BOSSES at Severn Valley Railway will only run diesel locomotives on its line to reduce the risk of fire during the on-going heatwave.

The attraction has taken the temporary precaution in a bid to ease pressure on fire crews, who were called out to a number of incidents of small fires breaking out along the line on Sunday (July 9).

Firefighters from Kidderminster and Bewdley tackled five incidents along the embankment on that day.

SVR’s heritage diesel locomotives will replace their steam counterparts to take passengers along the line from today (Tuesday, July 10) and will review the measures next Wednesday (July 18) and assess the situation on a day to day basis from there.

People will still see a steam locomotive in action, however, and get the chance to enjoy a short ride on either Flying Pig No. 43106 or No. 2857 within the limits of Bewdley and Bridgnorth stations at weekends.

Nick Ralls, the SVR’s General Manager, said: “Despite the best efforts from our volunteers and staff on the Railway to work appropriately for the dry conditions, the fire service was called out to a number of fire incidents along the line on Sunday.

“As an important part of the local community, we must consider the added pressure on an already stretched fire service during this extended dry spell as well as the disruption to our neighbours and this is why these measures have been taken.”

He added: “This really is an exceptional occurrence, though will let some of our lovely fleet of heritage diesel locomotives shine for a short while – there will still be the same regular timetable, comfy, historic carriages and plenty to see and do along the line, including the chance to experience a short journey on the footplate at Bewdley, which is a really special opportunity.

“We’d like to thank all our visitors and neighbours for their patience and will be announcing the latest updates on the situation on our website and Facebook Severn Valley Railway Official Site and Severn Valley Railway Families pages.”