Yorkshire's Magnificent Journey


The Yorkshire’s Magnificent Journey project has commenced thanks to a £4.4m grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The £10m project has also received £1.75 million from the Rural Payments Agency (RPA), as well as contributions from local organisations and private donors. With a combination of donations and grants, the railway has raised a majority of the funds to deliver the project. However, we still have a final push for the last £300,000 to be able to complete the project.

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR) has named VolkerLaser as the contractor to carry out the reconstruction work on Bridges 24 and 25 at Goathland, between January and March 2022.

The £1.26 million reconstruction work is only one part of the NYMR’s ‘Yorkshire’s Magnificent Journey’ project, a £10 million project to ensure future generations can enjoy the 180-year-old railway. It has been made possible thanks to generous funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, the European Union, NYMR’s Local Enterprise Partnership and kind donations from many supporters.

This project is split into seven projects dedicated to preserving the railway for future generations. Other key YMJ projects include the recently-opened £4 million Carriage Stable at Pickering, and The Outstation, its Volunteer Development Hub at Stape.

Recently-opened Carriage Stable. Image: Charlotte Graham

The appointment of VolkerLaser to replace the wrought iron and steel bridges, which cross Eller Beck at Goathland, follows the collapse earlier this year of engineering firm, Cleveland Bridge, which was originally scheduled to carry out the work.

Tim Bruce, Director of Civil Engineering at NYMR, commented:  “Our bridges are absolutely crucial for an operating railway and ensuring that future generations will be able to enjoy this historic route. Some of our bridges are over 150 years old and, despite regular maintenance work to care for them and prolong their lives, the metalwork is starting to show its age. The renewal of bridges 24 and 25 is essential to ensure that we can run passenger trains hauled by heavy steam engines over them for many years to come. Despite some delays due to COVID and Cleveland Bridge going into liquidation this Summer, we are delighted that VolkerLaser is stepping in to deliver the project in line with our original timescales."

Bridge 25 crosses Eller Beck at Goathland

Jim Mawson, Operations Director for Steel at VolkerLaser, said: “It is great to have been awarded this contract, and to work for NYMR in delivering the final piece of its “Yorkshire’s Magnificent Journey” project.  As the new contractor responsible for delivering the project, following the collapse of the previous principal contractor, and after a 12 month delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our goal is to help our client secure the scheduled delivery of these two bridges. VolkerLaser will be working tirelessly with the client’s team to deliver a successful outcome.”

The NYMR needs a further £300,000 to fund the work on Bridges 24 and 25, finally completing its YMJ projects. To donate, please go to nymr.co.uk/ymj

Main Image: Charlotte Graham