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Severn Valley Railway 'home and dry' after hitting £475,000 fundraising target for improvement work

It is full steam ahead for improvement works at Severn Valley Railway after an appeal hit its £475,000 fundraising target.

Delighted – Gary Williams, Steve Llewlyn and team leader Dave Futcher-Insull will work on the project
Delighted – Gary Williams, Steve Llewlyn and team leader Dave Futcher-Insull will work on the project

The Home & Dry appeal was launched last year to make improvements to the locomotive works in Bridgnorth, including repairing damage to the roof.

Now, thanks to the generous donations from locals and people around the world, the works are set to begin and four contractors have been selected to carry them out.

Shelagh Paterson, executive director for the SVR Charitable Trust said: “Thank you to all the donors who, in spite of the challenges of the Covid pandemic, rallied around to help raise funds for the Home & Dry appeal.

"The locomotive works are vital to the running of the Severn Valley Railway, helping create memorable experiences for so many people. We’re looking forward to seeing the transformation.”

Staff at Severn Valley Railway celebrate £475,000 being raised for improvements to ocamotive works in Bridgnorth

Volunteers will now carry out the work which includes repairing the leaking roof and installing energy-efficient measures to include better lighting and insulation.

An overhead travelling crane will also be introduced which will allow engineers to move heavy items safely and more easily when working on locomotives.

The project will be managed under the supervision of Antony Bartlam – a Bridgnorth-based volunteer who is a professional structural engineer and project manager.

He will have support from fellow volunteers Nick Yarwood, experienced with contracts and project programming, and Ben Wright, a qualified architect.

Staff at Severn Valley Railway celebrate £475,000 being raised for improvements to ocamotive works in Bridgnorth

Together they will work with senior leaders from the railway; Chris Bond, Martin White and Richard Morris.

Mr White, the SVR's head of engineering, said: “This project is going to make a huge difference to the volunteers and paid staff who work hard to keep the locomotive fleet operational.

“Volunteers are already clearing the way and carrying out small-scale construction activities that need to be completed before the main contractors’ work begins.

"A deposit has also been placed on a refurbished, second-hand overhead crane which offers a great value solution to requirements.”

The work of volunteers has been described as 'pivotal' to the project with more than £40,000 worth of time committed.

The works are set to be completed later this year.

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