Severn Valley Railway (SVR) has raised £2.5 million in share purchases to transform its visitor facilities at Bridgnorth station – the biggest redevelopment project in the heritage railway’s history.
Organisers said that people queued throughout the day and that donations flooded in up until the last few hours of the fundraiser, which was launched in November 2016 and closed on October 31, 2017
A key part of the project is centred on conserving the Grade II listed station building at Bridgnorth, which was built in 1862.
Phase one of the project includes the construction of a brand new refreshment room and toilet building, refurbishment and renovation of the existing station building and the first part of an extensive tree-planting scheme.
The second phase covers the installation of a locomotive turntable, creation of additional car parking with a new access road, plus further tree-planting and landscaping.
Construction work is already well underway on the new refreshment room, with a grand opening scheduled for summer 2018.
SVR board member Tony Bending said: “We are absolutely delighted and overwhelmed by the amazing response – we always knew that the £2.5 million figure set at the start of the campaign was an extremely ambitious one – and we never dared hope that we would get anywhere near it, but we are truly humbled and grateful to all those who have so generously supported us and would like to say a huge thank you – we are over the moon.
“This fundraising is the culmination of more than a decade of hard work and planning for many of the people behind the Bridgnorth Development Project, and will enable them to see their dreams for this much-loved station finally become a reality.”
SVR is a standard gauge railway running steam-hauled passenger trains along a 16 mile and six-station route between Kidderminster in Worcestershire and Bridgnorth in Shropshire. It is run largely by a dedicated body of 1,700 volunteers and welcomes more than 250,000 passengers each year.