Heritage railway suspends steam trains after fire caused by locomotive

A heritage railway has suspended its steam trains after a fire caused by a locomotive.

North York Moors Railway steam train.

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR) announced it was pulling all its steam services, just days after lifting a temporary ban imposed due to hot weather.

The visitor attraction had been using diesel locomotives since July due to the fire risks posed by sparks from steam trains in dry conditions.

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The company’s CEO said the ban was lifted this week after “recent rain,” but has now suspended the service again after a fire on Thursday night.

Chris Price, CEO of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, said: “In these unprecedented times the NYMR is trying to keep its business open to protect livelihoods, and its very existence post-Covid.

“There is no doubt that we are considerably less sustainable running our trains with diesel locomotives.

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“A decision was made following the recent rain to try and run a limited steam service to meet the wants of our customers whilst mitigating the risk by employing a third-party fire service company to patrol the most vulnerable areas of our lineside.

“We apologise to those impacted and have today made the decision to totally remove steam from our timetable until further notice.”

Mr Price added: “The heritage railway is doing everything it can to fully cooperate with the emergency services, taking every precaution to ensure the safety of both staff and passengers, which is always our priority.”

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The North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service incident log recorded three incidents of a “lineside fire caused by sparks from a steam engine” between 6pm and 6.30pm on Thursday.

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