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PEEP BEHIND THE SCENES OF THE SEVERN VALLEY RAILWAY! (29th May 2014)

Railway enthusiasts and visitors alike will be given a unique opportunity to 'Peep Behind the Scenes' and experience what goes into the running of a heritage railway during a special day at the Severn Valley Railway (SVR).

The SVR will be opening its engine shed doors for its fourth Peep Behind the Scenes event on Saturday, 19th July.

During the day, visitors can get up close to some of the railway’s innermost workings, which are normally closed to the public, to experience first -hand the skill that goes into preserving the heritage railway by its dedicated staff and team of volunteers.

A special first for the event this year will see the unsung heroes of the SVR, the Permanent Way volunteers, who are responsible for looking after the track and controlling line-side vegetation, carry out a hands-on exercise at Bewdley, demonstrating and explaining the vital, heavy work they do to keep the trains running throughout the year.

The demonstration will include examples of track maintenance work and give the public a chance to use track hand tools and powered track equipment, under the supervision of the volunteers.

Bewdley will also be home to tours of the Paint Shop, Wagon Works and Coach Renovations and will offer visitors the chance to take a short special shuttle train on the remaining part of the Tenbury/Stourport branch line.

Elsewhere along the line, visitors can witness how a signal box works, get on board a GWR First Class Sleeper carriage and get a driver’s eye view from the cab of a diesel locomotive. They can also experience the maintenance and restoration works at the Carriage Works and Carriage Shed & Turntable at Kidderminster.

The giant doors of the Engine Shed at Bridgnorth will be opened for visitors to get up close and personal with some of the restoration projects which are underway.

This popular event, organised by the 4150 Locomotive Group, will once again be raising money for the on-going Locomotive No. 4150 restoration project, which visitors can see at Bewdley.

Last year’s event enabled the group to purchase materials for the locomotive’s side tanks, and since then the Fund working party has made tremendous progress, with completion of the tanks expected before the end of this year.

Clare Gibbard, the SVR’s marketing and communications manager, said: “Peep Behind the Scenes is always an incredibly popular event for us, giving visitors a fascinating insight into the usually unseen work that keeps the Railway running as successfully as it does.

“There’ll be lots to see, do and learn about for people of all ages across the length of the line and plenty of our staff and volunteers will be on hand to tell you all about what you are seeing.”

The Railway will be fully open as usual, offering a full service of steam trains, six unique stations and The Engine House visitor centre with its range of hands-on exhibits and displays, including the recently opened Peter’s Railway Young Engineers’ Centre, based on the popular series of children’s books.

Normal rail fares will apply on the day, and Peep Behind the Scenes wristbands cost £5 for adults (accompanied children aged 16 and under go free), and can be purchased on the day from Kidderminster, Bewdley and Bridgnorth stations. Visitors can also download a guide to the event in order to plan their visit in advance at www.svr.co.uk. Proceeds from the sale of wristbands will provide funds for the on-going restoration of 4150, a GWR large prairie 2-6-2 Tank Engine.

As the SVR is a working railway, some facilities may be closed during the weekend for operational reasons.

For more information on the SVR and up-coming events, visit www.svr.co.uk, search for Severn Valley Railway Families page on Facebook, or call 01562 757900.