Fifty years since the first Severn Valley engine arrived at Bridgnorth

EARLY volunteers at the Severn Valley Railway have been remembering the 50th anniversary of the arrival of the first locomotive on the line.

Having run round its train after arrival, Collett 0-6-0 No. 3205 stands at Bridgnorth station on March 25, 1967, the day it became the first steam locomotive to arrive on the embryonic Severn Valley Railway. SVR

March 25 was exactly 50 years since GWR 0-6-0 No. 3205 steamed into Bridgnorth’s Platform 2, the first train at the station since the line was closed by Dr Richard Beeching four years earlier in 1963.

The engine’s long journey from Buckfastleigh on the nascent Dart Valley Railway to Stourbridge began in February 1967 when it was diesel-hauled to Stourbridge and prepared to travel 30 miles, under its own steam, into Bridgnorth the following month.

Driven by Cyril Williams from Stourbridge and John Hill of Tyseley and fired by Gerry Carter, the gleaming engine steamed tender first into the platform just after midday where the train crew was met by the Mayor of Bridgnorth.

The event drew crowds of thousands over a three-day celebration with the engine and two coaches making trips from Bridgnorth to Oldbury Viaduct.

The arrival of No. 3205 came less than two years after the inauguration of the Severn Valley Railway Society and its arrival helped the Society meet its fundraising target of £25,000, funds needed to buy and restore the 6½-mile track between Bridgnorth and Hampton Loade.

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