Trimpley Reservoirs & Waterworks

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Trimpley reservoir and waterworks (Wikimedia Commons)

Trimpley Reservoir can be seen to the west of the line between Bewdley and Arley. The reservoir, which is managed by Severn Trent Water, was opened in 1968 and covers 29 acres. It is mostly around 3ft deep, although increasing to 40ft deep near the valve tower in the main reservoir [1].

Construction and early history

Construction of the reservoir began in 1964, by which time BRBritish Rail or British Railways had ended passenger services on that part of the Severn Valley Branch, although coal trains were still operating between Alveley Sidings and Stourport Power Station. The November 1964 BRBritish Rail or British Railways list of temporary speed restrictions and engineering works mentions a temporary level crossing for contractor's plant on the site of the waterworks at 140m 5ch between 7:30am and 5:30pm each day.

The Pumping station was formally opened on 5 May 1967 by Ralph Yates, Chairman of the Birmingham Water Committee. A short clip of the ATV Midlands News item, with a background image of a train on the SVRSevern Valley Railway branch is available to watch on Media Archive for Central England.

Construction of the reservoir was completed in 1968.[1] Alveley Colliery closed in January 1969, after which time all rail traffic past the reservoir ceased apart from movements to and from the fledgling Severn Valley Railway Society at Bridgnorth. After the SVRSevern Valley Railway formally opened in 1970, they acquired the section of the Branch as far as Bewdley and Foley Park from BRBritish Rail or British Railways at the end of 1972, with passenger services to Bewdley beginning in 1974.

The reservoir and its facilities

Water is lifted from the River Severn into the settling pool (sometimes referred to as the 'lower reservoir') which is located to the south of the main reservoir and a little below it. From there it is pumped into the main reservoir where it is stored. At times of peak demand, it is then used to supplement the supply from the Elan Valley Aqueduct, which in turn supplies water to Birmingham, Mamble, and Tenbury. The treatment plant is located on the opposite side of the line, with water carried over the railway via the Trimpley Pipe Bridge (Bridge 13).

The reservoir was one of the locations on the SVRSevern Valley Railway featured in the 1978 film The Thirty Nine Steps, with a distant shot of Richard Hannay's train LMS Ivatt Class 2 46443 (in MRMidland Railway livery as No 644) passing the reservoir. The same scene was re-used in the 1980 film The Elephant Man.

In May 2007 the SVRSevern Valley Railway delivered 50 new water pipes for Severn Trent Water's scheme to improve water supplies in south Shropshire with the Trimpley to Hollywaste rural supply main.[2]

See also

From The Window


  1. 1.0 1.1 Severn Trent Water
  2. Shropshire Star, 23 May 2007 (Retrieved 29 August 2021)