A heritage railway carriage maintenance facility in Pickering has reached a major milestone in its construction following the announcement of the reopening of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR).

Contractor Hobson & Porter has commenced the steel erection at the new stabling facility, located near to Pickering Station in North Yorkshire, as part of a National Lottery Heritage Fund and European Union Rural Development Programme for England funded project for the NYMR’s wider Magnificent Journey scheme.

The steel erection gives the first visual impression of the scale of the facility and follows the recent construction of a new road access bridge to the site to enable the main construction works to commence.

When complete, the five track single-storey carriage shed featuring a cantilevered roof, will accommodate up to 40 of the railway’s heritage carriages and for the first time enable servicing and cleaning tasks to be completed undercover.

Platform access to most tracks will be provided for servicing and cleaning, and one track will have a pit along its whole length to facilitate fitness to run inspections and brake block changing.

Works at the facility began in January this year with the new access bridge being completed just prior to the UK-wide lockdown due to COVID-19. Construction work at the site halted for a few weeks during April to allow Hobson & Porter to implement new safe working practices across their sites. Work at the site resumed in late April, enabling the project team to advance their line-side works due to the railway being closed as a visitor attraction. The project is due to complete early in 2021.

Trains are currently performing trial runs on the railway in anticipation of the full-service reopening on 1st August.

Patrick Horton, Contracts Manager for Hobson & Porter, said: “This first erection of steelwork is an exciting milestone for the new carriage stabling facility at Pickering, for the first time people are able to really appreciate the scale of the project.

“Following the fantastic news that the railway will soon reopen to passengers at the beginning of August we are delighted to be back working onsite and progressing works, it will be great for passengers to see the work we have completed so-far as they pass the site on the trains.

Patrick added: “I would like to thank our project team and all the stakeholders at NYMR for their hard work and determination as we continue to deliver the scheme in accordance with government guidelines.”

Chris Price, NYMR General Manager, said: “After a delayed start to 2020, it’s great to be able to see works of this project well underway ahead of our season opening this Yorkshire day. It’s a real symbol of progress for us, of moving forwards, and is a real significant step in the development of our highly-anticipated new stabling facility.

Thanks are due to the people of Pickering for their patience during this major construction project, which will help ensure that the railway continues to bring jobs and economic benefit to the town.”

The facility at Pickering forms part of a larger scheme to transform the railway and secure its future as part of its £10million-pound Yorkshire’s Magnificent Journey (YMJ) Appeal.

It will help sustain the NYMR and is funded by the European Union, the National Lottery Heritage Fund, and the supporters of the NYMR

 

The other six Yorkshire’s Magnificent Journey projects include:

  • The renewal of old bridges at Goathland Station – with three iron bridges to be replaced.
  • The conversion of four carriages to provide easier mobility access, tailored seating, wheelchair facilities and accessible toilets on every train.
  • Conservation of the railway lineside through the North Yorks Moors National Park
  • The recruitment of a new post to drive awareness of volunteering and a new volunteering centre.
  • Improved interpretation and education facilities on the railway.
  • The provision of 12 apprenticeships to sustain the heritage railway and its activities.    

Find out more about the project visit www.nymr.co.uk/YMJ