IT WILL be full steam ahead at the weekend as one of Worcestershire’s best loved heritage attractions pulls out of its winter sidings to start another season on the tracks.

Heritage railway enthusiasts have a treat in store as the Severn Valley Railway (SVR), based at Kidderminster, offers a great line-up of visiting locomotives to accompany many of its own fleet this weekend.

The Spring Steam Gala on Friday March 17 until Sunday March 19 promises to be a great event for all the family with an exciting array of locomotives, an opportunity to learn about railway history and then experience a journey back in time.

The visiting engines will include LMS Ivatt 2 No 41312 which is making its first appearance on the Severn Valley line for 16 years courtesy of the Mid-Hants Railway; SR Battle of Britain No 34081 92 Squadron thanks to The Battle of Britain Locomotive Society and Nene Valley Railway; and one of the most powerful locomotives in Britain – the BR Standard 9F No.92214 courtesy of the Great Central Railway.

There will be a range of the Severn Valley’s own fleet operating during the spring gala including GWR 813 built in 1901, used by Great Western Railway in Wales and then by the National Coal Board before being acquired by SVR.

The No 7812 Erlestoke Manor - a GWR Collett 7800 Manor built around 1938 – will also be in action together with No 34053 Sir Keith Parker built in Brighton in 1947 and No. 43106 which was built in Darlington and is affectionately called “The Flying Pig” – plus many more.

The doubleheaders will include Nos 1450 and 7714 plus Nos 41312 and 43106, while brake van rides will be available at Highley Station on all days on a first come, first served basis. For times visit or call 01562 757900.

Apart from a hive of activity on the tracks there will be a beer tent and hot pork baps available at Bewdley Station; the Paddock Railway miniature railway will be running at Hampton Loade while the Coalyard Miniature Railway can be seen at Kidderminster Station. The railway museum at Kidderminster is also staging a huge book sale.

There are also three new exhibitions at the SVR Visitor and Education Centre at Highley called The Engine House. The displays will be on show until the end of the year and comprise The Art of the Railway Poster - telling the story of how the big four railway companies tried to promote train travel to the public and showcasing some beautiful original railway posters.

Another exhibit focuses on the 2007 Storm Damage – 10 Years On. It takes a look at the damage to the SVR by the freak summer weather event of 2017. While the third display is called Signs of the Times – a fascinating display of London Underground and Great Western Railway signs, courtesy of London Transport Museum and Kidderminster Railway Museum.