Seasonal steam on the SVR
Severn Santa Specials
7 December 2003  
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There's always something to look forward to in December - some clear, frosty weather for the Severn Valley's Santa trains. Long heavy trains, a frequent service (every half-hour), steam hanging in the air, no heads out of the windows - what more could one ask for? Well, there is just one thing which would put the icing on the cake - get the locos the right way round please! The best shots are those on the long curving bank to Foley Park tunnel on the return to Kidderminster - but not when all five locos are running tender / bunker first... ...So, of course, when the trains leave Foley Park tunnel heading for Bewdley, they're the right way round - but there's rarely any steam...
Geoff’s Rail Diaries
Here is a selection, in chronological order, of some of the trains running on this particular December Sunday.... It should of course be said that the SVR Santa train are a wonderful spectacle when the weather is right, whichever way round the locos are. The locos work hard up the bank, the sound carrying more-or-less from Bewdley to the tunnel mouth - and you never have to wait long before another train runs past, with four trains and five locos in action. There's little chance of getting bored, though the feet need well insulating - the frost never quite cleared from the shadier areas. And of course, the revenue from Santa trains makes a substantial contribution to the SVR's coffers.
1501 - bunker first on the bank 7802 Bradley Manor leaves Bewdley, northbound 48773 heads for Bewdley at Dowles Jcn 1501 hurries towards Arley, Dowles 7802 - token exchange at Bewdley 45110 drifts out of Foley Park tunnel 1501 approaches the tunnel, making light work of the bank 48773 heads for Bewdley Last one before home - 42968 from above the tunnel mouth