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Severn Valley Railway emergency appeal steams past £500k mark

By Rory Smith | Kidderminster | Attractions | Published:

Severn Valley Railway's emergency appeal has surpassed £500,000.

Severn Valley Railway has been hit financially by the Covid-19 outbreak

With its short-term future secured and an initial target of half that figure, the railway is continuing its appeal for donations to help cope with an "uncertain future".

Now reaching more than £565,000, the campaign to raise £250,000 was launched in efforts to keep the company afloat over the next three months after bosses said it was "fighting for its survival".

It comes after the railway was forced to close down due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The railway aims to invest approximately £4.5 million a year into maintaining and updating its services where needed, but predicts this will not be possible for the foreseeable future.

The SVR’s last public trains ran on March 16 and the railway has suspended services for at least the next three weeks.

All events due to take place until the end of May have been cancelled, including the Spring Steam and Diesel Galas, Open House and 50th anniversary events.

The Engine House Visitor Centre, all six stations, booking offices, refreshment rooms, the railway’s two pubs and the gift shops will remain closed until further notice.

The financial strain caused by the Covid-19 crisis has been exacerbated by the heavy floods experienced earlier this year, when the railway reported a 75 per cent drop in passenger numbers.

Rory Smith

By Rory Smith
Reporter - @rorysmith_star

Senior reporter based at the Shropshire Star's head office in Ketley, Telford.

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