List of infrastructure

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This page gives details of bridges, viaducts, tunnels, crossings, and any other infrastructure along the SVRSevern Valley Railway. Barrow crossings and staff-only crossings are not included.

Geographical List

Kidderminster to Bewdley

Bewdley to Arley

Arley to Highley

Highley to Hampton Loade

Hampton Loade to Bridgnorth

Alphabetical List of numbered Bridges, Viaducts and Tunnels

Types of bridge and crossing

Accommodation bridge / crossing: An accommodation bridge or accommodation crossing is one built during construction of a new railway, or other transport route, in order to accommodate a pre-existing private road, path or right of access. Construction of the bridge or crossing is normally at the cost of the route developer as a condition for obtaining the land for building the new route.

Occupation bridge / crossing: An occupation bridge or occupation crossing connects two parts of an estate separated by a railway, road or canal. Unlike an accommodation bridge or accommodation crossing, it is not necessarily installed during construction of the railway or at the route developer’s expense, nor may there have been an existing road or path at its location.

Overbridge: An overbridge is a bridge over the railway, normally carrying a road or track.

Underbridge: An underbridge allows a road, river etc. to pass underneath the railway.

Viaduct: A viaduct is a particular type of bridge characterised by having a number of small spans, for crossing a valley or a gorge.

Culvert: A culvert is a pipe or tunnel allowing water to flow under a railway (or road etc.) from one side to the other. The SVRSevern Valley Railway’s list of numbered bridges above includes several large culverts. Following the 2007 storm damage a detailed survey of the line identified more than 100 culverts; these are all individually numbered and recorded but not listed here. Some of these culverts are included in the Wyre Forest District Council Local Heritage List as being considered of historical interest.

Track, rails and sleepers

Rail profiles (Wikipedia)

The majority of the SVRSevern Valley Railway’s 16 miles of track uses bullhead rail. This type of rail was the standard on British railways between the mid-19th and mid-20th centuries. The rail sits in chairs which are in turn attached to the sleepers, and the rail is held fast to the chairs using metal wedges or keys.


After the mid-20th century, Britain’s railway network moved over to using flat-bottom rail. This sits directly on the sleepers without the need for chairs, and is held by to the sleepers using Pandrol clips. Flat-bottomed rail was first used on the SVRSevern Valley Railway in 1979 when relaying the section between Bridgnorth and Knowlesands[1], it can now be seen elsewhere including the section near Country Park Halt (see picture below).


Individual rails of both types are typically 60 ft in length, and are joined to each other by fishplates. The fishplates allow a certain amount of longitudinal movement to cater for expansion and contraction of the rails with temperature changes. Each section of the line is regularly inspected to check for faults in the fishplates and rail fastenings.

Modern railway practice is to use continuously welded rail (CWR), in which adjacent lengths of rail are welded together, removing the need for fishplates. This gives a smoother ride and reduces maintenance costs. Whilst heritage railways do not generally use CWR, it is used on the sections of track across Victoria Bridge and through Bewdley Tunnel (installed during the winter of 2011-12) in order to simplify maintenance in these areas of restricted access. In Winter 2015-16 around ½ mile of track at the summit of Eardington Bank was also relaid with CWR; the SVRSevern Valley Railway announced that it has to be realised that the SVRSevern Valley Railway has to look to reducing the maintenance load on the PWPermanent Way teams who are not getting any younger. This section will require vastly less maintenance than the previous jointed bullhead rail allowing the resource that we do have to concentrate more on the remaining jointed sections.[2] Relaying at County Boundary in 2017-18 also used CWR.[3]

The 1960s track acquired by the SVRSevern Valley Railway from BRBritish Rail or British Railways predominantly used wooden sleepers, many of which were in less than ideal condition. Although wooden sleepers have generally been retained in stations for aesthetic purposes, the rest of the line has been re-laid over the years using more modern concrete, or rarely steel, sleepers. A substantial portion of the relaying at the north end of the line was done during the 1970s with the aid of labour funded by the Manpower Services Commission.

Broad gauge rails

The earliest Great Western Railway lines from the company's founding in 1833 were laid to 7'¼" broad gauge.
Between 1864 and 1892 all broad gauge and dual gauge lines were gradually converted to 4'8½" standard gauge.
This left the GWRGreat Western Railway with large quantities of surplus broad gauge rails. These rails are recognisable by their distinctive top hat section and many examples of their reuse as fence posts or for similar purposes can be seen alongside the current SVRSevern Valley Railway.

See also

Wyre Forest District Council Local Heritage List

References

  1. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 57 and 60
  2. SVR Live Infrasructure page
  3. SVR Live, Winter Works 2018 (Retrieved 27 June 2018)