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Severn Valley Railway gearing up for Easter reopening


6960 Raveningham Hall runs through Arley.
6960 Raveningham Hall runs through Arley. Photo: John Titlow

Severn Valley Railway has announced that the railway will reopen to visitors for Easter.

From April 2, rail enthusiasts will once again be able to travel along the historic Severn Valley Railway.

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Mark space in your calendars for two special events in the first couple of months of reopening, which will appeal to heritage rail enthusiasts.

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Taw Valley crosses Oldbury viaduct with the 1515 Bridgnorth to Kidderminster
Taw Valley crosses Oldbury viaduct with the 1515 Bridgnorth to Kidderminster Photo: Ian Murray

Spring Steam Up

Severn Valley Railway’s first event is the four-day Spring Steam Up, with the chance to clock up 96 miles of steam travel behind SEVEN different locomotives.

The event begins from April 15, and tickets for the day enables visitors to enjoy three round trips of the line, with each leg of the journey hauled by a different locomotive, including one double headed leg.

With some clever planning, visitors will be able to ride behind every locomotive running on that day. The fleet for the event will be made up of seven Seven Valley Railway locomotives and one VIP guest star locomotive, which will be announced soon.

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This will be one of the final showcase appearances for No. 6960 Raveningham Hall, before the locomotive is withdrawn from service pending overhaul.

Spring Diesel Bash

The Severn Valley Railway’s Spring Diesel Bash will run for four days from May 13. The packed timetable will showcase the best of the railway’s diesel fleet. Tickets for this event are expected to go on sale in the coming weeks.

Following a sell-out Christmas season, the railway will continue its hugely popular excursion trains from April 2, too.

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The services include two departures from Kidderminster and one from Bridgnorth on most days. The Explorer, Flyer and Adventurer offer a full day out on steam-hauled services, while diesel fans can enjoy the extremely popular Pioneer service, which returns on selected dates.

For the first time since March 2020 Hampton Loade and Arley stations will be reopened to serve The Explorer. Departing from Kidderminster, this excursion visits every station on the line on its journey to Bridgnorth.

Coronavirus guarantee

Acting in accordance with government guidelines since their closure, station teams at Arley and Hampton Loade have been busy keeping these historic stations in peak condition ready for the return of passengers.

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Whilst the stations are not open to the general public, those who book onto The Explorer will be granted exclusive access.

Helen Smith, the general manager, said: “We’re really looking forward to our spring reopening and welcoming visitors back, in line with government restrictions. We’ve put a huge amount of effort into planning an itinerary of named trains and special events to start our 2021 season.

“We’re particularly pleased to be able to offer two large events for our enthusiast visitors, who we know are keen to get back to the railway. It is very important to the Severn Valley Railway to be able to offer these events, as a thank you to our loyal followers who have supported us throughout these trying times.”

“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 practises meant they could relax and enjoy their day, certain that we were looking after their safety.”

To ensure passengers can book with confidence, the railway 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.

Tickets for services in April, May and June and the Spring Steam Up event go on sale at 9.30am on Friday, January 30 at www.svr.co.uk.

Alternatively, customers can call 01562 757900 to book.

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