Heritage railway introduces more diesel services after coal price rises 148%


The Churnet Valley railway is turning to more devised locomotive services as the price and availability of coal becomes an issue.

Coal supplies from Russia has become unavailable due to the war in Russia and costs of coal have risen 148% in 9 weeks.

The Last remaining UK coal mine that supplies coal that is suitable for Steam engines is now operating again and supplies will be available to heritage railways soon.

In a statement the railway said

“As many of you will be aware, the supply of coal has become an increasingly complex matter in the United Kingdom. We have Government policies which are pushing for a complete ban on coal, whilst another part of Government is keen to see tourism return to pre Covid levels. Clearly for a Heritage Railway which operates steam locomotive that causes problems.

The last operational coal mine in the UK which can supply locomotive quality coal has had a reprieve and we understand will be able to supply coal to the heritage sector imminently. The ongoing war in Ukraine has also prevented our usual supply of coal being available from Russia.

In short, coal is currently in scarce supply which in turn leads to an upshot in price. We realistically cannot pass this on to the travelling public.

In the last 9 weeks alone the price of coal has increased 148%.

We will for as long as possible continue to run our steam locomotives, however we are introducing some diesel only running days which we will continue to review on a monthly basis.

Until this next review our Saturday services will be diesel hauled as well as our Friday 3rd June service. Where we have committed to a private charter with a steam locomotive then subject to availability we will honour this.”

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