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Severn Valley Railway open day stokes up interest for 1,700 fans - with VIDEO and PICTURES

By Mat Growcott | Kidderminster | Wyre Forest entertainment | Published:

Hundreds of people took a look behind the scenes at the Severn Valley Railway.

The popular attraction opened its doors for its annual open day, giving train lovers a look at what it takes to keep the vintage engines running.

More than 1,500 visitors took to the rails to explore the tracks, with 1,700 visiting Highley's Engine House during the course of the event, which housed a number of model trains.

Clare Gibbard, marketing and communications manager for Severn Valley Railway, said they were thrilled with the way the day went.

Severn Valley Railway open day

She said: "The open house weekend went really well.

"We had almost 1,500 visitors to the railway over the weekend with over 1,700 visiting The Engine House Visitor Centre to see the model railway displays."

Stations across the line were opened as part of the event.

Railway enthusiasts were given the chance to go behind the scenes at Bridgnorth, seeing the locomotive works, boilershop and signalbox, while at Bewdley there was access to the carriage and wagon yard and Bewdley north signal box.

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At Kidderminster, the diesel depot and signal box were opened to the public.

There were also more than 30 model railway layouts on display in Kidderminster Diesel Depot and The Engine House, Highley.

Kidderminster's Coalyard Miniature Railway was open across the weekend, with the paddock railway at Hampton Loade in steam on Sunday.

At stations along the line visitors had the chance to enjoy cream tea service.

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Model railways showcased some of the most famous lines in the country.

Stations were recreated – often based on period plans – including Upper Studley: the terminus of a country branch near Gloucester in about 1961, and Wantage tramway as it looked in the 1930s.

The open days were part of their Easter fun events, which will steam on for the rest of this week.

As part of the week's activities families can continue the search for a mischievous group of Easter chicks hiding out in the Engine House.

Those who can find them all and figure out the secret word win a prize.

"Arts and Crafts: An Intro to Kids Origami, Easter Card making, colouring-in and more!" will also continue to run all this week, finishing on Sunday.

The Severn Valley Railway will continue the fun next month with its annual Diesel Day.

Trading steam for diesel, the popular day showcases the most popular trains of that type.

The selections on offer will this year include the Class 60 after it was offered by Colas Railfreight.

Mat Growcott

By Mat Growcott
Reporter - @MGrowcott_Star

Shropshire Star reporter

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