SVR trust provides more than £130,000 for two major projects
The Severn Valley Railway has been awarded more than £130,000 by its charitable trust towards two major projects at the heritage steam attraction.
The grant, totalling £132,000, is for repairs to a serious landslip at Sterns between Highley and Bridgnorth, and to complete the restoration of the GWR Hawksworth coach 2242.
The trust said that if the landslip was left unchecked it would result in the closure of the line to passenger trains.
It has agreed to fund a vital £120,000 project already underway to stabilise the land by installing a drainage system to direct water away from the line.
The trust’s director of development Shelagh Paterson said: "We are delighted to be able to fund these two projects, thanks to the generosity of our donors. One will ensure the continued safe operation of the railway, and the other will extend its accessibility to all members of the community.”
SVR infrastructure manager, Chris Bond, said: “We are hugely grateful to the charitable trust. Without this project there would be a likelihood that we would have to cease passenger trains between Highley and Bridgnorth once the winter weather returns.
"That would have isolated the engineering hub at Bridgnorth from the rest of the railway, which in the current circumstances could have been catastrophic for the financial viability of the SVR. The stabilisation of the area will maintain the required safety and permit full line journeys to be maintained.”
The rest of the cash will fund the introduction of Great Western designed coach No 2242 into use which will accommodate prams, bicycles and other large equipment next year.
The coach, Hawksworth Large Brake Third No 2242, was purchased by the Great Western (Severn Valley Railway) Association from the estate of the late Dennis Howells.
The association has already funded a mechanical overhaul in the railway’s workshops and the new grant will complete the scheme.
Managers at the attraction said it is not expected see a return to sustainable levels of passenger revenue until well into next year.
The SVR’s Fight Back Fund appeal has raised more than £800,000 and it has received an emergency grant of £250,000 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.