Lineside fires on SVR sees return to diesel traction

31 August 2022
Shropshire Fire Service called to extinguish lineside fires, seeing line return to diesel traction for third time this year.

55009 at Kidderminster TMD for the lines Autumn Diesel Bash - read here. ADE HOLMAN

A spate of lineside fires on land adjoining the Severn Valley Railway (SVR) yesterday morning (August 30) has seen the heritage line return to diesel-hauled services for the third time this season, with immediate effect.

Shropshire Fire Service attended and successfully extinguished the fires, suspected to have started by sparks or cinders from one of the SVR’s steam locomotives. Most of the fires took place in the Eardington Bank area, between Bridgnorth and Hampton Loade, in Shropshire. Members of the SVR’s permanent way team gave assistance.

Related: Watch how fast this lineside fire spreads at Bewdley, on the Severn Valley Railway in 2005, below: (footage: Tony Steel)

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“During hot, dry weather, we have to be constantly alert to the risks of lineside fires,” said Steve Wainwright, the SVR’s head of operations. “We have already switched to heritage diesel-only services twice this season; first in July and then earlier this month. Now we’re repeating the measure for third time, in order to avoid further fires."

Steve continued, "It is very frustrating for us, but this is the right thing to do. Once again, we hope that our visitors will understand the difficulty of the situation we’re in. In fact, we’re extremely lucky that we have a superb fleet of heritage diesel locomotives that we can turn to at times like this, otherwise we’d be faced with having to suspend all passenger services.“

The heritage diesel services will run until at least Friday this week, when the SVR will review the situation. To check booking and the services running, visit the Severn Valley Railway website.


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