A MAJOR funding boost from the Severn Valley Railway's charitable trust will be spent repairing a serious landslip near Highley.

The heritage railway will use £120,000 from donors to stabilise land at Sterns, between Highley and Bridgnorth, by installing drainage to direct rainwater away from the line.

Repairs are already under way after the railway suffered a serious landslip which, if left unchecked, would result in the closure of the line to passenger trains.

The SVR’s infrastructure manager, Chris Bond, said: "We are hugely grateful to the charitable trust. Without this project there would be a likelihood that we would have to cease passenger trains between Highley and Bridgnorth once the winter weather returns.

Kidderminster Shuttle: Work to repair a serious landslide on the Severn Valley Railway at Sterns, near Highley. Photo by Matt RobinsonWork to repair a serious landslide on the Severn Valley Railway at Sterns, near Highley. Photo by Matt Robinson

"That would have isolated the engineering hub at Bridgnorth from the rest of the railway, which in the current circumstances could have been catastrophic for the financial viability of the SVR.

"The stabilisation of the area will maintain the required safety and permit full line journeys to be maintained.”

Another £12,000 has been released by the trust to complete the restoration of Great Western Railway's Hawksworth coach 2242.

The money will bring forward the introduction of of the 2242 into traffic. The work will ensure that the railway’s historic GWR coaching set includes a large brake vehicle in its formation which is needed to accommodate prams, bicycles and other large equipment.

It will allow the vehicle to be brought into service in 2021.

Shelagh Paterson, trust director of development at the SVR charitable trust, said: "We are delighted to be able to fund these two projects, thanks to the generosity of our donors.

"One will ensure the continued safe operation of the Railway, and the other will extend its accessibility to all members of the community.”