By Roger Melton
The fine weather of the summer months had brought mixed blessings to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR).
At the end of July the year-to-date figures were showing an increase of around 13% in visitor numbers, equivalent to around 11,400 extra passengers, although income was up by a lesser amount at 9%, indicating that secondary spend has fallen, with many families opting to bring sandwiches and drinks rather than buy them at the railway.
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The good weather has not been entirely beneficial, however.
The tinder-dry nature of the railway lineside has meant the NYMR has been operating under “firecon 3” rules, whereby all trains remain steam-hauled, but all are given diesel assistance.
Unlike several other heritage lines, it has continued to offer steam haulage, but diesel help means the locomotives do not have to work so hard, thereby reducing the risk of locomotives throwing sparks that might cause fires.
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