Railway bosses are urged to go green

AN eco campaigner has hit out at a railway line for not being green enough.

Chris Spencer, a member of the Derbyshire Green Party and a resident of Bolehill, says he has has repeatedly approached Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, in Wirksworth, in an attempt to persuade them to use biofuel.

Chris, who works as an energy consultant and considers himself an expert on alternative fuels, claims the attraction’s use of diesel instead of biofuel could be releasing excessive harmful gases into the environment such as carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide.

“The fuels are designed to be completely compatible – so changing to biofuel would be as easy as using regular fuel,” he said.

Chris said he had approached the railway with regard to testing his theory.

“What I would like to do is mix five per cent biofuel with diesel and see how that goes, then if it is successful increase it to ten per cent and so on,” he said.

In order to do this, he said a company in Nottinghamshire had offered to give him 250 litres of fuel for free, however the railway would not allow him to carry out the experiment.

Chris said Ecclesbourne Valley Railway was an asset to Wirksworth bringing in an abundance of visitors to the town, however it needed to do more for sustainable tourism.

Neil Fergusan–Lee, of the railway, said: “In the rail industry in general there have been two experiments with biofuel, neither of which have been particularly conclusive.

“There have been no experiments what so ever with any of the older railway stock.”

He said he did not feel experimenting with biofuel on the old trains at Ecclesbourne Valley Railway was worth the risk of damaging their engines.

“What Chris seems to forget is the people who maintain our trains work for big railways – they know what they are doing,” Neil continued.

“We do our bit for sustainable tourism by providing an alternative to cars. What we also acknowledge is that people have a choice.

“You can’t impose your views on other people because sometimes people don’t share the same view.”