John Speller's Web Pages Severn Valley Railway

John Speller's Web Pages - GWR Narrow Gauge

Severn Valley Railway
The Severn Valley Railway was authorized under an Act of 20 August 1853 to build a 40-mile single-line railway from Hartlebury on the Oxford,Worcester & Wolverhampton line, to Shrewsbury. There was also a connection allowing access to Kidderminster, where in later years most of the trains terminated. Constuction did not start until 1858, by which time the Great Western Railway had taken charge, and the line opened on 1 February 1862. The line connected with trains from Wellington (Salop)via Much Wenlock to Craven Arms at Buildwas Junction. Although it provided a useful short-cut between Worcester and Shrewsbury, traffic on the line was always light and the line was scheduled for closure even before the Beeching Axe, and passenger service was withdrawn in 1963. Goods services were withdrawn piecemeal between 1965 and 1970. The 16 miles of line between Kidderminster and Bridgnorth then took on a new lease on life as a Heritage Railway. Under the auspices of the new Severn Valley Railway services began in 1970 from Bridgnorth to Hampton Loade, extending to Bewdley in 1974 and Kidderminster in 1984. The company has now built its own interchange station -- a fine neo-Victorian structure with glass roof -- at Kidderminster Town, next to the original main-line station. Violent thurderstorms on the evening of 19 June 2007 caused 2,500,000 worth of damage to the line, including washing away whole sections and causing landslips, but this damage has fortunately been made good. The line celebrated its 150th. anniversary in 2012. A good impression of the line in 2015 may be obtained from this video.
Map of the Severn Valley Railway and connections
Postcard view of Bewdley station in around 1905
Collett "56xx" Class 0-6-2T No. 6695 passing over the Victoria Bridge on 5 March 2010. The 200 ft. bridge over the River Severn between Arley and Bridgnorth was designed by Sr John Fowler, and is very similar to Fowler's Edward Albert bridge over the Severn at Coalbrookdale. Image copyright Duncan Harris and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
Severn Valley auto-train behind Collett "64xx" 0-6-0PT No. 6424 amid the neo-Tudor half-timbered splendor of Kidderminster station on 26 August 1963. Image copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
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