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More than 211,000 people visited the Severn Valley Railway (SVR) in 2013 to take advantage of all the historic railway has to offer. Last year’s passenger numbers exceeded the Railway’s forecast by over 6,000 passengers and show an increase of nearly 9,000 on 2012’s figures.

This impressive result has been attributed to a number of factors including a host of well attended Special Events and a bumper summer season. The new-format Family Fun Weekends attracted nearly 7,000 visitors and the ever popular Santa and Festive Season Services attracted over 45,000 passengers in December.

This year, the SVR also invested in a campaign specifically targeting families encouraging them to spend a day out on the railway, including TV advertising for the first time since 2010.

The campaign, which launched in July, was designed to showcase the unique experience of a family day out on the SVR and attract those venturing out during the school holidays. The Railway’s popular Steam and Whistle Club, which featured a wide range of activities for children, returned this year as part of an enhanced programme of summer holiday activities. The programme attracted up to 300 children daily and July/August figures showed a 14 per cent increase on the same period in 2012.

Following its success last year, the Railway is hoping to extend the Steam and Whistle Activity Club to feature additional activities and new themes in 2014 to attract more passengers during the popular holiday period.

Clare Gibbard, SVR’s marketing and communications manager, said: “We are delighted to report a significant increase in passenger numbers during 2013. This is testament to the hard work of volunteers and staff in delivering an attractive events programme and impeccable service throughout the running season. It is encouraging to be welcoming so many new visitors to the SVR – we sold over 500 Annual Family Passes this year demonstrating the appeal of the Railway to a younger visitor.”

The Railway is now closed while maintenance work is carried out and will reopen during February half-term, 15th to 23rd.

Families can now buy an Annual Family Pass to kick start a year of great value visits to the Railway. The pass is valid for 12 months from the date of issue and admits two named adults and up to four children (conditions apply).

For more information about the Railway and special events taking place throughout 2014, to book tickets or buy an Annual Family Pass, visit or call 01299 403816.