Bewdley Down Yard
The DownIn reference to the direction of travel means away from the major terminus (i.e. towards Bridgnorth on the present day SVR) Yard at Bewdley is located to the South of station, on the DownIn reference to the direction of travel means away from the major terminus (i.e. towards Bridgnorth on the present day SVR) (West) side of the main line. It was formerly used for the loading and unloading of goods wagons before the closure of the line by BRBritish Rail or British Railways. The yard is now mainly used by the Bewdley Carriage & Wagon Department for storage and repair of the SVRSevern Valley Railway's collection of goods wagons, and for the restoration and painting of carriages, although the bulk of carriage repairs take place at Kidderminster.
In common with the other principal crossing stations, Bewdley was provided with a goods yard and goods shed for the loading and unloading of goods wagons and temporary storage of goods. In 1864, two years after the opening of the Severn Valley Railway, Bewdley became the terminus of the Tenbury & Bewdley Railway. A 45ft turntable was installed in the goods yard by McKenzie, Clunes & Co, who also built a signal box between the DownIn reference to the direction of travel means away from the major terminus (i.e. towards Bridgnorth on the present day SVR) platform and the goods yard to serve the new railway.
By 1878 both the Tenbury and Bewdley and the Severn Valley Railways were part of the GWRGreat Western Railway. The Board of Trade Inspection in March 1878 prior to the opening of the Kidderminster Loop Line reported "There is a turntable at Kidderminster and trains will run through Bewdley (where the present turntable is being removed) to Woofferton". (The Bewdley turntable was subsequently moved to the goods yard at Tenbury Wells - not Wooferton as is stated in some sources.). The Tenbury & Bewdley Railway signal box also became redundant around this time.
Although British Rail passenger services continued to 1970, the SVRSevern Valley Railway had a presence in the yard since at least 1968. The yard consists of two through sidings which are accessible from both ends of the station, as well as a number of miscellaneous sidings. No. 1 siding runs parallel to the DownIn reference to the direction of travel means away from the major terminus (i.e. towards Bridgnorth on the present day SVR) Main and is mainly used to store the Demonstration Goods Train, as well as occasionally by locomotives assigned to Bewdley MPD or other rolling stock. No. 2 siding is adjacent to No. 1 and passes through the Goods Shed, where wagon restoration is carried out by the Wagon Department. The northern part of No. 2 siding and its headshunt provide access to a dock platform, formerly used for loading goods wagons, now home to three sales coaches and GWRGreat Western Railway wartime ambulance car 5804 which serves as the SVR Apprentices group mess coach.
The remainder of the yard is made up of several interconnected dead end sidings. These sidings include the paint shop, formerly used to paint passenger and goods rolling stock but since 2017 used for overhauls of GWR 9615 Kitchen Diner First and then LNER 43612 Open Third. There are plans to amend the track layout to eliminate the reverse move from the goods shed to access the paint shop, and instead to feed it from the back road and install a second track. It is hoped to re-clad the existing shop and have a second shed over a second track.
The yard is home to a number of coaches that reside there permanently: GWRGreat Western Railway sleeper coach 2233 and Mk 3a Convertible Sleeper 10696 are used for staff accommodation at Bewdley, and GWR 98 Full Brake which is used as a workshop and stores for spare parts.
In the early days of preservation it was the base for the restoration of locomotives and rolling stock, before sites at first Bridgnorth and later Kidderminster became available. Even since then, several vehicles have been restored or overhauled there and some preservation groups consider themselves to be principally based there, including The 2857 Society, WILPT, The LNER Carriage Group, 1501 PTA and GW(SVR)A. Current restoration projects are GWRGreat Western Railway coaches 2426, 4786 and 9581. Also undergoing overhaul is MW 2047 Warwickshire. Several static vans are used as stores and workshops for such preservation groups.
Ruston and Hornsby 165hp Diesel Shunter 319290 is the resident shunting locomotive, being used as necessary to shunt rolling stock under repair. In January and February 2015, the yard was contracted to Severn Trent Water as a staging ground for repairs to the Elan Valley Aqueduct, which runs under the railway near Folly Point.
In 1978, SVRSevern Valley Railway volunteers, working with the Manpower Services Commission, dismantled and removed a traverser from Swindon Works. This was then stored at Eardington to be used as part of a planned expansion of the carriage works at Bewdley. The plans were abandoned when the much larger goods shed at Kidderminster became available in 1985, and the traverser was scrapped.
Rolling stock in Bewdley Down Yard
- ↑ Beddoes & Smith (1995) p. 27.
- ↑ Beddoes & Smith (1995) p. 42.
- ↑ Haynes, M., Bewdley Carriage Notes, SVRSevern Valley Railway News No. 199 Autumn 2017, 39