NYMR – Introduction
The North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR) is one of the UK’s most popular historic railways. For this reason, hundreds of thousands of passengers travel on the line annually. Vintage steam and diesel trains haul passenger trains 18 miles over the North Yorkshire Moors. The railway runs from Pickering through Levisham, Newton Dale and Goathland to Grosmont. Trains then run on Network Rail track for a further 6 miles through to Whitby.
Closed in 1965, the Pickering to Whitby line was a victim of Dr Beeching’s infamous report. Shortly after the railway closed, the North Yorkshire Moors Railway Preservation Society was formed. Finally, the current organisation, the North Yorkshire Moors Railway opened in 1973.
All stations, except Newton Dale Halt, have car parking available. Day return tickets are ‘hop-on’, ‘hop-off’ which gives the chance to explore and visit all the stations along the line.
Dogs are welcome on the trains, provided they keep off the seats and tables. A ticket for a dog costs £3.00. There are a number of walks starting or finishing at one of the NYMR stations. These include…..
– Walk from Pickering to Levisham Village and then down to Levisham Station, catch the train back to Pickering.
– Try out the Levisham circular walk exploring the North York Moors around the village of Levisham. The walk visits two spectacular places, the Hole of Horcum and the Bridestones.
– Walk the 3-mile route along the old railway line from Goathland to Grosmont (Rail Trail), with the return leg taken on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. This is a popular walk following the route of the 1836 railway. Along the way, enjoy a variety of North York Moors scenery including old woodland, fast-flowing streams and moorland hills. The path is well-made and almost entirely flat.
– Enjoy a stroll around Whitby, or for a longer walk, the beach walk along to Sandsend and back.
Pickering is a busy market town. Restored to its 1937 condition, Pickering Station has original fixtures and fittings in the Booking Office, Parcels Office and Tea Room. In addition, the old roof has been reinstated to the same design as the original roof built in 1847. Before it was axed, the railway ran south from Pickering to join up with the Malton to Scarborough line close to Rillington. Just look out from the end of the station towards Costa Coffee. Then, with a bit of imagination, you can picture the route of the old line into Pickering.
Levisham Station is the first stop after Pickering and looks like a typical 1912 railway station. This is a small, remote countryside station in the remote and scenic Newton Dale Valley. However, the actual village of Levisham is about a half-hour walk away.
Newton Dale Halt
Newton Dale Halt is a request stop and serves as a stopping off point for walkers wanting to explore Newton Dale and Cropton Forest.
Dating from 1865, Goathland Station is also a typical countryside station, unchanged since it was built. It attracts lots of visitors thanks to it featuring in the TV program Heartbeat (Aidensfield Station) and also the first Harry Potter film.
Grosmont Station has been restored to 1950’s style. The engine shed nearby supplies water, coal and maintenance facilities. The shed is only a short walk away and well worth a visit. The station has four platforms – one on the Network Rail line to Whitby, and three used by the NYMR. The excitement of 1950’s railway stations is captured very well at Grosmont with its three platforms, level crossing, engines moving about, and the nearby engine shed.
Whitby Station is a Grade II listed building. Over the years the station has suffered huge rationalisation. The goods yard has gone, the signal box knocked down and platforms 3 and 4 demolished to make way for a supermarket. In August 2014, platform 2 was eventually re-opened at the station to cater for the NYMR trains.
I am a frequent visitor and traveller on the railway. There are plenty of places along the railway where you can get up close to a steam engine for a picture. Below are just a few of my photos. Several of the engines pictured are visitors, seen at one of the regular annual steam festivals.
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