RIDING THE RAILS
Who: Severn Valley Railway Trust and drp
Objective: From the early 19th century, locomotives powered the industrial landscape and became a key mode of transport for Britain’s ever-growing, ever-curious population. Modern trains now traverse the length and breadth of the UK, but heritage steam railways are confined to certain areas. One such 17-mile track exists in Kidderminster’s Severn Valley. Despite the Severn Valley Railway’s annual quarter million visitors, the Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust is under pressure to fund updates to its ageing locomotive vehicles and well-worn infrastructure.
Strategy: With Worcestershire-based integrated communications agency drp, the Severn Valley Railway Trust has released a promotional film highlighting its work. Welcoming 1,700 volunteers, the trust aims to secure a sustainable future for the heritage steam railway – no mean feat, considering the bridges, viaducts, tunnels, tracks, engines and buildings needing constant maintenance and support. With the release of its promotional film, the Severn Valley Railway Trust and drp highlight Britain’s unique railway heritage while reinforcing the importance of donations. Enough donations will see the Severn Valley Railway continuing to educate and entertain visitors for years to come.
Rationale: For the Severn Valley Railway Trust, the film is a key way to address the funding challenges it continuously faces while ensuring the pressures the railway faces are communicated to an audience beyond the valley. “Ticket sales and profits from our shops, cafes and bars pay for the day-to-day running of our train services, but they cannot meet the substantial costs of overhauling our locomotives and carriages,” says the trust’s charitable director, Shelagh Paterson. And for drp, the local nature of the project is simply part engrained in the company ethos. Dagmar Mackett, board director of video at drp, says, “Being able to support the Severn Valley Railway is a real honour for us. This piece of British history is as local to Worcestershire as we are; at drp we always try to support local businesses and give something back to the local community.”
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