Volcanic action and non-stop steam at flagship Severn Valley Railway gala

A feast for steam enthusiasts of all ages is on the cards as the Severn Valley Railway prepares for its 2019 Autumn Steam Gala.

Running from Thursday 19th – Sunday 22nd September, the Railway’s flagship gala promises an action-packed four days of steam in action, with its famed all-night running and array of visiting locomotives working a busy schedule of services alongside resident engines.

This year, all three of the visiting locomotives will be making their first ever appearance at the SVR.  The only surviving example of its kind, Southern Railway Q Class No. 30541 is among the star line-up. Built as No. 541 in 1939, it worked from West Sussex, Bournemouth and Guildford until 1964 when it was withdrawn and sent to Woodham Brothers scrapyard in Barry.

Visitors can watch out for some volcanic action when Southern Railway ‘West Country’ No. 34092 City of Wells takes to the tracks. Celebrating its 70th birthday this year, City of Wells is known for its dramatic chimney eruptions when working hard, earning it the nickname ‘Volcano’. Built in 1949, it worked services to the Kent Coast before moving to Salisbury in the early 60s. Following its withdrawal in 1964 it languished at Woodham Brothers’ scrapyard until being saved by a group from Keighley and Worth Valley Railway in 1971.  After ten years in service, it underwent a major overhaul which resulted in 25 years off the rails, before steaming again in 2014. It is now owned by the East Lancashire Light Railway Co.

Visitors can enjoy a walk-on breakfast train at Bridgnorth and Kidderminster on the Saturday and Sunday mornings, a Guild of Railway Artists exhibition at Kidderminster Railway Museum, overnight running on Friday and Saturday, goods trains, and a miniature railway display at The Engine House.

The SVR’s artist in residence, Rob Rowland will be at Bridgnorth Station’s platform 2 waiting room and Eardington Halt will be open for visits from 9am-6pm and will be decorated to represent different decades from the 1900s through to the 1960s throughout each day of the event. SVR events co-ordinator, Lewis Maddox, said:

“Visitors to this year’s Gala can see three fantastic locomotives, including the only one left of its kind in existence, making their very first appearance on our tracks. They may even be able to experience the dramatic ‘volcanic’ displays from City of Wells as it steams along the line.

“We’ve got a jam-packed timetable of steam train services all along the line, not to mention our famed all-night running on Friday and Saturday. With art exhibitions, breakfast trains and miniature railway displays, there really is something to see and do for all ages.”

Tickets are now on sale.  To book, or for more information, visit svr.co.uk or call 01562 757900.


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