British Railways (1948 – 1965)

After the war came nationalisation which created British Railways and for a time things appeared to continue much as before, the railways were still considerable employers of labour, new steam engines were being built to replace those lost or worn-out during the war.

In 1952 BR as a cost saving measure removed the G.T. Andrews overall roof of Pickering station and substituted rather crude awnings on each platform (drawings for this work are held in the NYMR archives ). Many of Andrew’s overall roofs were removed about this time including those at Whitby and Rillington Junction (which had been closed to passengers since the mid 1920’s). The roof at Malton survived longer until removed by Railtrack being replaced by an awning created out of part of William Bell’s 1883 roof from the Whitby bay platforms.

In 1958 Pickering engine shed was closed and the turntable north of the station removed

Soon ‘modernisation’ was in the air, diesel engines and multiple units were built en-mass (often to untried designs) and on the Whitby branch the local services were replaced by DMUs in 1959 and diesel locomotives gradually replaced steam on the few longer distance trains.
Soon it was realized that modernization in itself would not be enough and Dr. Beeching was asked to investigate and report on the state of the nation’s railways.
The infamous Beeching Report, when it was published in 1963 recommended the closure of the remaining three railways serving Whitby (the fourth, the coast line north to Saltburn, having already closed in 1958). Despite unusually strong local protests only one line, the branch line up the Esk valley to Middlesbrough, was saved and so, on 8th March 1965 the Malton – Whitby line and the coast line to Scarborough closed entirely (except for goods to Pickering, which lasted a further year). There were many redundancies, felt especially hard at Whitby, which lost all its drivers and guards and much of its goods and passenger staff.