Preserving our heritage for
future generations

Helping hands for Falling Sands

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Falling Sands Viaduct is a crucial part of the Severn Valley Railway, but this 141-year-old structure urgently needs extensive repairs. Water has seeped into the structure, causing it to crack and erode.

If we don't act now, 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.

We need to raise £397,000 by early 2019 – which in turn will help unlock a further £1 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund* – to carry out the necessary work. 

This amount is an increase on our original target of £275,000. We had to allow for working around two previously unknown gas pipes running through the viaduct, and we have increased the scope of the restoration work to include the corbelling  and the replacement of two pilasters at one end of the structure. We will take out performance bonds to cover the SVR's potential revenue losses in the event of a contractor being unable to fulfil their contract for any reason, and as part of the interpretation element of the project, we will create a unique mobile exhibition about the story of Falling Sands Viaduct and the people who built it, all cleverly installed within a Charitable Trust-owned Stove R van.

The response to our appeal has been wonderful - thousands of supporters, visitors, railway enthusiasts and businesses have signed up to add their name to our specially commissioned donation wall. We've also won the support of a number of grant-making organisations to help us save this impressive piece of infrastructure, and by so doing, safeguard the SVR's future operational viability. Our final bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for the £1 million was delivered at the end of October 2018, and we await the HLF's decision in March 2019.

Will you join the thousands who've already signed up, as one of the 'helping hands for Falling Sands'?

Watch our film for more information.



Please act now to save Falling Sands Viaduct


£50 Add a name to the SVR's first ever donation wall


£100 Sign up your business

Get your grant-making organisation involved

See the progress of our fundraising and the restoration project itself

*Thanks to National Lottery players, we've already been awarded a grant of £71,800 to refine and develop our bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a full grant of £1 million. We will submit our bid in October 2018, and receive HLF's final decision early in 2019. A key factor in winning HLF's support is our ability to independently raise £275,000 towards the costs of restoring Falling Sands Viaduct.