Words by Rachel McAlley
Our writer Rachel and her family enjoyed a day out with North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR) recently. It was an inspiringly wonderful experience, one that she and her daughter won’t forget easily.
The NYMR is a preserved historic railway stretching for 18-miles through the heart of the North York Moors National Park. From Pickering via Levisham, Newton Dale and Goathland to Grosmont, with a 6-mile extension over Network Rail’s Esk Valley line to Whitby. It is the largest preserved heritage railway in the UK in terms of route mileage operated and passenger numbers.
Pickering to Whitby
Rachel enjoyed a trip on the stunning jet black 80136 from Pickering to Whitby. The British Rail Standard 4 Tank originally built in Brighton in 1956 sadly only ran for 9 years before being withdrawn. Today, the 80136 runs regularly on the NYMR tracks ferrying passengers across the pretty landscape of the North York Moors.
The Pickering to Whitby train line stretches through the moors winding between valleys, wetlands, and vast open fields. Passengers see plenty of wildlife, plants, and quaint villages plus other smaller train stations along the route. As the train doesn’t travel at speed across the tracks there are a few landmarks to spot on route too.
Pickering Station can be seen the latest Dad’s Army film, and most recently in April 2021 Tom Cruise was filming the next instalment of his Mission: Impossible blockbusters at Levisham Station. Yet, possibly the most famous of all stations is Goathland Station aka Hogsmead Station in the movie Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone!
Pssst…Do you want to know a secret? If you’re into major blockbuster movies this news is just for you. We’ve heard on the Hollywood grapevine that NYMR is going to be used as a location for filming Indiana Jones 5, due to be released in 2022.
Pickering station is themed in the 1930s and has plenty of original features. The traditional railway tea room, unique platform style, and magnificent roof structure all add to the steam train era vibe. It really is a great station to visit.
Whitby to Pickering
The return train from Whitby to Pickering was on the Southern 825, a British racing green colour locomotive known as the S15. Service history for the Southern 825 shows us that it first arrived on the tracks of Southampton in 1927. She ran for 36 years for both Southern Railway and British Railway. This particular S15 is currently owned by Essex Locomotive Society.
If you are a train enthusiast then visiting NYMR is a definite must. There are always some of the 550 volunteers on hand to answer any questions that you may have. If you’re not necessarily a train enthusiast but like going on train journeys then the NYMR is a great day out for you and your family. There’s a sense of history, a flash of the olden days, and a wonderful experience to enjoy on a classic locomotive at the NYMR. Plus, you never know but you might just bump into a Hollywood actor at one of NYMR stations!
All NYMR stations and trains are covid safe, sparklingly clean, and have excellent social distancing in place. Visit NYMR for more information about booking tickets and experiences.