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Ghost train sightings claim probe

Strange sightings of a ghost train on the Severn Valley Railway are being investigated by a paranormal research group.


Strange sightings of a ghost train on the Severn Valley Railway are being investigated by a paranormal research group.

Parasearch, a Worcestershire based paranormal research group, are investigating reports of a ghost train seen along the track near the Northwood Lane at Bewdley.

Over the years the group has received a number of reports of a phantom steam train along the that stretch of the track.

It is a recorded fact that four people were killed during the making of the Bewdley Tunnel in the 1880s but railway officials claim the sightings can be explained and are down to filming on the line and the overnight running of trains during the annual Autumn steam gala.

The Northwood Lane area of the track has been closed to trains since the summer floods in June and July when 45 sections of the railway between Bewdley and Bridgnorth were damaged by torrential downpours.

The investigators claim their reports of a ghost train date back to 2004.

A train was allegedly seen late at night by a group of people who said they heard the tracks vibrate and saw a ghostly shimmering haze.

Parasearch chairman David Taylor said: " Reports of ghostly steam trains are quite uncommon, which makes these reports from Bewdley so interesting.

"We would like to hear from anyone who believes they may have seen the ghost train over the years." Parasearch investigators George Gregg, Russell Beard and Andrew Homer have visited the location of the sightings in Northwood Lane, Bewdley, but have so far been unable to come to any conclusions about the sightings."

He said that the research group, which celebrates its 22nd anniversary this year, used scientific methods to investigate paranormal activities.

John Leach, marketing manager for the Severn Valley Railway, confirmed that the paranormal group had approached them with queries about sightings of a phantom steam train.

But he put the sightings down to a logical explanation.

He said: "There is no ghost train. In 1976 there was a short film made of Charles Dickens' The Signalman, which was screened before Christmas and starred actor Denholm Elliott.

"Filming took place on the Kidderminster side of Bewdley tunnel and the story revolved around ghosts and nearly all of the filming took place at night.

"Also every year on the third or fourth weekend in September we hold the annual Autumn steam gala, a unique event when we run continually through the weekend and the Friday and Saturday night.

"Although they could not be specific the group said the ghost train had been seen in late September 2004 which is too much of a coincidence to ignore.

"If the air is cold and there is a lot of steam it can take on an almost ghostly appearance at night."

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