Query Corner

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Welcome to Query Corner!

This is a location to ask (and answer!) about any gaps in the information available on the SVRSevern Valley Railway. We are interested in both personal recollections and of potential sources of information, such as old editions of the SVRSevern Valley Railway News, articles published in newspapers or magazines, or photographs you may have.

Please add to this page as questions come to mind. To add to a new question, put a short summary as a new section title (e.g. == Kidderminster Questions ==), and add some context below.

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There is now an ongoing project to post questions daily(ish) over on the Daily Question page, the questions also being posted to the Unofficial SVRSevern Valley Railway Facebook Group.

Wanted Pages

We have a small number of links to pages that don't exist yet
If you have any knowledge of the subject, please go ahead and create the page.

Ground Frames at Alveley, Foley Park, and Kidderminster

  • It is known that Alveley Sidings had two ground frames, North and South, and that the South survived into preservation for some years. However, details are incredibly sketchy! I have seen photos of special trains at Alveley in early days, perhaps one of these includes them?
  • Foley Park Sidings almost certainly had at least one, possibly two, ground frames for access. I have no information on these. I have also come across a photo showing two temporary GFs on the SVRSevern Valley Railway/BRBritish Rail or British Railways boundary - see Ground Frames at Foley Park - but nothing else is known.
  • I've seen reference to a ground frame at Kidderminster Town station in early days, controlling the run round, before the box was built. Was this one GF or two, given the distance? Again, any information appreciated!

--Danny252 (talk) 22:48, 9 January 2015 (UTC)

I asked some of these questions to the FB group, and predictably it raised more questions than answers! See Link. --Danny252 (talk) 22:11, 10 January 2015 (UTC)

Which carriages are in regular use?

There's a good article in the latest SVRSevern Valley Railway News about the make up of the carriage rakes in use for the Diesel Gala.
Can that be taken as the current standard make up? It only show four carriages on the Severn Valley Limited and makes no mention of the Severn Valley Venturer.
If the carriage shed is 1/5 mile long, that's room for 15 carriages at 70' on each of the four roads. If there are six sets, BRBritish Rail or British Railways Maroon, BRBritish Rail or British Railways Carmine & Cream, LMSLondon Midland & Scottish Railway, LNERLondon & North Eastern Railway, plus SVV & SVL I take it that leaves plenty of room for the TPOs, spares etc.?
--Graham Phillips 110 (talk) 08:32, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

Because its on a slight curve each of the four roads of the carriage shed varies slight in length. It capacity is generally considered to be 56 bogies coaches.
Boldford (talk) 17:45, 1 February 2015 (UTC)

I'll take a look at the news next time I'm home, but the Limited would usually be S(5). The Venturer would be two coaches attached to the South (KR) end of Bridgnorth's service train for the day.

I guess I may as well mention the Observation Saloons, which will run as required for Cream Tea services (one obbo at the KR end of the train) or as private charters attached to one end or the other of a service train (I think the KR end is more usual, but I've seen it the other way round, and even with an obbo both ends). --Danny252 (talk) 09:57, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

I've had a go at adding the various sets to the carriages page.
I'll try to compile all the information I want by observation over the next few weekends, but in the meantime, does anyone know:
Is the list in SVRSevern Valley Railway News, Winter 2014, still current?
Which LMSLondon Midland & Scottish Railway carriage is in Set S?
Which carriages make up the SVV?
--Graham Phillips 110 (talk) 12:41, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

The Winter 2014 list is a little out of date. I've added a note under the set lists for M,N and C of the configurations that were in use last Saturday (7th March). I guess things get added and taken off as required - the Crimson and Cream set had 6 in use for a footplate experience but would presumably grow to 7 or 8 if used in service. Interesting that a couple of the changes are in the middle of sets though.--Robin (talk) 19:05, 13 March 2015 (UTC)

I noticed your lists were a bit different to the ones I copied. Presumably the buffet was left out as it's not needed on a Footplate Experience. Isn't there some complication with mixing and matching couplings and corridor connections, which might explain why carriages are not always added or removed from one end or the other?
80609 is not on the VCT list. Is that the correct number, have they missed it?
If the sets are going to change frequently, then perhaps the section needs altering. Maybe we could either give a list of known previous compositions of each set, which could get quite long with all the possible combinations, or just word it something like "Set C is made up of up to 9 of the following carriages..."
--Graham Phillips 110 (talk) 23:47, 14 March 2015 (UTC)

80609 should be 80969 (typos, my specialism!). AIUI there are a number of other considerations. The Guard/brake van has to be near the middle to be on platform at shorter stations while the buffet tends to be near the middle, presumably for expediency. Obbos would naturally tend to go on the end. The lists you copied were from the Autumn Steam Gala where presumably the requirement is maximum possible passenger numbers hence 8 regular carriages in each set. However sets may be shorter at other times, for example the AN1 set in March may only need 6 + an obbo for cream teas or whatever. It will be interesting to see what is in use for the Spring Gala, and whether it changes again afterwards.
For what it's worth the sets in use yesterday were: N(7) on AN1, C(7)+80969 on AS1 and DMUDiesel Multiple Unit(4) on AS2. --WillSalt (talk) 16:31, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
Also FWIW M, C and S were in use today, so I've added them to the current configurations. Once we see how often they change, we can decide on the best way of keeping track, but probably one of Graham's suggestions.--Robin (talk) 16:53, 15 March 2015 (UTC)

Foundation/building behind Bewdley North Signal Box

A Facebook discussion has brought up this image of a brick construction, situated behind Bewdley North signal box, with the question being what it actually was. Initial suggestions were that it might be an air raid shelter, but the lack of an entrance and strange siting seem to rule that out, and it has been mentioned that the brickwork seems similar to the the signal box itself. The leading suggestion now seems to be that it could have been a lamp hut, but with no real evidence other than it being of about the right size and in a sensible location.

Some alternative views can be found in photo 1 and photo 2.

Does anyone have information as to the origin/history of the item? --Danny252 (talk) 09:22, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

I've added the combined thoughts of John Marshall, Michael V.E. Dunn and Keith Beddoes as they appeared in SVRSevern Valley Railway news, see Bewdley North signal box#Lamp Room and plinth. Draw your own conclusions, for what it's worth I go with the John Marshall view that the plinth was built for the lamp room, typical GWRGreat Western Railway "when in doubt over-engineer it so it won't fall down".--Robin (talk) 23:10, 27 December 2015 (UTC)

Width of Bridge 16 at Arley

The Accommodation bridge south of Arley appears to be the only bridge not originally built to double track width.
Does anyone know why? --Graham Phillips 110 (talk) 08:52, 18 November 2015 (UTC)

Appeared as the daily question on 17th November, although no definite answer was given. --Danny252 (talk) 11:57, 19 November 2015 (UTC)

Potentially dated statements

There are a number of articles containing potentially dated statements.
Can you help with any of these?

  • Peckett_1738 Is it still at Titley Junction Station in Herefordshire?
I don't know., but a Facebook posting by the owner in June 2020 said she had suffered poor health for 5 years with a brain tumour but is in remission. They intend to reopen in 2021 "When the current restrictions are lifted we would love to welcome you to Titley, for a Jolly on the engines and afternoon tea." The Railway Magazine July 2020 reports the Class 03 D2158 has moved to Mangapps Farm.--Patrick Hearn (talk) 22:08, 5 July 2020 (UTC)

Bridgnorth Bus Garage

One of the buildings in the old coal yard between Kidderminster station and the Footbridge is the restored ex-Bridgnorth bus garage, of which details and a picture can be found on the Friends of Kidderminster Station website here. Is this the same building that can be seen just behind the pannier tank in this Sellick photograph? It would seem a logical place for it.

--Robin (talk) 22:26, 13 January 2016 (UTC)

Self answered question. Yes it was.--Robin (talk) 17:40, 22 June 2016 (UTC)

Bridge 27

Not been in query corner for a while, but here's two for the price of one. Looking at the Occupation bridge near Eardington ground frame the other day, I noticed a couple of oddities. Firstly the bridge is No 27 in the List of infrastructure, but has an obvious number 32 in the style used for bridge numbering (left of the photo). Were the bridges renumbered at some point? Secondly, there is a sign saying (I think) "Huxleyheath Junction". I know the location of the Ground Frame used to be called Osborne Junction, but is there any reason for the name there now?

--Robin (talk) 17:40, 22 June 2016 (UTC)

I think that sign is very recent - I don't remember seeing it when I walked past a month ago! Sadly I can't say I definitively know the answer... --Danny252 (talk) 22:28, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
Just a guess, but there's about five more bridges between Hartlebury and Bewdley than there are between Kidderminster and Bewdley. Could that be the original SVB number? If so, it's very durable paint. --Graham Phillips 110 (talk) 05:58, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
Was yellow spray paint used in the 1960s or earlier? Maybe... --Danny252 (talk) 09:50, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
I think Graham is on the right track (sorry!). Engine Shed Underpass (now Bridge 36) has a similar looking number 40 visible from platform 1. If BRBritish Rail or British Railways bridge 32 at Eardington became SVRSevern Valley Railway bridge 27 (-5), and BRBritish Rail or British Railways bridge 40 at Bridgnorth became SVRSevern Valley Railway bridge 36 (-4), then there is one more numbered bridge between Eardington and Bridgnorth in preservation than there was under BRBritish Rail or British Railways. The Bypass bridge post-dates BRBritish Rail or British Railways.... --Robin (talk) 20:18, 16 July 2016 (UTC)

Motorised Points

When point(s) at crossing loops were motorised in the 1930s, were any signals motorised at the same time? SevenHills (talk) 07:19, 3 October 2016 (UTC)

I dare say I've never heard of any motor-operated signals on the line, and wouldn't really have expected them, given that the distances to signals were generally less than they are now (not many 1000-yard signals back then!). Still, never say never... --Danny252 (talk) 08:38, 3 October 2016 (UTC)

Wagons December 2017

Two Parr wagons joined the SVRSevern Valley Railway. From photos these are 967577 and 96752n [incomplete]. Can someone confirm identities? There are three dogfish, two have moved to the Swanage Railway. Which, please? Thanks Patrick 9/1/18 (can't find the date stamp)

All wagons now identified. --Graham Phillips 110 (talk) 19:24, 18 August 2018 (UTC)

Rapier H7 Crane

Eric Tyler on Pres is seeking information on a road vehicle Rapier H7 Crane, he thinks that the SVRSevern Valley Railway had one in 2010. Is the Crane is still at the SVRSevern Valley Railway, and any contact for information would be appreciated.Thanks Patrick 2/5/18 (can't find the date stamp)

Santa services

The December 23 page says 193 hauled the first Santas in 1973. The SDR claims Carnavon carried Santa in 1969. Patrick 16/9/18 (can't find the date stamp)

I can't find any mention of it in either SVRSevern Valley Railway News or Chris Magner's book. Since the LROLight Railway Order wasn't granted until 1970, it could presumably only have been a static event at Bridgnorth, so it wouldn't have been classed as as a 'Santa Service'. --Robin (talk) 18:33, 29 November 2018 (UTC)
August 31 says "1968 A three day gala began at Bridgnorth, with trains running to Hampton Loade using 46443 and 43106. Travel required a 'day membership', as the SVRSevern Valley Railway had not been granted an LROLight Railway Order at that stage." I guess it's possible a similar arrangement could have been in place?--Patrick Hearn (talk) 20:58, 17 December 2019 (UTC)
I don't think so. Chris Magner's book states "For various reasons BRBritish Rail or British Railways had to advise the SVRSevern Valley Railway that train operations had to be suspended in 1969 and this was a big blow as the Company needed the revenues from train operation in order to raise the money to purchase the line." He doesn't say exactly when in 1969, but that section of his book is pretty much in chronological order and it comes between other events in January and February 1969. As far as I can see, that suspension was not rescinded until the LROLight Railway Order was granted in May 1970, so I don't think any passengers could have been carried in December 1969. From the SDR's wording "It spent the winter of 1969/70 on engineering trains. It was also used by Father Christmas as his means of transport at Christmas 1969", Santa may have 'arrived' by steam for a static event although nothing was recorded in SVRSevern Valley Railway News if he did.--Robin (talk) 22:09, 17 December 2019 (UTC)
The '50 years in steam' virtual exhibition, due to COVID-19 restrictions has an image of Santa in a horse drawn cart: "Our very first visit by Santa was on 24 November 1968, when he arrived at Bridgnorth by train and then spent the day seeing children in a High Street store." The exhibition curator is Tony Bending--Patrick Hearn (talk) 13:20, 18 July 2020 (UTC)
Tony Bending (20 July 2020): "The very first Santa visit was a staged affair, really organised by, I think, Dillons store in the High Street. They wanted a novel way for Santa to arrive, so the train, then a horse and cart, worked quite well. Actually, from our point of view, all we did was propel a coach just out of the station before the event, and later on, at the appropriate time, we simply rolled back in! It went down well with the locals, and as you are well aware we never looked back after that, and our own Santas have gone from strength to strength. As far as Caernavon goes I personally can’t recall it in use, but it may well have been the loco if the idea was repeated in 1969. As far as 193 is concerned it certainly hauled Santa trains, which in those early days went to a grotto at Hampton Loade. Somewhere I have a slide or two of it at Hampton with Santa on the front of the engine! In the early days before the LROLight Railway Order we offered “day membership” to visitors, but a rival preservation scheme complained to the powers that be that, since they couldn’t operate trains, how come we were doing it? BRBritish Rail or British Railways therefore had no real option but to stop us as well – spoilsports! I’ll see what else I can find in the archives, and I’ve copied this to DCW since his recollections may also produce some interesting facts." David Williams 23 July 2020: "You were right about the one-coach Santa arrivals at Bridgnorth station from Cleobury road bridge. These were powered by 46443 on Saturday, 21st December 1968, and 5474 Carnarvon on Saturday, 20th December 1969. There is picture of the latter on page 23 of my 1974 book ‘Severn Valley Railway Album’." David's date 21.12.1968 for 46443 does not tie up with the exhibition photo (24.11.68). Christmas services is updated--Patrick Hearn (talk) 18:17, 23 July 2020 (UTC)
Red face time - I have a copy of David's 1974 book, but had never noticed the reference to the 1969 Santa operation under the photo on page 23. Thanks for the update. --Robin (talk) 21:45, 23 July 2020 (UTC)

Mystery object

Seen at Highley, February 2019

This piece of on-track plant was at Highley last weekend. Can anyone shed any light on what it is, what it does, and whether it is on hire or has been acquired? --Robin (talk) 20:48, 18 February 2019 (UTC)

Note to self, see the SVR-online forum thread for the partial answer.--Robin (talk) 12:25, 18 July 2020 (UTC)
See item in use 24 July 2020 on Hampton Loade Station Facebook page
Thanks - I'll add a page for it when I get a chance.--Robin (talk) 17:00, 30 July 2020 (UTC)

GWRGreat Western Railway Pannier Tank 6430

Paul Fisher on FB says 6430 in 1996 spent some time having cracked cylinder blocks repaired at the Valley. Can anyone verify details, so it can ve added to the Timeline? Thanks--Patrick Hearn (talk) 19:38, 15 August 2019 (UTC)

The only reference I can find in SVRSevern Valley Railway News is the Locomotive Notes in SVRSevern Valley Railway News 119, Summer 1996 under 'Contract Work'. "6430 (GWRGreat Western Railway 0-6-0 pannier tank); the complete cylinder block has arrived from the Llangollen Railway, to have specialist welding carried out on its left hand cylinder bore and to have its valve faces machined; it will possibly need new cylinder liners." There was no follow up report on the work being completed and it does not state whether the whole loco ever attended or just the cylinder block. Around that time there was a lot of contract work being done; the same issue mentioned that since the previous winter the SVRSevern Valley Railway had made and installed 12 valve and 2 cylinder liners under contract, and as well as 6430 also referred to work in progress on 4277, 6984 Owsden Hall, 5542 75014, and 6023 King Edward II. --Robin (talk) 21:55, 15 August 2019 (UTC)

To Do list

Not a query as such, more a list of photos to take and information to research etc..

  • Fill in gaps in the table for the location of various Goods Wagons
We probably need a standard 'location' description for wagons (and carriages) that are in use and move up and down the line on a regular basis. "In service"?
  • Photograph lever leadsThe (usually brass) information panel on a point or signal lever informing the signalman which other levers need to be pulled to release that lever and create table for Highley signal box.
  • Create a page for the Permanent Way Department, Signals & Telegraph Department and various other departments.
  • Find and photograph all the Conflat containers
  • Additional items on Other rolling stock formerly resident on the SVR (especially Wickham trolleys, tampers etc) and Other rolling stock visiting the SVR
  • Missing information on locomotive mileages for various years from 2004 onwards (n.b., the cumulative table to 2004 in SVRSevern Valley Railway News 152 contained several apparent errors)
  • Add Infobox for Wagon pages where necessary - also add TOPSTotal Operations Processing System, an American computer system adopted by BR from the late 1960s to number and manage rolling stock. code to Infobox and populate
  • Add additional 'On this day in history' entries (ongoing)
  • Create pages for track maintenance plant at Highley and Road Railers: Done for those on which I have any information.--Robin (talk) 16:16, 12 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Update Carriages#The_carriage_sets to show current formations.
  • Photographs needed;
Various culverts etc. on Wyre Forest District Council Local Heritage List
Road Railers:Done for those of which I had photos.--Robin (talk) 16:16, 12 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Add slogans and campaigns to the Marketing Department page
  • Add more photography locations
  • Complete Class 50 mainline appearances
  • Find and photograph boundary markers. Rumoured to be one at Hoo Road Bridge (requires track side access).
  • Add a picture to every page. I've noticed that when someone posts a link to Facebook, it grabs the first picture on the page. If there is no picture, it uses the copyright notice at bottom right, rather than the logo at top left, which ends up as a meaningless grey blur.
The solution to this is to add <!--[[File:Svrwikilogo.jpg]]--> at the bottom of the page. Mediawiki sees this as a comment, so doesn't display it, yet Facebook still picks it up as a valid image. --Graham Phillips 110 (talk) 09:01, 1 April 2020 (UTC)
  • 5700 Class boilers. I recall reading that 5764 and 7714 are different, one with back and one with top feed boilers. At 7714's last overhaul the boiler being used was rebuilt to utilise the feed authentic to that engine. With the 3612 page now there, is it possible to identify which is which?--Patrick Hearn (talk) 17:25, 11 April 2020 (UTC)
  • Add DCIII to terminology. 5 items refer to it. I'm a know-nothing and had to look it up here--Patrick Hearn (talk) 23:08, 20 September 2021 (UTC)
  • Update rolling stock at the Stourport triangle. I've seen pictures of a big clear up over a couple of years with suggestions rolling stock has been relocated