The Aln Valley Railway (AVR) has taken delivery of a historic wagon, which will be converted to carry water to extinguish any fires along the route.
An AVR spokesman said: “The railway, as it extends, passes areas of vegetation which are potentially flammable: Hedges, saplings and crops in nearby fields. Parts of the line are quite difficult to access by fire engines.
“So the railway has taken delivery of a tanker wagon which will be converted to carry water so that fires can be quickly treated.
“The wagon is 98 years old, so it is of historic importance. It was built in 1920 and first used for carrying National Benzole petrol. It was converted in the 1930s to carry heavier oil-products such as coal tar.
“For some years it has been languishing at Darlington. Now it has arrived at the AVR and it will be repaired and restored to perform its new function. The team leader for the restoration is Brian Cunningham and the work will be conducted to a high standard.”
The AVR is an ongoing heritage scheme to reopen the branchline between Alnwick and Alnmouth. So far, a new station has been built at Alnwick and about a mile of track has been laid. The AVR has already become a popular tourist attraction.