Severn Valley Limited

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The Severn Valley Limited dining train

The Severn Valley Limited is a full length dining train which until 2019 ran on Sundays, typically of four to six carriages from the GWRGreat Western Railway / BRBritish Rail or British Railways(W) chocolate and cream set referred to as Set S. This facilitated the use of smaller engines and for saloon charters to be attached to it.


Operation 1978-2012 and in 2017

The Severn Valley Limited first ran in summer 1978.[1] Until 2012 the train also carried limited seating for non-dining passengers.

The train did one full return trip from Kidderminster to Bridgnorth, normally departing from the dock platform nearest the museum and using platform 2 at Bridgnorth, with food served on the outward leg of the journey. The service was pre-book only.

In 2017 it again appeared in the public timetable, with limited public seating. All trains, including the diner, were pathed to standard timings with additional dwell time at stations built in to assist in making up time if the service ran late. The 'Limited' set S was reduced to four coaches in order to allow the railway to operate smaller locomotives during the week, although a saloon was sometimes added. On a Sunday the ‘Limited’ had two vehicles added to allow three coaches for standard passenger accommodation to reduce the gap in the passenger service. Where possible, the set ran as a maximum six coach length train, again in order to assist the use of smaller motive power.[2]

Operation 2013-2016 and 2018-2019

From 2013-16 it ran as a dedicated train with only one pre-booked sitting, not featured in the public timetable. It was formed as a five carriage train and had available only the 30 seats in the brake for non-diners, and so did not carry standard passengers. It was timetabled with restricted stops and in the down direction stopped only at Bewdley and Hampton Loade for pathing, crossing the up trains, otherwise running non-stop to Bridgnorth. On the return it stopped to set down at Highley, so diners could opt to visit The Engine House, then running fast to Kidderminster.[3]

From 2018 it reverted to being non-advertised train of four to six coaches, with shorter formations allowing it to use one of the smaller locomotives. As an example, on 16 September 2018 then resident Collett 1400 class 0-4-2T locomotive 1450 was utilised on four coaches with a pathing stop at Arley northbound, and a timetabled stop at Highley and pathing stops at Arley and Bewdley on the return leg.

From 2020

The 2020 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic caused all catering trains to be cancelled. Trains restarted in 2022 with two vehicles attached to a service train.

From 2023 this continued operationally, but as a premium on-train dining experience in partnership with a specialist local company, Paisley Flour Catering and their experienced catering team. It operated on a handful of summer dates, and did not carry the 'Limited' branding.

Wheelchair access

The second phase of the SVRSevern Valley Railway's wheelchair project involved rebuilding BR brake 80776 to provide dining accommodation for up to 16 wheelchair users in Set S. SVR Charitable Trust Chairman Hugh McQuade in 2016 explained "We’ve come up with an innovative zig-zag layout for the tables, that means we can allow for many different configurations of wheelchairs and conventional seating. As far as we know, nothing like this exists anywhere else in Britain. The expansion of the Railway’s existing wheelchair-accessible fleet and the creation of a dedicated dining car mean that we’ll be able to offer charter and party facilities for large groups of people with disabilities.[4] It was available for use by Christmas 2019, but COVID-19 intervened before the 2020 season.

See also

Severn Valley Venturer Two dining carriages attached to a normal service train


  1. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 49
  2. Steven Chapple Operations Manager in '2017 Working Timetables', SVRLive, 17 February 2017 (Retrieved 19 March 2017)
  3. 'Why is SVR Limited now just for diners?', SVR Online forum (Retrieved 19 March 2017)
  4. 'Charitable Trust wins £75k!', SVRLive, 25 May 2016 (Retrieved 19 March 2017)