Visitors to the Severn Valley Railway to get a glimpse into the past

Visitors to the Severn Valley Railway this half-term holiday will be the first to see an exciting and innovative ‘mobile’ exhibition that lifts the lid on the fascinating history of the 158-year-old line.

It’s housed inside a specially-adapted brake van, No 2886, stationed alongside a loading dock at Kidderminster station. Beautifully restored last year by experts in the SVR’s workshops, the van, affectionately known as the Stove R, now contains interactive exhibits with the sounds, sights and smells of the railway over the years. 

Visitors get a glimpse into the lives of a series of characters associated with the SVR, through voice recordings and diary entries.

The Engine House visitor centre at Highley goes even deeper into the lives of SVR folk over the centuries. Full size totem characters give a rich insight into their experiences; visitors can meet Sarah Woodward, a businesswoman who built her fortunes on the railway’s arrival, and Edward Wilson, the engineer who designed Falling Sands viaduct at Kidderminster.

There’s the chance for young children to build their own viaduct, and try out being a navvy, transporting rocks with a shovel and wheelbarrow. 

For half term week, there’s a bat trail around The Engine House which youngsters can follow to discover lots of fascinating facts about the history of the railway. Helen Smith, the railway’s general manager is looking forward to it all:

“We’re getting ready to welcome thousands of visitors to the SVR this half-term, and our carefully designed excursion trips mean a full day of fun for everyone.

“We’re especially pleased to be able to launch the Stove R mobile exhibition this month, and think this is going to be a real hit with everyone who wants to know more about the history and background of our heritage railway.”

The exciting new exhibitions have been made possible by funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, as part of a £1.3 million project to restore the SVR’s Falling Sands viaduct. Work on the viaduct itself continues, as contractors use rope access equipment to repair the brickwork and repoint the mortar on the outside of the structure.

Entry to both the Stove R mobile exhibition at Kidderminster and The Engine House at Highley is included within the ticket price, and half term services run daily from Friday 23rd October to Monday 2ndNovember. The SVR is running a number of special day excursion trains, departing from either Kidderminster or Bridgnorth, and travel is mostly within private compartment carriages, to enable social distancing between groups of passengers.

On a much more frightening note, towards the end of half-term week it’s Halloween, and the SVR has assembled a cast of spooks and ghoulies for its Ghost Train services between Kidderminster and Arley. The family experiences are almost sold out, but there is still limited availability for the late evening Scream Trains, aimed exclusively at an 18+ audience, and guaranteed to scare you witless!

For more information on services and to book tickets, please visit or phone 01562 757900.


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