Monday, 8 August 2016

North Yorkshire Moors Railway

A couple of weeks ago I found myself passing through the quaint North Yorkshire market town of Pickering, so I took the opportunity to visit the North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR).

The railway runs from Pickering in the south, northwards through the North Yorkshire Moors National Park and onto Whitby in the north. A few miles short of the northern terminus lies Grosmont Station, where passengers can connect with National Rail services on the Esk Valley Line towards Teesside. The few NYMR services that run between Whitby and Grosmont share this National Rail infrastructure.

The day of my visit was sweltering hot and with cloudless blue skies. After grabbing a light bite at the Pickering Station cafe, I took some photos along the platform of the lovingly restored station buildings. The station is dotted with various pieces of memorabilia from the LNER age of steam, which is reflected in the two-tone cream and green colour scheme of the station fittings.

My train was hauled by British Rail Diesel Locomotive 26038, which is named Tom Clift after a career railway man who died of a heart attack during a visit to Edinburgh. I took my seat in one of the standard class Mk 1 coaches, which I vaguely remember in service back in the early 1980s. The seats were poorly sprung, having no doubt endured decades of bouncing children and jointed rail.

It took about 45 minutes to get up to Goathland, which is famous for its starring role as Aidensfield in ITV series Heartbeat. Many of my fellow passengers disembarked at this stage, no doubt wanting to visit the Aidensfield Arms and Scripps' Garage in the nearby village.

As the train was stood at Goathland a steam locomotive, an LMS Black Five 45428 named Eric Treacy, passed by on the adjacent line. Some girls posed for a photograph on the platform opposite as the loco screached to a standstill.

Grosmont, with its impressive gantry of semaphore signals, was another 30 minutes up the line. There is a hinged-gate level crossing to the south of the station, which is overlooked by the impressive 52-lever Grosmont Crossing signal box. On such a hot day I was disappointed not to be able to buy a refreshing pint somewhere at the station. After a 10-minute leg stretch I boarded the same train for the reverse journey to Pickering.

It cost me £20 for a return from Pickering to Grosmont, which I think is pretty good value for an hour-long journey in each direction.

Some images of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway appear below:

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For more images visit this Flickr album.

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