FALLING SANDS VIADUCT
COVID-19 UPDATE: The Severn Valley Railway is reopening on 12th April. More information for ticket holders is available on the SVR website.
The first phase of the Falling Sands Viaduct restoration project was completed in March 2020, prior to lockdown. The second phase was completed in December 2020, with all work undertaken in line with government guidelines.
Work on the Falling Sands project is continuing. Further information about the Exhibitions and Activity programme will be shared soon.
Welcome to the Falling Sands Viaduct Website!
Photo: Phillip Moore Photography
The Severn Valley Railway is acknowledged as one of Britain’s finest preserved railways. Running for 16 miles, the railway takes you on a journey through Worcestershire and Shropshire in the beautiful Severn Valley countryside. Built between 1875-78, the Falling Sands Viaduct is located on the outskirts of Kidderminster and forms part of the original SVR line, that ran from Bridgnorth to Bewdley. It is a symbol of the prowess of Victorian engineering and a testament to the skill and determination of those involved in construction and maintenance.
In 2016 however, an assessment of the viaduct showed the need for significant repairs. Water had penetrated the arches, causing cracks and eroding brickwork and mortar joints.
In March 2019, we received some eagerly awaited news. The National Lottery Heritage Fund awarded us £853,000 of grant funding towards the restoration of the Falling Sands Viaduct! Through the generous donations from individuals, community organisations and businesses, we raised £397,000 to add to the grant.
Work began on restoring the viaduct back in December 2019 - the track was lifted, ballast removed and new concrete poured in. The second phase, to repair the brickwork, commenced in June 2020 but swiftly came to a halt when bats were seen flying out from beneath one the arches! A license was obtained from Natural England and thankfully work was able to restart in July. The restoration was completed in December 2020, just under a year after work began. Read more about the restoration work here.
Along the way we have been collecting histories and memories of the SVR in our Oral History programme, click here to visit our Oral History page and listen to our latest podcast.
Using the research gained from the project so far, we are now busy developing an exciting programme of exhibitions and activities which will help us to share the story of the viaduct and those who worked on it.
The aim of the project is not simply to restore this essential viaduct to the line. We also want to uncover the Severn Valley Railway’s incredible history, from its Victorian beginnings, through to its rescue in the 1960s and up to the present day.