The North Yorkshire Moors Railway was 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 initial railway was designed and built to be used by horse-drawn carriages. Construction was carried out by navvies and coordinated by top engineers. Their three main achievements were cutting a 120-yard tunnel through rock at Grosmont, constructing a rope-worked incline system at Beck Hole and traversing the marshy and deep Fen Bog using a bed of timber and sheep fleeces. The tunnel is believed to be one of the oldest railway tunnels in the world. In its first year of operation, the railway carried 10,000 tons of stone from Grosmont to Whitby, as well as 6,000 passengers, who paid a fare of 1 shilling to sit on the roof of a coach, or 1 shilling and 3 pence to sit inside. It took two and a half hours to travel from Whitby to Pickering. In 1845, the railway was acquired by the York and North Midland Railway who re-engineered the line to allow the use of steam locomotives. They also constructed the permanent stations and other structures along the line which still remain today. The Beck Hole Incline was re-equipped with a steam powered stationary engine and iron rope. They also added the line south from Pickering so that the line had a connection to York and London. Steam locomotives could not operate on the Beck Hole incline; so in the early 1860s the Railway started construction of an alternative route which opened in 1865 – this is the route which is still in use today. The original route is now a 3.5-mile (5.6 km) rail trail named the Historic Rail Trail.
Pickering railway station is the current terminus of the railway and serves the busy market town of Pickering. The station has been restored to its 1937 condition. Original fixtures and fittings have been installed in the Booking Office and Parcels Office, as well as in the Tea Room. A park-and-ride service is provided to keep traffic out of the town during busy periods. The station is home to the railway's carriage workshops, and there is also a turntable. There is a Learning Centre and a Visitor Centre behind the down platform. Levisham railway station is a small countryside station set in the scenic Newton Dale valley. The location of the station is notable, as it is nearly two miles from the village which it serves, and whose name it takes. The area is ideal for walking and a wide variety of wildlife and flowers can be found within a short distance of the station. Levisham Station has been renovated and preserved to represent a small NER country station, circa 1912. Since 2007 the North Yorkshire Moors Railway’s Artist in Residence Christopher Ware can be seen at work in an open studio at the station which is open every day when trains are running, and often when they are not. Newton Dale Halt is a remote walkers' request stop. There are excellent walks and beautiful scenery within easy reach. Goathland railway station is another typical countryside station, almost unchanged since its construction in 1865. The station has been restored to represent an NER country station post First World War circa 1922. The station is popular with tourists due to its appearances in Yorkshire TV's Heartbeat and the first of the Harry Potter films. The station has a newly refurbished Tea Room which is inside a Goods Warehouse.
Grosmont railway station was the railway's permanent northern terminus until 2007, when trains began operating into Whitby on a regular basis. The locomotive sheds are situated here, just south of the tunnel through which trains run en route for Goathland and beyond. The station itself has been restored to the British Railways style circa 1952. It has full facilities including a shop, café serving cooked meals, toilets including disabled, a ticket office and a waiting room. The shed area has facilities to provide water and coal for the engines, as well as stabling. The 'running shed' is usually open to public access at one end, where stationary engines can be viewed. These are usually either operational but not in service that day, or undergoing light repair work. Also open to the public is the 'deviation shed' which houses locomotives and stock owned by NELPG as well as a small display about the history of the organisation. A number of other sheds not available for public access are used for the maintenance and overhaul of the engines. At Grosmont, the line connects with the Network Rail operated Esk Valley Line, where passengers may change trains to travel to the coast at Whitby, or inland to Middlesbrough and the rest of the national network. Thus, platform one of the station is served by Northern Rail services, whilst platforms two, three and four are used by the NYMR. Whitby railway station is, on many operating days, the railway's northern terminus. All but two of the various timetables see steam trains operating through from Pickering, including daily throughout July and August except on Sundays. When NYMR trains terminate at Grosmont rather than Whitby at off-peak times, connecting trains with Northern Rail are usually available at Grosmont, allowing passengers to begin their journey at Whitby and board a steam engine at Grosmont through to Goathland or Pickering. Facilities available at Whitby station include Ticket office and shop. National Rail tickets & Railcards are also available to purchase. In August 2014 a second platform was opened at the station to cater for the railway's trains.
They also hold special events such as Steam & Deisel Gala Weekends, the War-Time Weekend with period re-enactors and the Santa Special trains at Christmas (complete with elves and Santa's Grotto. Staff are always pleased to assist if required and advance notice of your arrival is helpful. Wheelchair, mobility vehicle and pushchair access onto trains is via a ramp into the Guard’s Van. A member of platform staff will assist you. Access into the carriages is available on some trains. Accessible toilets are available at Pickering, Goathland and Grosmont Stations. Goathland Station was presented with The London Underground Accessibility Award in July 2007 for ‘the most imaginative solution in creating a wheelchair accessible toilet in a railway wagon’. Well worth a visit! Saturday 12th March for the visit of 60103 Flying Scotsman. Dogs are welcome on the trains but please keep them off the carriage seats. Single Tickets available. Single Tickets allow passengers to travel in one direction on a hop on, hop off basis. While at Pickering why not see the Beck Isle Museum? While at Whitby why not visit Captain Cook Memorial Museum and see the Endeavour.
Location : 12 Park Street, Pickering, North Yorkshire YO18 7AJ
Opening Times : Stations are open. See Timetable for Trains.
Tickets : Pickering – Whitby Return; Adult £27.00 – Child £13.50 – Concessions (65+) £23.00.
Tickets : Pickering – Grosmont Return; Adult £22.00 – Child £11.00 – Concessions (65+) £19.00.
Tickets : Whitby – Goathland Return; Adult £17.00 – Child £8.50 – Concessions (65+) £14.50.
Tel: 01751 473799