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Rail Around Birmingham
& the West Midlands

Rail Around Birmingham & the West Midlands

 

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Severn Valley Railway loco plate
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Severn Valley Railway


Severn Valley Railway map
(Click on the map to navigate to Severn Valley Railway station pages)

It was not my original intention when planning this site to include the Severn Valley Railway as my primary concern was with the changing face of 'public' railways in the region of study and not on an unnatural 'time capsule' of railway history. However, as the site has grown I decided to take a look at the Severn Valley Railway afresh and decided it would be a useful addition to this site.

The railway itself was an independent concern opening in 1862 only to be absorbed some ten years later by the GWR. It originally ran between Hartlebury (originally known as Hartlebury Junction when the Severn Valley Railway branched off the OWWR/GWR line there) and Shrewsbury. Full passenger services were withdrawn in 1963 although a limited service operated as late as 1969 between Bewdley and Kidderminster.

The Severn Valley Railway, however, has survived due to the efforts of enthusiasts who purchased a significant part of the route in stages from 1967 onwards with the first passenger services being run in 1970. The railway is still a work-in-progress with the section from Bewdley to Kidderminster only being reopened in 1984 (interestingly, that section was originally completed some time after the rest of the line). The railway operates throughout the year as a passenger service with largely steam hauled trains. However, classic diesel locos can also be seen regularly as well as 'visiting' locos. In addition, special events are held throughout the year. However, not all the original Stations/halts have been reopened on the line: Foley Park Halt, Rifle Range Halt and Eardington station have not, although in the case of the latter the structure is preserved and sees occasional use, been taken-on by the Severn Valley Railway for passenger services. Furthermore, the preserved Severn Valley Railway now only covers part of the original line between Kidderminster and Bridgnorth.

The most striking thing about the railway, as far as I am concerned, is the attention to detail paid to each station. The fixtures, fittings, and in some cases structures, have been obtained from sources throughout the country so the railway is not a true reflection of the line as it was during its heyday, but it offers a fantastic opportunity to get the 'feel' of the bygone steam era and I would highly recommend a visit (or two!). For more detailed information, check out the Severn Valley Railway's website here.


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