In 2017 the railway celebrated 50 years since the formation of the charitable Trust (1967 - 2017)

The NYMR is one of the earliest and most historic lines in the North of England. Its origins go back well over a century and a half, and were an important trade link between Pickering and Whitby. Following a meeting in 1831 George Stephenson was asked to report on building the line of simplest construction for the employment of animal power. The complete 24 mile stretch of line was fully opened in May 1836. The line operated for well over a century during which modifications were gradually made and steam locomotives took over. In the 1950’s traffic began to dwindle and by 1965 the line operated its last passenger service.

Interest however was in favour of trying to keep the line across the moors open and in 1967 a meeting was held by people keen to re-open the line. The meeting was held at the home of Tom Salmon in Ruswarp on 3rd June. Six people attended with four apologies. There was debate about which route to focus on - should it be through the moors towards Pickering, or the coastal Whitby to Scarborough line? The latter was complicated by the possibility of potash traffic from Hawsker, and the moors route was by general consensus felt to be the better option. Although the needs of Goathland were a primary consideration, the ultimate objective would be to progress reopening the line in stages from Grosmont through to Pickering. 

Later that year the North Yorkshire Moors Railway Preservation Society (NYMRPS) was formed, holding its first public meeting at Goathland Village Hall on 18th November 1967. 

Through a major fund raising scheme and help from the County Council, sufficient funds were raised to re-open the line in stages until 24 May 1975 the line was again open between Grosmont and Pickering. As progress was made, so the interest in running to Whitby increased. Occasional trains were introduced to try the Market, being operated by an outside operator. It was thought that these trains were successful enough to run more and now we operate over 100 days a year under our own Train Operating Licence and using our own Locomotives.

*1967 was the formation of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway Preservation society which then became the North Yorkshire Moors Railway Trust.