Preserving our heritage for
future generations

Helping hands for Falling Sands

In March 2019 we received the news we'd been eagerly awaiting. The National Lottery Heritage Fund had awarded us grant funding of £853,000 towards the Falling Sands restoration project. We'd already been successful in securing £397,000 in donations from individuals, community organisations, businesses, trusts and foundations. This means the SVR is able to go ahead with its ambitious scheme to renovate the iconic Falling Sands Viaduct, and embark on a comprehensive programme of exhibitions and activities highlighting the Railway's history from its early Victorian beginnings.

Falling Sands recognition wall

We're creating a stunning, large donation wall to acknowledge every person, organisation and business that has donated to our fundraising appeal. This will be installed at The Engine House, Highley during the 2019 running season. We'll announce the wall is open for viewing on social media and our website, and will write to each donor as well. The overwhelming response to our appeal has meant it has taken extra time to check all the names, and we are grateful for everyone's patience. This important installation will be a fitting testament to all those who have shown such determination to save Falling Sands Viaduct.

Although you can no longer add a name to our donation wall, you can still make a general unrestricted donation to the SVR Charitable Trust, or donate to another project by clicking here. Thank you for your support.

The restoration of the viaduct

Work on the viaduct itself will start in January 2020, once the Christmas and New Year services are over. We'll make the most of the annual six week shutdown period. The line between Kidderminster and Bewdley will remain closed until Easter 2020, although services will run between Bridgnorth and Bewdley.  Contractors will remove the track, ballast and sandstone rubble from the viaduct. They’ll install efficient drainage channels and add a modern, waterproof membrane, before putting everything back together. Once the structure has properly dried out, damaged bricks will be replaced and the mortar repointed. We hope that the entire restoration will be completed by autumn 2020. This extensive repair is urgently needed as water has seeped into the structure of the 142-year-old viaduct, causing it to crack and erode. If we don't act very soon, we may be forced to reduce the length of trains, or even face temporary or permanent closure of the line. Already there's a speed restriction in place across the viaduct.

More than 250,000 people experience the joy of heritage rail travel at the SVR every year, and we want to make sure this continues long into the future.

Here's one of the short films we made to promote our 'helping hands for Falling Sands' appeal. Although the opportunity to add a name to the donation wall has now closed, we'd still like you to be able to see it.