The Severn Valley Railway is preparing to reopen at Easter with visitors once again able to travel through the Shropshire and Worcestershire countryside.
From April 2nd, visitors can step back in time to the golden age of heritage rail, and celebrate the start of the SVR’s 2021 season.
Following a successful run of services in 2020, including a sell-out Christmas season, the railway will continue its hugely popular excursion trains that were so well received by visitors last year. A day full of adventure awaits as The Explorer, Flyer and Adventurer return for 2021, updated to offer visitors new experiences and locations to explore.
Starting in time for Easter, there will be two excursions from Kidderminster and one from Bridgnorth on all normal operating days, with extra services added from the end of April, including the return of the very popular diesel Pioneer service on selected dates. In addition, Easter activities, including a giant Easter Egg Hunt along the line, will provide families with some fun and challenge as they travel.
The Adventurer departs from Bridgnorth, towards Kidderminster with the option to explore The Engine House Visitor Centre at Highley, home to the reserve collection of full-size steam locomotives. At the other end of the line, The Explorer departs Kidderminster, for Bridgnorth, visiting each station on the line throughout the day, offering visitors the chance to visit Arley and Hampton Loade stations for the first time since the railway closed for the first lockdown in March last year.
The Flyer offers a slightly shorter day out, departing Kidderminster for a visit to The Engine House before heading to Bridgnorth to explore the beautiful Shropshire town, ending with the return journey to Kidderminster.
Internal combustion fans will also be happy to see the return of the diesel-hauled service, The Pioneer, which will run on selected days.
In addition, two special events are planned during April and May. First up is the Spring Steam Up, a four-day event from April 15th, with the opportunity to clock up 96 miles of steam travel behind seven different locomotives, including a special VIP guest loco that will be announced very soon. This will be one of the final showcase appearances for No 6960 Raveningham Hall, before the popular locomotive is withdrawn from service pending overhaul.
And starting on May 13th, the four-day Spring Diesel Bash event will showcase the best of the Severn Valley Railway’s diesel fleet, again offering the chance to clock up 96 valuable diesel miles. Tickets for this event will be on sale in the coming weeks.
Helen Smith, the railway’s general manager, said: “We are really looking forward to welcoming visitors back this spring, in line with government restrictions. Following the fantastic feedback we received from passengers who travelled on our excursion trains in 2020, we have put a huge amount of effort into planning an itinerary of named trains and special events to start our 2021 season. The different journey options have been lovingly created to offer a range of days out that are not only exciting, but also safe, for our visitors.
“We’re taking every care to ensure we can operate in a COVID-secure way, using tried and tested methods, including private compartments, complimentary hand sanitiser and social distancing measures on platforms. We know from the feedback from passengers in 2020 that our practices meant they could relax and enjoy their day, certain that we were looking after their safety.”
To ensure passengers can book with confidence, the SVR is backing every ticket with a COVID Guarantee, so that ticket holders can transfer to an equivalent event or date, or receive a full refund. The offer applies should the railway cancel the event, Government restrictions prevent the ticket holder from travelling, or a member of the party tests COVID-19 positive or is required to isolate.