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Severn Valley Railway
Railroad Performance and Reliability Improvement

Location: Worcestershire, United Kingdom
Sponsor: Nick Ralls
Facilitator: Nikki Barker and Andy Wilkins


Severn Valley Railway (SVR) is an award winning heritage railway and tourist attraction operating a regular timetabled train services between Kidderminster and Bridgnorth in the Midlands.  It carries approximately a quarter of a million passengers a year, many of whom are tourists who stop off at any of the five stations along the 16 miles of track, or at the Engine House Museum to learn more about its history.

At the end of 2011, Perspectiv were approached by the Deputy Chairman of SVR to help transform the Motor Power Department (MPD) - responsible for the maintenance and overhaul of engines operating on the SVR network.  Over a number of years, SVR had been experiencing increasing difficulties in servicing the number of steam locomotives required to survive.  Coupled with this, staff motivation was low, volunteer engagement was declining and SVR was having to hire in engines to ensure operations. 

Perspectiv’s philosophy is to enable others to act on their own challenges. So Perspectiv’s work with SVR involved enabling the people at SVR to act and improve their own performance. This involved facilitating the process of building credibility among top leadership, which in turn allowed this group of leaders to create a better working climate for the staff. They, then, were able to improve their performance with a more consistent and shared vision of SVR needs and future goals using various tools and processes. As facilitators and coaches, Perspectiv enabled SVR to lead their change processes themselves.

Key Results Achieved

Key results achieved include:

  • Two overhauled engines, completed within the last 400 days of the project

  • A full fleet of engines operational, with an overhaul programme developed and in place

  • Measurable increase in the number of volunteers helping in the engine shed

  • Redevelopment of Bridgnorth site, with off-site storage facilities

  • Training key staff in the use of various CPS and Project tools

    Sponsor: Nick Ralls
    General Manager
    Facilitator: Nikki Barker and Andy Wilkins