Severn Valley by Steam Train

I have this belief that active steam locomotives are the closes thing that humans have created to a living machine. I say that because a steam loco can act just like a human in many ways. For instance, a steam loco huffs and puffs and really shows the strain when its pulling a heavy load; you can hear it breathing hard as it climbs a gradient or feel it travelling with ease at speed along a flat piece of track. Steam locomotives affect all the senses, and they are more thrilling to experience than most other machines.

Although there are few railways in the world which still actually use steam, there are still many hobby and tourist railways which keep these magnificent behemoths still working.
One of these is the Severn Valley Railway in England, a full-size standard-gauge railway which runs regular steam-hauled passenger trains for the benefit of visitors and enthusiasts alike between Kidderminster in Worcestershire and Bridgnorth in Shropshire, over a distance of 16 miles.

Not surprisingly, given its name, the route follows closely the meandering course of the River Severn for most of the way. A feature of this railway is the crossing of the River Severn via the Victoria Bridge, which carries you majestically high above the water across its massive 200-foot single span.

Of course, riding in a carriage is fun, but on the SVR you can actually enjoy the experience of riding on the engine footplate to find out firsthand what it actually takes to drive a steam loco.

There are three courses of varying complexity, but most people take the introductory course which takes just four hours to complete and gives participants basic knowledge about driving a steam train.

The Severn Valley Railway runs all year round and they hold special events such as dinner trains, murder mysteries and, just before Christmas, special Santa trains.

Each station has paid car parking, but parking is limited at some of them, and the car parks do get full on public holidays and for special events.

The Severn Valley Railway allows visitors to re-live the days when steam was the normal operating method for railways. Even though railways these days, with their very fast trains, are smooth and efficient, to travel in an older carriage behind a genuine steam locomotive is really a great experience and a reminder of those times when travelling by train was fun than merely functional.

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