EXPERIENCE NORTH YORKSHIRE MOORS RAILWAY
The North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR) is run mostly by volunteers and rail enthusiasts and is a charity that exists to “bring the experience and excitement of past rail travel to today’s generation.”
The railway first opened in 1836 as the Whitby and Pickering Railway, the railway was planned in 1831 by George Stephenson as a means of opening up trade routes inland from the then important seaport of Whitby. The line closed in 1965. It was reopened in 1973 by the North York Moors Historical Railway Trust Ltd. The preserved line is now a significant tourist attraction and has been awarded many industry accolades.
The NYMR carries more passengers than any other heritage railway in the UK and may be the busiest steam heritage line in the world, carrying around 350,000 passengers in 2009. The 18-mile (29 km) railway is the second-longest standard gauge heritage line in the United Kingdom and runs across the North York Moors from Pickering via Levisham, Newton Dale, Goathland and terminating at Grosmont. Some heritage rail operations continue along Network Rail tracks to Whitby. The railway is formed from the middle section of the former Whitby, Pickering and Malton line which was closed in 1965 as part of the Beeching cuts. The NYMR is owned by the North York Moors Historical Railway Trust Ltd (a Charitable Trust and Accredited Museum) and is operated by its wholly owned subsidiary North Yorkshire Moors Railway Enterprises Plc. It is mostly operated and staffed by volunteers.
Trains run every day from the beginning of April to the end of October and on weekends and selected holidays during the winter (with no service from 24–27 December). Trains are mostly steam-hauled; however in some cases heritage diesel is used. At the height of the running timetable, trains depart hourly from each station. As well as the normal passenger running, there are dining services on some evenings and weekends. The extension of steam operated services to the seaside town of Whitby have proved extremely popular.
The NYMR celebrated the 175th anniversary of the Whitby & Pickering Railway in 2011 and now has many special events such as Pullman dining trains and Santa Specials in December.