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North Yorkshire Moors Railway reduces its services due to wildfire concerns

Updated: Jul 13, 2022

The news has come in from the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, the heritage steam line which is a favourite with visitors to the area, has reduced its steam services due to the high fire risk on the moors at the moment.

The Railway runs both steam and diesel trains; but due to the current high temperatures, dry spell and tinder dry vegetation on the moors, they have reduced their services and are using a diesel engine to supplement their steam service, in order to reduce the risk of lineside fires – which, on occasion, can spread into moorland wildfires.

Wildfires are a huge worry for those working on the moors, and indeed any area of grassland or dry vegetation, particularly at the moment. On Sunday, a wildfire in woodland near Dovestone Moor required fire crews ten different fire stations, who used hose reels and specialist wildfire equipment to tackle the fire.

Although the fire service did not reveal the initial cause of the fire, they later reminded people on Twitter of the resources needed to tackle wildfires, asking them to “Be Moor Aware”, and never have barbecues or start fires in moorland areas.

In other areas of the UK, wildfires are still blazing, as temperatures soar into the 30s, and will continue to do so in coming days.

Of course, reducing their services will affect the NYMR railway's income, and as a charity they are highly vulnerable to revenue fluctuations. With that in mind, we and the moorland communities are very grateful that the railway have made this sensible decision. A wildfire could easily destroy thousands of acres of moorland, and would spread particularly fast at the moment. We are sure it was a tough decision, but we are equally convinced that it was the right one. Thank you.


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