|FLOOD DAMAGE APPEAL:
In no fewer than forty-five separate locations the ground has slipped or moved !
So what is the current problem?
According to the BBC, the equivalent of two weeks rain fell along the Severn Valley in the space of just thirty minutes in mid June, and so it continued – day after day after day! With the ground now saturated, something had to give! No one could have foreseen the devastation that resulted. A look at any of the images here will confirm the awesome power of the rainwater.
The SVR prides itself in maintaining the sixteen-mile line to the highest standard, but nothing could have prevented the damage that Mother Nature has wrought.The damage...
In no fewer than forty-five separate locations between Bewdley and Bridgnorth, the ground has slipped or moved. The majority of these locations will require attention, which is within the scope of our expanded maintenance teams assisted by some machinery. For example, drainage channels have been blocked by debris, and silt and mud have covered the tracks completely in places.
However, in at least ten locations, the damage is such that external expertise and heavy plant and equipment will be required to enable our full service to recommence. At these places, we currently estimate that repair work will take many weeks. Repairs to this damage, including an additional major problem with land above the Railway at Northwood, are now estimated to require funds in excess of £2.5 million!
These problems are also delaying the opening of The Engine House, the new Visitor & Education Centre at Highley.
What are we doing about it?
Well, firstly, all of us at the SVR are looking after our many visitors who have booked to travel during 2007. Adult groups, schools, families and individuals have been looking forward to their ‘day out’ with us, and we are doing our very best to accommodate them and to suggest alternatives. But with only the Kidderminster to Bewdley section of the line in operation at the moment, this is proving to be a challenge!
As the extent of the storm damage has become apparent, we have been inspired and touched by the messages of support and offers of help, both monetary and practical. These have come from members of the public, from similar heritage organisations and from the media. With this level of support in mind, in June we launched the SVR Flood Damage Appeal. This appeal is now seen as vital to the rebuilding work and will, hopefully, provide a significant contribution to the funds pledged by Advantage West Midlands and the European Regional Development Fund. Our grateful thanks go to those who have already supported the SVR at this time; please keep up the good work!
All donations, irrespective of size, will be most gratefully received. They will be put to very good use for this one specific purpose.