Heritage diesel plays a huge role at the Severn Valley Railway, and most of the locomotives here are more than 50 years old. The purpose-built diesel maintenance depot at Kidderminster was officially opened in May 2016, and from the very start it made a huge difference to volunteers and staff working on the diesel fleet. For the previous 20 years, facilities had been very basic, and meant working outdoors in all weathers. The Charitable Trust contributed £30,000 to building the state-of-the-art depot.
"The SVR simply couldn't function without its fleet of diesel shunting locomotives, and around 10% of our scheduled passenger services are diesel-operated. These engines are as much a part of Britain's industrial heritage as the steam locos they replaced."
Jonathan Dunster, chairman of the SVR Diesel committee
Donations to the SVR Charitable Trust have enabled the funding of a raft of new equipment for the Diesel Depot. As diesel volunteer Roland Bull explains, it’s mostly aimed at making the work there safer and more efficient:
“There’s an auto hook that we can use to lift and move the huge jacks inside the Depot. Previously, this would have been a two-person job, with one person climbing up and down ladders to fix the hook to the jack. Now it can all be done by one person, without the need to leave ground level.
“There’s also a pipe threading machine and completely new LED lighting to illuminate the entrance and side of the building. The new equipment is worth around £15,000 and we are very grateful for the support of the Charitable Trust.”