Helen Smith

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Helen Louise Smith (b. July 1976) was announced as General Manager of both SVRSevern Valley Railway(H) and the Guarantee Company on 11 October 2019, in succession to Nick Ralls. She was born in Yorkshire.

Prior to the SVRSevern Valley Railway

Helen was previously Deputy Director at the Tank Museum, Bovington, Dorset. Her earlier roles were as General Manager at The Fusilier Museum in Bury and Operations Director at the Magna Science Adventure Centre in Rotherham.[1]

She graduated in 1997 from the University College of Ripon and York St John as a Bachelor in Communication Arts, and in 2001 obtained a Post-Graduate Diploma in Management from the University of Huddersfield[2].

At the SVRSevern Valley Railway

As with her predecessor, the new GM’s arrival was followed by several serious events, in this case Storm Dennis and severe flooding, the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic which coincided with a major project at Falling Sands Viaduct, and landslips at Sterns and Alveley Woods. She oversaw the huge interruption and recovery operations that followed throughout 2020-21.

In 2020 she became an SVRSevern Valley Railway(H) director, the first woman to do so. In 2021 she was confirmed as managing director, taking complete responsibility for the safe operation of the Railway, its financial health and future growth.

See also


  1. SVRSevern Valley Railway NBINotice Board Issue. The SVR's on-line method of circulating information to working members.
  2. LinkedIn profile


SVR Senior Management team on SVR Live