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Wednesday, March 29, 2023
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It’s ‘access all areas’ at the SVR’s Open House Weekend

Visitors to the Severn Valley Railway on 1st and 2nd April will be in for a real treat, when the heritage line grants ‘access all areas’ during its annual Open House Weekend.

Will Marsh machining the new coupling rod bushes for 75069. Photo:  Lesley Carr
Will Marsh machining the new coupling rod bushes for 75069. Photo: Lesley Carr

As well as the chance to experience the golden age of rail travel along the scenic line from Kidderminster to Bridgnorth, visitors will be able to get a rare peek behind the scenes to discover how the SVR’s volunteers and staff make the magic happen.

Find out how carriages are prepared for service, how skilled engineers build and repair steam locomotives, as well as venturing deep inside the normally off-limits areas of the carriage works at Kidderminster and the locomotive shed and machine shop at Bridgnorth.

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In The Engine House Visitor Centre at Highley, there’s a fleet of ‘resting’ engines on display waiting to be discovered, along with the Royal Saloon and the travelling post office.

Volunteer guides will be on hand to share their passion and unlock the hidden history of the SVR, and there’s the chance to win a footplate ride by entering a raffle!

And if that’s not enough, how about visiting the cab of a diesel loco, peeking inside one of the railway’s signal boxes or taking a thrilling ride in a brake van? Who knows, you might even catch a glimpse at Bridgnorth of the railway’s famous former’ purple loco’ that’s just been repainted into a stunning wartime black livery?

“Open House Weekend is an absolute must for those who want to discover more about what makes the SVR tick,” said Michael Dunn, head of commercial and visitor services. “It’s packed with fascinating opportunities to see what really goes into making a heritage railway run. Everything is included in your ticket price, although donations for guided tours and the brake van rides will be very welcome!”

Open House Weekend on 1st and 2nd April also sees SVR services running the full length of the line between Kidderminster and Bridgnorth for the first time this season. During March, services were restricted between Kidderminster and Highley because of engineering works.

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