Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust Ltd

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Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust Ltd is a Registered Charity, Number 1092723, for the purpose of raising funds to support the SVRSevern Valley Railway. It is commonly referred to on the SVRSevern Valley Railway as "the Charitable Trust". Its objectives are to help fund restoration and maintenance projects, to help arrest the decline of heritage engineering skills and to safeguard the long-term future and operational capability of the Railway.

Origins and Objects

The SVRSevern Valley Railway Rolling Stock Trust Company Limited was incorporated on 17 December 2001 as a private company limited by guarantee, company number 04341280. As a charitable body, its Objects were:[1]

"To advance education for the benefit of the public by:

  • the acquisition, restoration, preservation, operation maintenance and display of heritage railway locomotives, coaches, wagons and artefacts
  • the provision of facilities for the education, training and certification of trainees in the practicalities, techniques and methods used in the restoration, repair and operation of historic railways"

On 29 June 2012 the Trust took on a wider remit as the SVRSevern Valley Railway's general charitable trust, for which purpose it adopted its present name.[2] The current (2017) Articles of Association state that:[3]

"The Charity’s Objects are specifically restricted to the following:

  • to advance education for the benefit of the public by the acquisition, restoration, preservation and operation of heritage railway locomotives, carriages, wagons, station buildings, track and other associated infrastructure
  • establishing buildings to house and preserve the Charity’s rolling stock collection
  • the provision of educational and interpretive displays for the travelling public and
  • the provision of education and skills training used in the restoration, repair and operation of historic railways to ensure their long term survival"

The Trust is a member of the Heritage Trust Network, an umbrella organisation for built heritage preservation groups and individuals formed in 2016 from the Association of Preservation Trusts (UK-APT). Members work to restore built heritage and bring historic buildings back into community use.[4]


  • The Charitable Trust funds most of the costs of the SVRSevern Valley Railway’s Heritage Skills Training Academy and team of apprentices. It costs £21,000 to fund an apprentice for one year, and the Trust funded £165,125 in 2017 (2016: £35,000).[5]
  • In May 2016, the Trust secured a grant of £75,000 from the Department for Transport towards a project which will transform the Railway’s facilities for disabled visitors by adapting a carriage to wheelchair use to complete the SVRSevern Valley Railway’s fleet of accessible carriages, and rebuilding a second carriage to provide wheelchair-accessible dining facilities
  • It works with supporters to ensure their wishes are kept when they decide to leave a final legacy to the Railway in their Will.
  • In October 2017 the Trust announced it was establishing an In Memory Garden for SVRSevern Valley Railway supporters, close to The Engine House.


The Trust is a shareholder in SVR(H) by way of donated or bequeathed shares. In the 2012 Share Offer existing shareholders with small numbers of shares who did not want to increase their holding were invited to donate their shares to the Trust.

Previous support

  • It secured an HLFHeritage Lottery Fund (National Lottery Heritage Fund from 2019) grant of £95,000 towards the restoration of 4930 Hagley Hall.
  • The Trust has worked closely with volunteers from the LNER Carriage Group to raise funds for and in conjunction with Carriage & Wagon to complete the final restoration work on three GresleySir Nigel Gresley, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the London & North Eastern Railway 1923-1941 teak carriages (Kitchen Composite 7960, Brake Third 24506 and Open Third 52255.) These were splendidly showcased when Flying Scotsman visited the SVRSevern Valley Railway in September 2016.
  • It contributed £30,000 to the annual track re-laying work that took place in 2016 between Eardington and Bridgnorth.
  • The Trust has been instrumental in funding the stonework restoration on Sandbourne Viaduct with £60,000 contributed in 2017
  • In January 2018 it raised £13,000 by appeal to repair damage caused by vandals to two coaches.
  • A rolling stock fundraising and restoration project for GWR Toad van 17410 took place in collaboration with the LNER Carriage Group and raised around £10,000
  • The Trust funded the overhaul of GWR 9615 Kitchen Diner First from 2018.[6]
  • It contributed to the track re-laying work that took place in 2018 at County Boundary
  • It supported the reinstating of the Eardington Station platform in January 2018
  • In 2019 it hit its £397,000 target for its Falling Sands Viaduct appeal and was awarded a further £853,800 grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, following an initial £71,800 in 2017 to develop its bid.
  • In 2019 a £10,000 grant from the Postcode Lottery funded covered outdoor seating and an enlarged Anderson shelter at The Engine House.[7]


The Trust has sought to develop large scale fundraising. To generate support from "influential individuals" the Trust may typically invite a small group to spend a day on the SVRSevern Valley Railway using an Observation Saloon to make conducted vists to workshops to met staff and volunteer craftsmen.[8]

  • It appointed Compton Fundraising Consultants
  • In addition to gifts it seeks pledges or future bequests
  • Patrons make monthly contributions
  • It has the support of Corporate partners

Fundraising events

Events organised by the Charitable Trust include:[9]

  • April 2014: Charity Race Day at Ludlow Races raising £62,000.[10]
  • June 2015: Charity Race Day at Worcester Racecourse raising £34,500.[11]
  • June 2016: Charity Race Day at Worcester Racecourse raising £22,000[12]
  • September 2016: VIP Flying Scotsman Charity Day[13]
  • 14 June 2017: Charity Race Day at Worcester Racecourse raising £23,000.[14]
  • 11 June 2018: Annual Charity Race Day at Worcester Racecourse raising £13,000.[15]

The Charitable Trust took over the organisation of the annual Peep Behind the Scenes day for 2017.

Endowment Future Fund

The Trust set up an endowment Future Fund, the income from which is intended to allow sustainable investment on the Railway in years to come. It has aspirations to grow the Fund to £2 million by 2020 and eventually to £10 million.[16] It appointed professional investment managers, Brewin Dolphin, to manage the investment. Donations to the Future Fund were matched, pound for pound, by a Heritage Lottery Fund Catalyst programme grant of up to £500,000 which was awarded in 2013 and reached on 26 May 2017, giving a total fund value of over £1 million.

Current appeals

Rolling stock

The Charitable Trust owns GWR 7819 Hinton Manor, BR Class 11 12099 and a number of carriages and goods wagons:

  • Some of these carriages were formerly owned by a separate body, the L.M.S & B.R.British Rail or British Railways Coach Fund. The Coach Fund donated them to the Charitable Trust in 2007, following which it became a department within the Charitable Trust. The department maintains a sales coach at Bridgnorth.
  • Three carriages were also acquired from the LNER (SVR) Coach Fund in 2010, at which time the LNER Carriage Group similarly became a department within the Charitable Trust.
  • In early 2016, the LNER (SVR) Coach Fund and the SVR Holdings Company transferred the ownership of their LNERLondon & North Eastern Railway carriages to the Charitable Trust, resulting in the Trust now owning all nine LNERLondon & North Eastern Railway carriages based on the SVRSevern Valley Railway.

The Charitable Trust is the SVRSevern Valley Railway's 'owner of last resort', "...ensuring that various locomotives, coaches and wagons that have been lovingly restored over many years by SVRSevern Valley Railway volunteers can remain at the Railway, in perpetuity. As the members of the many preservation groups inevitably age and their numbers dwindle, items of rolling stock can be donated to the Charitable Trust, in order to be absolutely certain they will remain at the Railway for the long-term."[20]

A full list of all the rolling stock owned by the Trust can be found here.

See also

The SVR Organisation
L.M.S. & B.R. Coach Department - a department of the Trust
The LNER Carriage Group - part of the Trust
Friends of 4930 Hagley Hall - integrated into the trust to maximise income through Gift Aid
Falling Sands Viaduct
Commemorative Garden
Heritage Skills Training Academy
List of Charities associated with the SVR Charitable Trust Chairmen


  1. Companies House
  2. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 178
  3. Companies House
  5. SVR Charitable Trust Report and Financial Statements 30 June 2017
  6. 'Platform' magazine, 2018 Issue 4, p.6
  7. Express Points April 2019
  8. 2013 Annual Report
  9. Charitable Trust news page
  10. 2014 Annual Report
  11. Worcester News
  12. James Connell, 'Race day at Worcester supports Severn Valley Railway's Heritage Skills Training Academy', Malvern Gazette 23 June 2016 (Retrieved 5 March 2017)
  13. Charitable Trust Flying Scotsman page
  14. SVRSevern Valley Railway Twitter 15 June 2017
  15. 'Express Points', July 2018
  16. SVRLive Charitable Trust page, 26 April 2017
  17. Diesel Leaflet
  18. Platform 2017
  19. 'Bridgnorth Project' page, 28 November 2017
  20. Statement from Director of Development, November 2016 on SVR Live


Charitable Trust website
SVRLive page