The Severn Valley Railway will reintroduce overnight services as part of its Autumn Steam Gala this September.
The Gala, which returns for 2023 between 14th and 17th September, will see one train operate multiple return trips along the 16-mile line on the Friday and Saturday nights of the event.
As the only heritage railway in the UK that operates 24-hour running, the SVR will offer a unique heritage railway experience for Gala attendees.
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“Overnight running at steam galas has long been something the SVR is renowned for,” explained managing director Jonathan ‘Gus’ Dunster. “We paused it for a few years because of the pandemic, but now the time is right to bring it back.
“We’ve already had two extremely successful enthusiast events this year, and it’s clear that this sector of the market is buoyant. This gives us the confidence to reintroduce overnight running and we’re sure it’s going to appeal to many of our Gala passengers.
“Why is it so popular? Well, quite simply a night-time railway in operation has a unique atmosphere, both on board the train and in the stations. Steam locomotives in particular add something indefinable to the mix. You don’t often get the opportunity to see a heritage railway operating under cover of darkness, and we know this will be a huge draw.”
Travel on the overnight services will be included in the day ticket price, although passengers will need to have tickets for two consecutive days to cover their full overnight travel.
Originally planned as a three-day event, the Autumn Steam Gala has been extended to include an extra preview day on Thursday 14th September due to the success of the spring event. Thursday 14th will include at least three steam-hauled services.
“As to the line-up for the Gala,” added Gus, “We’re currently negotiating for three guest locomotives that we think are going to be magnets for the steam crowd, and we’ll be making announcements as soon as contracts are signed. We’re clearly demonstrating that the SVR is a railway that’s got enthusiasts’ interests at heart, and that our Autumn Steam Gala is going to deliver on all counts.”
For more information and to book tickets, go to svr.co.uk.