Express & Star

All aboard for trip to mark 60th anniversary of Severn Valley Railway closure

Heritage railway visitors are being invited to get aboard the Severn Valley Railway for a special trip to mark the 60th anniversary of the closure of the line.

Ex-GWR pannier tank 7714 will help mark 60 years since the last full train on the length of the Severn Valley Railway

The last ever British Railways passenger trains used the track, which now runs between Kidderminster and Bridgnorth, on September 8, 1963.

Now 60 years on the heritage line will commemorate the diamond event with a special train ride to recreate part of that final trip all those years ago.

Preparations are being made for the pannier tank No 7714 to operate on two days carrying a special headboard to mark the occasion. On Friday September 8 it will depart from Kidderminster at 10am and the following day it will be on display at Kidderminster station before it works the 12.45pm departure.

By the time the line closed in 1963 as part of the Beeching railway cuts, it was served by diesel railcars, but the final departure from Bridgnorth to Birmingham Snow Hill was steam-hauled.

It departed Bridgnorth at 6.58pm hauled by ex-GWR pannier tanks 9624 and 4665, decorated with a ‘Special Last Train’ headboard. It was followed by the last passenger service north of Bewdley which was the 8.30pm Hampton Loade to Snow Hill, formed of a three-car diesel set.

At the time it looked as though more than a century of Severn Valley railway history had come to a close.

However, less than two years later in July 1965, a group of people attended a public meeting in the Cooper’s Arms pub, in Kidderminster, to form the Severn Valley Railway Society.

Those pioneering preservationists started the long haul to re-open the line which has become a leading heritage railway attraction and welcoming up to 250,000 visitors a year.

To book seats visit the website