Wheelchair access

Improving Wheel chair access

Heritage railway stations and rolling stock were originally built in an era when access for the disabled was not a main priority. However, we are working hard to ensure that all our visitors are given an equal opportunity to visit and enjoy the Severn Valley Railway and the surrounding attractions. We are consequently carrying out works to give disabled visitors the same level of access and convenience as able bodied visitors where possible.  

Recent projects include our ‘Access4All’ project which comprised three strands of work:

  • Enabling more wheelchair passengers to experience travelling on a steam railway through the restoration and conversion of a carriage (4399) to a dedicated wheelchair-accessible carriage. This provides accommodation for five wheelchair users and their companions, along with an accessible WC. This carriage completed the Railway’s fleet of adapted carriages, and means that there are wheelchair facilities on every single timetabled train on the Railway.


  •  For the first time, providing a luxury heritage dining experience to wheelchair passengers by rebuilding a carriage (80776). This provides dining accommodation for up to 16 wheelchair users, creating a dedicated dining car so that we will be able to offer charter and party facilities for large groups of people with disabilities. 


  • Wheelchair passengers are now able to embark and alight at every station as a result of the purchase of lightweight wheelchair ramps, to be carried in every adapted vehicle, including the new dining car. The new set of portable ramps allows disabled passengers to get on and off trains at all stations and halts, giving them full access to all the attractions on the route.

Current projects

Bewdley Station - Wheelchair access to platforms 2 & 3

We aim to improve the wheelchair access to the island platforms 2 & 3 at Bewdley Station, as the only access route for wheelchair users is via a barrow crossing, accessed through the Goods Yard, which has an ash/aggregate surface. This does not drain well and has suffered from degradation, now creating an uneven surface with potholes and puddles. There is also a water tower at the top of the platform ramp that leads to the crossing, which restricts access and creates a narrow and wet obstacle at track level.

We aim to improve this as soon as possible, but it has not been possible to carry out the works as planned due to the COVID19 lockdown, which closed the Railway until 1st August, completely cutting off income generated from visitors and major events. This now means that the Railway cannot proceed with the works without urgent external financial support.

   

Bridgnorth Station – Disabled WC

We are developing further plans for a refurbishment and reconfiguration of Bridgnoth Station but ahead of the next phase, we need to create a Disabled WC within the original WC block on the station platform as the Male WC’s have been re-located to a new building, but the Disabled WC is currently in a temporary portable facility.