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Severn Valley Railway


The Severn Valley Railway (SVR) is one of the UK’s most well-loved and well used heritage railways, carrying over 250,000 passenger a year, with mission to build public affection for, and understanding of, steam travel.


• ‘The Falling Sands Viaduct Project’ is a major £1.5m HLF funded project to repair a magnificent 7-arch late Victorian viaduct – a key piece of the SVR’s infrastructure. The viaduct carries steam trains over the River Stour and Staffordshire and Worcestershire.
• The project includes new interpretation, wide ranging community activities, targeted schools programme and new volunteering opportunities.

How we helped

• The SVR has a complex structure of 3 organisations, with an excellent level of skills but without a staff member with overall responsibility for activity and interpretation, so CCN worked to coordinate the input of several management staff and volunteer managers.
• CCN generated new partnerships with community organisations such as an over 50s sheltered housing company and an HE academy.
• To ensure maximum impact from a limited activity budget, CCN developed a series of activities, such as reenactor navvies performing on train services, which would both support the interpretation themes and enhance the main passenger experience.
• CCN involved external partners in the creating the interpretation themes and guided new historical research with expert volunteers to provide evidence of the story of the Viaduct.
• The project will test for the first time in the SVR’s operation, a mobile interpretation carriage to act as a teaser for stories explored in its main visitor centre – The Engine House at Highley.