Severn Valley Railway ready to be part of Queen's Baton Relay

The country's leading heritage railway will be playing its part in the Queen's Baton Relay.

No.70 Elizabeth II will transport the baton between Kidderminster and Bridgnorth Photo: Paul Pearson
No.70 Elizabeth II will transport the baton between Kidderminster and Bridgnorth Photo: Paul Pearson

After months of careful, behind-the-scenes planning, the Severn Valley Railway is now ready to play its part in the Commonwealth Games by carrying the baton the full 16-mile length of the line from Kidderminster to Bridgnorth.

The SVR’s famous purple steam locomotive, No. 70 ‘Elizabeth II’, will haul a special service departing from Kidderminster at 10.07am on Saturday, July 23.

Free tickets to travel on the train have been allocated in a public ballot, along with viewing places at Kidderminster station.

Members of the public are invited to view the Queen’s Baton Relay train at all the SVR’s other stations at Bewdley, Arley, Highley, Hampton Loade and Bridgnorth.

As it passes through each station, the train will slow to walking pace and will sound its whistle in celebration.

Once the baton has arrived at Bridgnorth station, it will be carried into the town, for a trip on the Cliff Railway and further activities at Severn Park.

SVR’s managing director Helen Smith said: “It is a huge accolade to have been selected to host this high profile section of the Queen’s Baton Relay.

"We’ll be putting on a guard of honour at both Kidderminster and Bridgnorth stations, made up of some our 1,600-plus volunteers.

"This is going to be a proud day for the SVR, and we’re delighted that our stunning purple-liveried locomotive will be one of the stars, along with the baton-bearers on board our train.”

Six baton-bearers will travel on the special train, with each one responsible for carrying the baton through a carriage, before passing it to the next baton-bearer.

The Baton Relay began in October 2021 when the Queen placed her message to the Commonwealth into the baton, and it has visited all 72 nations and territories before returning to England for the final leg of its journey.

Public services resume on the SVR later in the morning and the timetable for Saturday, July 23 is available at svr.co.uk, along with details of how to book.

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