THE Severn Valley Railway has launched an urgent appeal to raise £250,000 to help it survive the coronavirus crisis.

The railway, which runs between Kidderminster and Bridgnoth, has been forced to close due to the pandemic, meaning its income from visitors has been lost.

Chairman Nick Paul said: "With the railway now closed, our income from visitors has disappeared. We don’t know how long this situation will continue.

"Furthermore, it comes on the back of the flooding a few weeks ago, and the fact that we had to close the line between Kidderminster and Bewdley because of essential repairs to Falling Sands Viaduct.

"The SVR is fighting for its survival and we need to ensure the SVR can stay afloat in the weeks and months to come, so that when the restrictions are lifted, we’ll be able to re-emerge as one of the country’s leading heritage railways."

The SVR said it will be taking advantage of the Government bailout scheme to underwrite 80 per cent of salary costs, having already put most paid staff on furlough.

A £250,000 appeal has now been launched to keep the railway ticking over for the next three months.

The money will be used to maintain minimal staff for operational duties, to ensure the security of stations, to retain workers with specialist heritage skills and to develop a recovery strategy to ensure the railway is ready to reopen when the time comes.

Mr Paul added: "At this time of national emergency and widespread worry, it is difficult to ask for your help. However, without it our SVR may not survive."

The emergency appeal has already brought in £105,000 in donations.

People can donate at or phone 01562 757902. Bank transfers go to SVR (Holdings) Plc, sort code 40-26-08, account number 01330608, or cheques can be sent to SVR, 1 Comberton Place, Kidderminster, DY10 1QR.