Fireman Mike Schofield stokes a K&WVR steam engine - Date unknown Anonymous Photographer.
29 May 2013
Keighley & Worth Valley Railway
Fears for Future with Coal Shortage
Keighley Yorkshire England United Kingdom - Bosses of Keighley's world-famous steam railway fear a national coal shortage could hit the five-mile line.
The collapse of Scottish Coal and a huge fire in a Warwickshire mine have left many of Britain's heritage railways struggling to find suppliers.
The Keighley & Worth Valley Railway (K&WVR) has insisted it is not yet affected by the crisis but there are concerns that as demand on coal providers soars from increasingly-desperate rail companies, the shortage could worsen.
And the K&WVR warns that it might have to look at running more diesel units rather than steam engines if the situation deteriorates.
Roger France, the railway's press officer, said: "Our supplier in Scotland hasn't been affected so we're currently okay, but some railways are in a critical position and facing the prospect of having to close. Although we are all right at the moment we are concerned that we might get caught up in the problem as more demand is placed on remaining suppliers."
He said a particular type of coal, which is larger than the standard kind, and has a lower ash content, is used in steam locomotives.
On Monday, when the railway was busy with Bank Holiday visitors, about five tonnes was needed to keep trains running.
And services on the line, which shot to stardom after being used in the filming of the classic 1970 movie version of "The Railway Children", will now be operating daily until September.
Mr. France said he hoped that there would be no need to reduce steam operations.
"Hopefully it won't come to that, and certainly we wouldn't want to close the line, it is very important to the local economy," he added.