forced to substantially rebuild much of its 16-mile line between Kidderminster and Bridgnorth, is helping another steam ‘heritage’ railway to get back on its feet, after an embankment collapse in January which cut the line in two.

The entire proceeds from a fund-raising special train being run from Kidderminster by the SVR this coming Wednesday, June 1st, are to be donated to the appeal fund opened by the Gloucestershire-Warwickshire Steam Railway, in the wake of the major subsidence on its line at Winchcombe, Gloucestershire, which is preventing trains from running between its headquarters station at Toddington, and Cheltenham Racecourse station, the line’s southern terminus.

The landslip was the second to hit the Gloucestershire-Warwickshire Railway in nine months, following an earlier subsidence four miles further south, at Gotherington, in April 2010. The GWSR had raised only about a quarter of the £1 million needed for those repairs, when the second landslip occurred, adding a further £450,000 to the repair bill.

Remembering only too well the dark days of June and July 2007 when devastating floods washed away four major sections of its own line on the 12 mile section between Bridgnorth and Bewdley, causing more than £3.5 million worth of damage, the Severn Valley Railway’s special fundraising train next Wednesday could swell the GWSR kitty by several thousands of pounds.

Said SVR Visitor Services Manager David Mee today: “We have been in this boat.  Although the devastation we suffered in 2007 was over a substantially longer section of railway, the impact on the Gloucestershire-Warwickshire line is very similar – the railway is facing the most daunting costs for rebuilding and can only operate a reduced service, which of course affects their incoming revenue.

“Gloucestershire-Warwickshire Railway volunteers came to our aid after the 2007 flooding, and now Wednesday’s fundraising train gives us the opportunity to repay their kindness and support.”

The SVR fundraising special - scheduled to be hauled by the Great Western 4-6-0 No.7812 Erlestoke Manor (subject to availability) – will depart Kidderminster for Bridgnorth at 11.05am on Wednesday, and will lay over at Highley for some 2½
hours on the outward journey, to allow passengers to visit The Engine House Visitor Centre. Arrival at Bridgnorth is timed for 2.47pm, and the train departs from there at 3.35pm, arriving back at Kidderminster at  4.26pm.

The ‘flat fare’ price of £10 (all classes) represents a £6 saving on the normal adult return fare.

Date Posted: 27th May 2011

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