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Monday, 5 September 2016

Steam railway gets set for 1940s take off with full-size Spitfire replica

Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway heads back to the dark days of the 1940s home front this weekend (10 and 11 September).

The visitor attraction journeys back to the days of troops travelling on trains and civilians dressed in the costumes of the period.  And, as per wartime regulations, staff and some visitors will be carrying gas masks.

This year sees a full sized replica Spitfire aircraft on display at Embsay.

A frequent steam train service will operate on both days between 10.30am and 4.30am.

Monday, 20 June 2016

The play standing at Platform Two relives teenage battlefield moments

The North Yorkshire Moors heritage railway is working with York Normandy Veterans and Everwitch Theatre to create a verbatim play as part of the annual Railway in Wartime event.

Based on first hand experiences of D-Day and the battles to liberate France by the last five Bomb Happy will be performed each evening on 12, 13 and 14 October at Pickering Station, Platform Two, in a 1930’s railway carriage.

This production draws on the memories of teenage conscripts involved in the Normandy Landings.

Monday, 6 June 2016

Restoration job puts loco back on track on heritage railway

A Class 47 diesel loco is back to its former glory, thanks to volunteers of the Wensleydale Railway.

She's ready for work ... Haymarket is renamed. Pictured left to right: general manager Nigel Park, Keith Madeley, past and current county council leaders councillors David Jeffels, and Carl Les, and railway volunteer Paul Warren..
The locomotive, renamed Haymarket has been painted in Network South East livery. Its name comes from its time working in Scotland before its transfer to the South East.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

£60k restoration grant gives railway's Pullman project a full head of steam

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway has won a £60,0000 grant to help restore a centrepiece of its rolling stock

As originally built, this is how the restored Garnet will look.

The Department of Transport cash will go towards restoring Garnet, a 1961 example of first class Pullman travel.

The department's competition for grant aid invited innovative ideas and trials from heritage railways and community rail partnerships. The aim is to encourage tourism to destinations beyond London.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Ale's well with festival passengers aboard Wensleydale railway

Wensleydale Railway is running a special timetable to boost visitors to the annual Wensley Ale festival at Redmire this bank holiday weekend including services from Northallerton West.

The event will feature more than 30 real ales, local food suppliers.

On Monday, Finghall Village holds its sponsored barrel push and Sunday and Monday are open days at Aysgarth Station.

Railway general manager Nigel Park said: “The annual Wensley Ale Festival weekend is a great celebration that deserves a good turnout of both trains and enthusiasts. We are especially pleased to have Steam on Sunday as it is a ‘must see’ weekend at Wensleydale Railway.”

Wensleydale Railway is one of the longest heritage railway routes in the country and operates a daily service in the main season between Leeming Bar and Redmire with Wednesday and Saturdays for the Northallerton-Leeming Bar section. Railway bosses say that plans are in hand to extend the service in line with future demand.

Further information:

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

More group travellers get on board

Group visits on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway are up by 56 per cent, latest figures show.

Steaming ahead ... group visits have seen a healthy increase
on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. Photo by John Potter.
A new marketing strategy targeting travel tour partners and other organisations along with an advertising campaign prompted the boost from 21 March – 30 April.

Group travel organiser Gerry Bacon said: "Riding behind a heritage locomotive is a great experience and since 60103 Flying Scotsman visited in March, interest in the steam era has definitely increased."

The heritage railway has launched a Walkers Special package for groups, which includes a return rail journey from Pickering. The 3.5 mile walk from Goathland to Grosmont follows the route of George Stephenson’s original railway line of 1836.

General manager Chris Price said:“The North Yorkshire Moors Railway is an educational charitable trust which operates to provide memorable experiences for all visitors. The increase in group travel enables the trust to invest in the care of our heritage buildings, locomotives and infrastructure, which is vital in ensuring the longevity of the railway for future generations to enjoy.”

Further information:

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Getting steamed up Scottish style on the North York Moors line

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway is celebrating the best of Scotland with its branch line gala for the next two weekends (6– 8 May and 13-15 May).

The popular heritage railway will play host to a number of steam and diesel locomotives.

The resident fleet will take on the identity of Scottish allocated steam locomotives. These will be supplemented by Scottish Region diesel locomotives. The normal timetable will be supplemented with passenger shuttles while there will also be freight train workings.

Additionally, Main Line will be represented with trains along the Esk Valley line to Battersby. The 24-mile line runs through stunning scenery and takes the passengers from Whitby to Battersby, stopping at Glaisdale, Danby and Castleton. The motive power depot at Grosmont will feature lifting demonstrations using the 45 ton steam crane on both Saturdays.

Stations will also be decked out. There will be exhibitions of model railway displays by Scarborough and District Railway Modellers, and market stalls at Pickering Station. To finish off the Scottish theme, Scottish food and drinks will be available along the line.

Further information:

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

The exhibition now standing at platform two is the ...

One of the county's best-loved heritage railway attractions has launched an initiative to get youngsters interested in engineering.

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway celebrated the official opening of Peter’s Railway Young Engineers Centre after staff and volunteers from across the visitor attraction worked more than 1,500 hours to construct the interactive exhibition, on platform two at Pickering Station.

The new display has been put together with the help and expertise of children’s author Chris Vine, using his knowledge and understanding of engineering to create exciting and interactive displays through storytelling and technical diagrams.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Ken sets the pace for heritage railway extension bid

The Wensleydale railway is popular for residents and visitors as it makes its way 22 miles between Northallerton and Redmire – but it will go further one day if volunteer Ken Monkman has his way.

He's taking a walk every week to raise funds for special projects including the campaign to raise £1m of funds to extend the heritage line to Aysgarth.

Ken makes a walk to local beauty spots and nature trails and has walked 33.5 miles in the first month of his challenge.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Heritage railway gets on the right track with kids club

Wensleydale Railway has launched a children's club with a range of activity days during the year at different venues along the line. Some of these venues aren't usually open to the public.

Club membership is open to children aged four to 11 with an annual subscription that also entitles the child and up to two accompanying adults to enjoy half price travel on any scheduled Wensleydale train,

General manager Nigel Park said: "Our younger guests are an important part of our audience and we hope that this initiative will attract many new young people and their parents to experience the Wensleydale Railway."

Further information:

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Multi-million rail investment makes it more comfortable to get to York

Virgin Trains' east coast route, which takes in York, has benefited from the first phase of a £40m makeover.

A total of £21m has been earmarked to complete the refurbishment of the trains’ interiors, including adding leather seats to first class, new carpets and fittings.

Thursday, 31 December 2015

Heritage award signals rail station work

A direct line to a successful restoration ... Scruton Station.
Wensleydale Railway has received national recognition for its restoration of a small Victorian station at Scruton in the National Railway Heritage Awards.

Lord Faulkner of Worcester presented award at a ceremony at the Merchant Taylors’ Hall in London.

Work on Scruton began in 2011 and took three years to complete. The work was carried out largely by the line's volunteers with the help of apprentices at Darlington College.

The Wensleydale Railway line now serves Northallerton West, Leeming Bar, Bedale, Finghall Lane, Scruton, Leyburn and Redmire, a distance of 22 miles.

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Sleigh awhile on board the train for Santa's getting on

The Wensleydale Railway begins running its Santa Specials from today (Saturday 5 December) from Leyburn and from Leeming Bar to Redmire. Santa will climb on board to give out gifts.

Dates and ticket details for the Santa Specials can be found at

Monday, 23 November 2015

Camera courses ensure train photographers get the big picture

A series of one-day workshops has been organised for photographers wanting to learn how to use their digital cameras more creatively while grabbing shots of trains, stations, people and landscapes along the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.

The workshops are designed for photographers of all abilities and led by professional landscape photographer, author and teacher John Potter.

Further information is available at

Friday, 30 October 2015

Rail fans will be chuffed with Flying Scotsman news

The legendary Flying Scotsman is returning to service following a £4.2 million overhaul and is set to run on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway for seven days, next March.

Managing director of the heritage attraction Philip Benham said:“We are absolutely delighted that the overhaul of ‘Scotsman’ is approaching completion and looking forward to being the first heritage railway in the country to welcome this prestigious locomotive fully decked out in its final colours.

"This record-breaking locomotive is probably the world’s most famous engine, and the only survivor out of a class of 78 making it a very special engine.

"We are looking forward to creating many opportunities for the public to enjoy the Flying Scotsman experience whilst she is here. We would encourage anyone with a keen interest to keep checking our web pages and the media for the most up to date information.”

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Rail carriage officially opened

Wensleydale Railway has officially opened a heritage carriage that will serve as a meeting room and cafe at its Aysgarth Station.

Coach 5345 was rescued from the siding at Redmire last year and moved to the station in April.

Volunteers from the Aysgarth Station Project, supported by the Wensleydale Railway Trust and Carperby Parish Council, secured a £5,000 grant from the Richmondshire Community Opportunities Fund to help with the restoration. Volunteers, backed by local businesses, completed the work to a tight deadline.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Get on board! Wensleydale's heritage railway holds its open day

Railway enthusiasts will have plenty to be chuffed about this Saturday (3 October).

Wensleydale Railway is holding an open day when visitors will be invited to look behind the scenes and learn about volunteering opportunities

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Wedding couple opts for a different carriage at heritage railway station

On track to happiness ... Daniel and Ruth Ferguson, the first couple
to wed at Bolton Abbey Station.
Bolton Abbey Railway Station is celebrating after it hosted its first wedding and more ceremonies have been lined up.

The day Daniel was introduced to the woman who would become his wife through a mutual friend, he was working on a steam engine at the heritage attraction and was covered in oil and soot. This didn't deter Ruth though and they enjoyed their first proper date at the railway.

They wanted to marry where they had first met and did so shortly after the station was granted a licence. Four more weddings have been booked since the Fergusons' special day.

Business manager Stephen Walker said: “We were delighted to host Dan and Ruth’s wedding. Both of them are part of the railway ‘family’ and I am sure that many other couples would wish to do the same, the interest has been amazing.  As a new venue I am sure we can cater for couples wishing individuality rather than the corporate style of many of the more established venues.”

Steaming in for the weekend

Joem Engine at Leeming Bar Station.
The Wensleydale Railway team will be running the Joem engine for a special steam day between Leeming Bar and Northallerton on Saturday (26 September).

And visitors will have the opportunity to spend time on the footplate and experience the engine as a train driver. The arrangements for this will on a ‘first come first served’ basis for places during travel and will be available for other visitors at each stopping station.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Visitors figures are surging, say delighted tourism bosses

Tourism chiefs say visitors are heading in droves to the Yorkshire Coast and North York Moors market towns following a major campaign.

On track ... North Yorkshire Moors Railway driver Charlie Wood 
checks the market towns brochure. Photo by Tony Bartholemew.
Welcome to Yorkshire says many are coming from major centres of population within a two-hour drive time, and others taking advantage of a special ‘park and ride’ scheme.