We love our heritage railway adventures here, since my son was two years old his birthday day out has always features a steam train somewhere across the country. He’s nearly nine now and his love is growing for these majestic machines. But I’ve realised I don’t often actually share those adventures on the blog. At some point I will actually write a post featuring all of the heritage railways we’ve been on over the years, but for today I’m concentrating on our recent steam train adventures on the Severn Valley Railway.
The heritage railway runs for sixteen miles between Kidderminster and Bridgnorth, closely following the River Severn, and is one of our favourite lines to travel on. If you’re lucky, you’ll also get a peek at the elephants and rhinos at West Midland Safari Park on your way down the line!
We’ve been having steam train adventures on the Severn Valley Railway for years now. When we are spending the day at the railway, we park up at the Kidderminster end (charge of £4 for the day) and normally get off at Bridgnorth, have a look round the town, travel on their Cliff Railway before heading back on the train. But on this day we’d promised my son a whole day steaming up and down the line with our rover tickets.
We’d been gifted tickets for this day out by BookTrust as part of their Time to Read campaign, showing how books can be brought to life. You might have seen my post recently and have seen that my son brought his copy of Peter’s Railway with him to enjoy.
We were eager to catch the first locomotive of the day, to make the most of our time, and decided to head all the way down the line to Bridgnorth first and then catch the train back as far as Highley station. But we always have to check out our loco first.
Once my train spotter had completed his loco inspection it was time to board the train, pick a seat and sit back and enjoy the views. My son takes everything in and he loves seeing what’s going on around the station before the train has even left.
As I mentioned earlier, the views across the Severn Valley on this line are beautiful, at any time of year.
We got to see sheep grazing in the fields and you might just spot the people kayaking down the river.
I’d got the wrong lens with me but you might also just make out the rhinos that we passed.
There’s always lots to see at Bridgnorth Station as one of the platforms is right next to the engine sheds.
My son never misses an opportunity to stand on the bridge and wait for trains to come into the station, and for locomotives to move from one end of the carriages to the other.
Before we wait to board the next train.
It was soon time to board again, and watch the world speed past.
We timed the train to Highley to coincide with lunch time as they have a lovely cafe based in their Visitor Centre. It’s also a great place to do a bit of extra train spotting.
Once we’d refueled it was time to explore the visitor centre, which houses a number of locomotives. We’ve been a few times now over the years and my son treats every visit as if it’s his first.
Being able to stand on the footplate and take to the controls is always a highlight of steam train adventures on the Severn Valley Railway.
It’s a great place for any steam train fan to enjoy.
There’s also a postal train on display and children can have a go at sorting the mail. Another attraction my son always enjoys. A great way to get him practicing his reading in a fun way too!
You will probably already know that we love the Peter’s Railway book series and in the visitor centre there’s an area where you can learn more about the books and about how steam engines actually work. It’s another hit with my son.
But of course the main point of our steam train adventures on the Severn Valley Railway, is to travel behind the steam locomotives themselves. So we headed back to the platform to await the next train.
There was much excitement as we passed Britannia who was visiting for the follow weekend’s steam gala.
One happy little boy had had another great time having steam train adventures on the Severn Valley Railway.
There was time to spot one last loco before we headed home.
Little does my son know that we’ve got a little surprise coming up for him in a couple of weeks involving his beloved A4 Pacific locos and a heritage line we’ve not travelled on before!
With a birthday in December we’ve always booked a Santa Express train ride for his birthday across the country. But they often don’t run for the full length of the track and you’re limited to one return ride. I suggested to him that this year maybe we should celebrate his birthday a bit early and he’d get more train travel time for my pennies! So keep a look out for a post at some point nearer the end of October and I’ll share our next steam train adventure with you all then.
Do you have a steam train fan in your family?