After two weeks of only using heritage diesel locomotives on its public services because of the risk of fire, the Severn Valley Railway will restart steam-hauled services tomorrow, Wednesday, 27th July.
As an added precaution, just for tomorrow, the railway has rostered additional diesel engines to assist its steam-hauled services. If all goes well, the steam locos will take the full load from Thursday onwards.
During the temporary steam ban, the railway did run one very special steam-hauled service. That was last Saturday, 23rd July. when the purple-liveried West Country Pacific No. 70 Elizabeth II carried the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay from Kidderminster to Bridgnorth in the final build-up to the start of the Commonwealth Games.
Helen Smith, the SVR’s managing director, said:
“We decided to stop running steam locomotives temporarily after a spate of lineside fires, coupled with a forecast of sustained hot, dry weather.
“It was the responsible thing to do, and we’re fortunate to have a strong fleet of heritage diesel engines that we could turn to in order to continue running passenger services.
“Weather conditions have now changed, and we’re bringing back steam! In fact, we’re increasing the number of steam locomotives in service each day, as we move into our key summer holiday season.
“We’ve got plenty of fun, sporting activities lined up for all the family as part of our Summer of Sport, and there are a series of exciting weekend events included in our normal ticket prices, such as a Vintage Transport Extravaganza, a Food and Drink Fayre, and a Purple-themed weekend starring No. 70 Elizabeth II.”