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North Yorkshire Moors Railway

The English county of Yorkshire is famous for its wild, open and unspoilt landscapes and guests of Great Rail Journeys who visit the area with us may enjoy a relaxing trip along the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. Covering a distance of 29 kilometres (18 miles), it is one of the UK's longest heritage railway lines runs through the beautiful North York Moors National Park, connecting the picturesque market town of Pickering and the village of Grosmont.

The railway first opened in 1836 as the Whitby and Pickering Railway for the transportation of both goods and passengers to and from Yorkshire's east coast. It continued to run until 1965 when it suffered the same fate as many of the UK's provincial railways; closure under the recommendation of 1963's notorious Beeching Report. Salvation for the Whitby and Pickering Railway arrived via an enthusiastic and dedicated preservation society who arranged open weekends and 'steam galas' to fund the re-opening of the line. Their goal was achieved in 1973 and the North Yorkshire Moors Railway was born.

Today, carefully-restored carriages are hauled by diesel and steam locomotives along the picturesque route, which reportedly features one of the oldest railway tunnels in the world.

Highlights of the journey

The trains that travel the North Yorkshire Moors Railway call at a number of stations along the line and many of these places will be of interest to our guests. The station serving the rural village of Goathland played the role of Hogsmeade Station at which the Hogwarts Express calls in the Harry Potter film adaptations.

Goathland itself doubled as the fictional village of Aidensfield in the popular and long-running television drama 'Heartbeat'. Using photographs and original specifications and documents, a team of volunteers has authentically restored Levisham Station in the typical style of a small North Eastern England railway station from around the year 1912. The studio of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway's own artist-in-residence is also located at Levisham Station.



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Pickering is a delightful and traditional Yorkshire market town and is notable for its twelfth-century parish church, and for the impressive remains of the medieval Pickering Castle. Now an English Heritage site, the castle stands on a hill overlooking the town and was originally built between 1069 and 1070 during the Norman conquest of Britain.

Several of Great Rail Journeys escorted rail tours include a trip on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway in their itineraries, including our rail trips to the Harrogate Flower Show in spring and autumn and our longer train holiday which explores the best attractions and destinations in Yorkshire and Northumberland.

The railway operates a fleet of beautifully-restored and magnificent steam locomotives which date from between 1904 and the late 1950s. Wherever possible, Great Rail Journeys endeavours to ensure that our guests enjoy the nostalgic and unforgettable experience of a steam-hauled ride along the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.