Much has happened on the Severn Valley Railway since Volume 1 was published, not least the potentially disastrous 2007 flooding and the construction of The Engine House, and these feature in this new "Past and Present Companion". Although the railway achieved its full length, from Bridgnorth to Kidderminster, in 1984, there continue to be many exciting developments: the roofing of the concourse at Kidderminster, the erection of a footbridge at Highley, the proposed GBP400,000 diesel shed at Kidderminster, the exploration of a commuter service between Bewdley and Kidderminster, and the first-ever direct run from Bridgnorth to Marylebone on 15 August 2009, in conjunction with Chiltern Railways. All these topics and many more are covered in this in-depth survey of the line as it was in GWR and BR days, and the changes wrought since then, not only on the preserved section, but the lost stretches that have returned to nature. John Stretton has been granted extensive access to the SVR, and the contrasting views of the past and present demonstrate the vitality of the railway and the huge support it receives from its members, the public and the various grant-awarding authorities.
Once more he has produced a book as full of interest to the railway enthusiast as to the casual visitor.
John Stretton is a well-known railway author and photographer, and contributor of many titles to the 'Past and Present' series. He lives in Ashchurch, Gloucestershire.