Open House Weekend
Traditionally held each spring, the Open House Weekend began as an annual 'Members Day'. The first Members' Day advertised in SVRSevern Valley Railway News 'forthcoming events' was on 1 April 1995, featuring an increased train service with visits and displays behind the scenes for SVRSevern Valley Railway members.. The event continued in that format until 2004, but in 2005 a second day was added to become the Members & Shareholders Weekend. The 'behind the scenes' exhibits became open to the public as well as members and shareholders, and the event eventually adopted its present name to reflect this, the first Open House Weekend taking place on 16-17 April 2016.
No events were held in 2020 or 2021 due to restrictions arising from COVID-19.
Open House Weekend 2023
The 2023 event took place on Saturday and Sunday 1-2 April, coinciding with the reopening of the full line after infrastructure work north of Highley including the first phase of the Bridgnorth Yard relay project. It included the following attractions:
- Cab tours of Class 50 diesel locomotive 50044 Exeter
- Guided tours of Kidderminster Town signal box
- Access to Kidderminster Carriage and Wagon works
- Brake Van Rides using Class 09 diesel 09107 and brake vans GWR 'Toad' 17410 and WD 55577
- Guided tours of the Carriage & Wagon Yard
- Guided tours of Highley signal box
- The Engine House; interactive Guided Tours by volunteers from a number of departments including an opportunity to tour the King's Coach.
- Guided tours of Bridgnorth signal box
- Bridgnorth Engineering Services & Motive Power Depot open for viewing including the Loco Works, Machine Shop & Workshop
- Discover more about the Bridgnorth yard project with a selection of photography and information on display.
Past Open House Weekends
Attractions vary from year-to-year. The 2017 event included:
- Intensive train service, featuring local services and visiting locomotive from the Spring Steam Gala.
- Diesel locomotive services.
- Bridgnorth Loco Works and Bewdley Down Yard, as well as Bridgnorth, Bewdley North and Kidderminster Signalboxes open for visits.
- UpIn reference to the direction of travel means towards the major terminus (i.e. towards Kidderminster on the present day SVR) to 30 model railway layouts on display in Kidderminster Diesel Depot and The Engine House.
- Kidderminster Diesel Depot open for visits
- A locomotive on display on Kidderminster Turntable.
- The Coalyard Miniature Railway at Kidderminster (additional charge applies).
- Paddock Garden Railway at Hampton Loade.
- On-train Cream Tea Service
- Diesel Footplate Experiences
Peep Behind the Scenes
A second event, Peep Behind the Scenes, was held between 2010 and 2017 and also allowed visitors a chance to see some areas of the railway that are not normally open to the public. Until 2016 it was organised by The 4150 Fund and in 2017 by Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust Ltd.
Heritage Open Days
Billed as 'England's largest festival of history and culture', Heritage Open Days was established in 1994 as England's contribution to the European Cultural Convention's European Heritage Days. It is England's largest community heritage festival. On 10-11 September 2022 the SVRSevern Valley Railway held a 'Behind the Scenes' event.
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 113
- heritageopendays.org (Retrieved 28 August 2022)