SEVERN Valley Railway's general manager has stepped down from the post he accepted just four months ago following "differences" over his approach to the job.

Colin Binch, 52, from Notting-hamshire, a mechanical engineer with a life-long interest in railways, took over the role in June, following the retirement after 13 years of Alun Rees.

Chairman, Mick York, said: "The Severn Valley Railway regrets to announce that Mr Colin Binch is no longer employed as general manager and has left under terms to be agreed.

"We are naturally disappointed that this has happened. However, we must move on."

Arrangements to re-advertise the post are in hand but it is unlikely a successor will be appointed before the end of the year and, in the meantime, a temporary committee has been set up to lead the railway.

Mr Binch was only the fourth person to hold the position of general manager since the SVR began operations in 1970.

Marketing manager, John Leach, confirmed that there had been "differences" in the management approach to the job between Mr Binch and the company.

"It just didn't work out," he said, adding: "We have, in the past, had longstanding general managers so this is quite disappointing but these things happen and we have to accept that's the situation."

The change of management will not affect the completion of the Kidderminster Town station refreshment room and concourse canopy and the railway's other major project, The Engine House display centre at Highley, is on schedule and due for opening in early summer, 2007.

Mr Binch, a keen photographer of steam engines, graduated in mechanical engineering from City University, London and, after serving an apprenticeship with Brush Electrical Machines, held several positions, including technical manager at Unipart International and technical director and later operations director at Cressall Resistors.