The UK is currently basking in a mini heatwave but while many people are heading to the seaside to soak up the sun it has been a different story on the railways.
A steam train planned to travel from Bristol to Weymouth as part of a series of special rail tours has been halted in its tracks due to the soaring temperatures. Dorset Echo reports that the engine was expected to pull into the seaside town on Sunday (July 14th) but Network Rail put a stop to the trips due to fears over causing trackside fires.
A spokeswoman from the organisation told the news provider that there was a risk that sparks from the locomotive could set fire to foliage along the line. It meant that Network Rail had no other choice but to ban the steam engines, a move they said was standard practice when temperatures reached this level.
"We advised the train operator to substitute the steam locomotives for a diesel to reduce the fire risk. In this case they couldn’t run with a diesel and decided to cancel the service," the spokeswoman went on to say.
The decision was a major disappointment for people looking forward to riding the steam engine on such a clear day but The Railway Touring Company, which runs the journeys, has offered a full refund or a transfer of tickets for any passengers who had booked on the Weymouth Seaside Express.
However, this news has not dampened the spirits of the company which is going ahead with its plans of summer trips from London to Weymouth and back by steam engine.
The routes will be taking place on July 24th and 31st, throughout August, and September 4th and 11th. It is a great opportunity to see the British countryside in a manner that is simply not possible when on a commuter train.
Prices start from £72 for an adult in standard class right up to £179 for premier class. The latter include a full English breakfast and a four course dinner service brought to the table.