Award kicks off SVR autumn steam gala

THE return of the Severn Valley Railway’s popular autumn steam gala got off to a flying start – with the announcement that the heritage line had scooped a major local tourist award.

The railway was named Best Visitor Attraction 2017 in the Visit Worcestershire Awards for Excellence, which aims to highlight the best tourism businesses in the county and celebrate what makes it a wonderful destination for visitors.

SR Schools 4-4-0 No. 926 Repton and GER Y14 0-6-0 No. 564 at Bridgnorth shed on the evening of September 24. JOHN TITLOW

There was another big boost for the line. With just over one month to go until the Bridgnorth Development Project share offer campaign closes, project teams took to the platforms and sold more than £10,000 of shares during the gala. The figure brings the SVR ever-closer to its £2.5million target to transform Bridgnorth station.

Furthermore, Arley station staff gathered to unveil a new plaque, marking its Volunteers Award 2016 from the National Railway Heritage Awards.

Around 6000 passengers were carried during the September 21-24 gala, slightly down on the 2015 figure. Velo, a big cycling event in the county on the Sunday, which closed several roads around Kidderminster, may have had an impact.

Last year’s autumn gala was cancelled to make way for the Pacific Power event starring A3 No. 60103 Flying Scotsman and A1 No. 60163 Tornado.

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