Exploring Railway History

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Itinerary Category: general

  • Here in South Shropshire we have a wealth of links to our Industrial and Railway history. Conjure up the long lost romance of the railways by visiting some or all of the locations suggested in the itinerary – a MUST for the Railway enthusiast!


    Ironbridge Gorge Trust Family of Museums – 6hrs

    Coalbrookdale, Shropshire, TF8 7DQ

    At the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Shropshire’s claims to industrial history fame include a very early steam locomotive, designed by Richard Trevithick and built at the Coalbrookdale ironworks in about 1803. A replica can be seen (and is sometimes operating) at the Ironbridge Gorge Museum at Blist’s Hill. There is a wealth of Industrial history at this World Heritage site so we suggest allowing a full day to explore at least some of the 10 different museum sites.


    Severn Valley Railway – 5hrs

    Kidderminster, Worcestershire, DY10 1QX

    The Severn Valley Railway preserves steam locomotives, carriages and associated items and runs a restored railway between Brignorth and Kidderminster. Highlights for the Steam Engine enthusiast are the newly restored Engine Shed at Highley and the workshops at Brdgnorth. Spring and Autumn Steam Galas see a wide selection of trains running day and night – always a popular experience! Recreate a bygone era by taking the Sunday dining train and enjoy an elegant Sunday lunch whilst gliding through the beautiful Shropshire countryside bordering the River Severn.

    01299 403 816

    Bridgnorth Cliff Railway – 1hrs

    Bridgnorth, Shropshire, WV16 4AH

    ForoveracenturyBridgnorthCliffRailwayhasbeentransportingthepeopleofBridgnorthupanddownthe111ftsandstonecliffsthatseparateHighTownfromLowTownandtheRiverSevern.Itisfirstandforemostaworkingrailway;itsimportancetoboththetownspeopleofBridgnorthandtovisitorstothetownisundiminishedbyage. Therailwayoperatestwocarriagesonparalleltracks.Connectedbysteelcables,thecarriagesservetocounterbalanceeachother-asonerisestothetopstation,theotherrunstothebottomstation.Thecarsarenowpoweredbyanelectricwindingengine,butwereoriginallydrivenbyasystemofwaterbalance,eachcarriagecarryingwaterballastinatankbeneaththepassengercompartment.

    01746 762052

    Bishops Castle Railway Museum – 3hrs

    Bishops Castle, Shropshire, SY9 5BQ

    The Bishop’s Castle Railway Society Museum houses artefacts and models, publications and photographs relating the short lived Bishops Castle Railway. The exhibits in the museum have been collected from a wide range of sources. The Museum is officially “Bishop’s Castle Railway and Transport Museum” and therefore has a variety of artefacts from the Bishop’s Castle Railway, other railways in the UK and various road transport exhibits. Opening times are: Saturday and Sundays 14.00 hrs – 17.00 hrs from Easter to the end of September.


    The Heart of Wales Line – 6hrs

    Craven Arms, Shropshire, SY7 9PY

    As the title suggests this is not strictly in South Shropshire but with easy rail links from Ludlow and Craven Arms to Shrewsbury this is an easily accessible day out when staying with any Shropshire Gold member! Miraculously not closed by the infamous Dr Beeching, this rare single track line offers a nostalgic 2.5 hour journey through remote border country in a small deisel coach from Shrewsbury to Swansea with stops at Llandridod Wells and other interesting towns. The train can be caught at Craven Arms where car parking is free. For a great night out look out for ‘Folk down the Track’ events showcasing local musicians, a local pub and a train ride – what more can a train enthusiast ask for! A little bit of heaven deep inthe South Shropshire countryside!