LOTTERY players who love heritage rail are being given the chance to catch a behind the scenes tour at Severn Valley Railway (SVR).

Those with a National Lottery ticket or scratch card can see a rare glimpse of the Kidderminster Carriage and Wagon Department on Thursday, November 28. 

The tour will feature some of the rolling stock that’s currently under restoration, and will provide an opportunity to watch heritage skills in action.

Volunteers and apprentices will be on hand to talk about their work and the tour will end over tea and biscuits in the Carriage & Wagon office.

The SVR is one of hundreds of participating National Lottery-funded visitor attractions across the UK, saying ‘thanks’ to people who have raised money for good causes by buying a lottery ticket since The National Lottery launched 25 years ago.

The heritage railway has benefitted from substantial grants from The National Lottery Heritage Fund in recent years.

Its ongoing project to restore the 142-year-old Falling Sands Viaduct in Kidderminster has been boosted by an award of £925,000 and it won £95,000 towards the restoration of its flagship locomotive No 4930 Hagley Hall.

In addition, the railway received £500,000 from The National Lottery, which matched, pound for pound, money donated by supporters.

The resulting £1 million acted to kick-start an investment fund to help secure the railway’s future.

Ros Kerslake, chief executive of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “This year the National Lottery turns 25, and what better way to say thank you than offering special offers at some of places that players have helped fund. The UK’s diverse and exciting heritage has been transformed by £8 billion since National Lottery started in 1994.

"This is a small gesture of thanks and a way of giving something back to the people who buy tickets.”

Nick Ralls, the SVR’s outgoing general manager said: “Keeping the SVR in such good shape has been helped hugely by the grant funding that’s been made possible by National Lottery players.

"For example, we’re about to start major renovations to Falling Sands Viaduct, an essential link in the line’s infrastructure.

"By putting right all the years of wear and tear to this huge Victorian structure, we’ll secure our operational viability for the future.”

All applicants for the tour must have a National Lottery ticket or scratch card, and must book their place in advance by phoning 01562 757940.