Access Statement for the North Yorkshire Moors Railway for Disabled Passengers

  1. Introduction

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway welcomes disabled people on its Heritage Steam and Diesel services operated throughout the year. However due to the age and nature of the types of services operated on the Heritage Railway some types of mobility scooters cannot be carried.

The Railway has five stations along its eighteen-mile route, four of which are easily accessible to wheelchair users and mobility impaired persons. The only station without disabled access is Newtondale Halt.

  1. The Stations

Pickering Station

The Station has its own car park owned and operated by the NYMR. Access to the car park is from the main Pickering-Stape road via High Mill Crossing. There is a parking charge for those travelling on the NYMR and space is on a first come first served basis. There are six allocated spaces for disabled use. Blue badge holders are not exempt from the car park fee. The entire car park is tarmac surfaced. (Please note that the overflow car park has a rough surface.) Entry to the Station is by a walkway/ramp from the car park onto platform 2. Wheelchair access is then available to Platform 1 via a level walkway around the end of the platform. Most trains leave from platform 1. The Station has a Radar Key operated toilet; a key is available from the information office on Platform 1. The booking office, shop and information office located on platform 1 are all accessible to wheelchairs and on the same level as the platform. The café is also accessible and all tables have loose chairs enabling disabled persons in wheelchairs access to tables. From the car park to the platform is approximately 100m. The level route to the opposite platform for the booking office and other facilities is approximately 275m.

Levisham Station

The station is situated at the end of a very hilly single track road. The car park is made up of gravel/ash on the east side of the up platform. Parking is free to those travelling on the NYMR on a first come first served basis. There are no disabled parking spaces. The booking office service is provided by the signalman through the booking office window adjacent to the signal box. This is on the same level as the car park and is a tarmac surface. Both platforms are tarmacked along their full length. Access to the down platform is gained via the road level crossing.

There are no disabled toilet facilities on the Station.

There is no other public transport serving this station.

Newtondale Halt

The Station is located deep in a remote woodland area. There are no disabled facilities at this station and it is not suitable for wheelchair access. The platform is of wooden construction suitably treated. There are no toilets and there is no vehicular access to the station which was built for walkers as part of a joint venture between the NYMR, the Forestry Commission and the National Parks Authority.

Goathland Station 

The car park is located on the west side of the down platform. The surface is largely made of textured concrete. Parking is charged to those travelling on the NYMR on a first come first served basis. There is one allocated space for disabled use. Blue badge holders are not exempt from the car park fee. The Station is located on the main road linking the A169 to Goathland village at the bottom of a steep access road. Access from the car park to the booking office is via a flagged ramp from the road level and car park. There is a hand rail to one side. At the top of the ramp there is one step into the booking hall. The booking hall is approximately two metres above the car park level. The ramp to the platform is quite steep and accessed through a gate at the north end of the down platform. Level access can then be gained into the booking office via this gate and ramp. A foot crossing suitable for disabled users is provided at the north end of the station linking the down and up platforms. Access is prohibited during the movement of trains. During the times that trains are using the platforms a footbridge is available for those able to use it. Disabled toilet facilities are available on the down platform. Both platforms are tarmacked along their full length.

Catering facilities are provided on the down platform and these are accessible to wheelchair users. Approximately two metres of the approach is over cobbles. A gift shop is located on the down platform and is suitable for users of wheelchairs. A public bus service also operates past the road junction leading down to the station. The bus stop is located in the centre of the village opposite the shops. 

Grosmont Station

A tarmacked car park is provided at this station. Six parking spaces are reserved for disabled parking. There is a parking charge for those travelling on the NYMR and space is on a first come first served basis. Blue badge holders are not exempt from the car park fee. The car park also has provision for members of the public wishing to use the Northern Rail services along the Whitby branch from a separate platform.

The platforms at Grosmont are reached as follows: -

Platform 2 from the car park, along the public access area towards the tea room, or via the gift shop and along the platform. In both cases, there is a ramp onto the platform. Both ladies' and gents’ toilets are located on platform 2 and they both include accessible toilets. The crossing is controlled by a set of lights activated when a train is approaching.

A gift shop is located on platform 2 with disabled access facilities.

The tea room is accessible to disabled persons and all tables have loose chairs enabling wheelchair access. Additional seating facilities are provided in a gravelled area with fixed tables/bench seats outside adjacent to the tea room. The fixed tables have facilities for disabled access at each end.

Platforms 3 & 4 are accessed from the level crossing. Separate pedestrian access/egress is provided with gates operated by the adjacent signal box which are locked preventing access onto the level crossing when a train is signalled. There is a ramp from the road up to platforms 3 & 4. Fixed bench seating is provided on both platforms. All platforms are tarmacked throughout their length. 

Whitby Station

This station is owned, managed and operated by Northern Rail

The NYMR has an access agreement for trains with Network Rail but does not participate in the management of the station. The station is normally unstaffed but the NYMR usually provides a staff presence on behalf of Northern and for our own railway. A tarmacked car park is provided at this station. Two parking spaces are reserved for disabled parking. Parking is charged to all those wishing to use the car park on a first come first served basis. Blue badge holders are not exempt from the car park fee. Access to and from the platform for disabled passengers is via level access to the entrance on the harbour side of the station.

NYMR trains use platform 2. The platform is tarmacked throughout its length.

No other facilities exist at this station.

A bus station located just outside the station gives further opportunities for travel to many other towns and villages in the surrounding area.

  1. The Trains

Most of our trains are accessible to visitors with limited mobility and disabled persons in manual or powered wheelchairs or mobility scooters (except those over a specified size and/or weight) and also those who are partially sighted. Most trains have a ramp which can be used to load wheelchairs onto the train and may also be used by those finding it difficult stepping up into the carriage (during Galas and Special events one or two trains are unable to accommodate less able travellers). If wheelchair users can negotiate ramps unaided or with some assistance from station staff we do not require prior notice of travel although it would be helpful at busy times. Organisers of  Group Bookings do need to let us know in advance if any of their passengers will be bringing wheelchairs.  

Guide dogs and assistance dogs are allowed on the train.

Some of our vintage coaches and our Pullman dining trains may prove difficult to access for disabled passengers. The inherent design of these vintage coaches means that they cannot be readily adapted for disabled access. The approximate width of the normal carriage doors is 550 millimetres. The Guards Van normally gives customers in wheelchairs access to the train and they may use this space in which to travel; the Guards Van is corridor-connected with the rest of the train including the buffet which is fully accessible for walking customers. Most wheelchairs are unable to traverse between the carriages as the gangways between the coaches are too narrow. There are no accessible toilet facilities on any of our trains (with the exception of one coach, currently attached to the rear of the Pullman Dining set) and regrettably the age of these vehicles has made the fitting of accessible toilet facilities virtually impossible, but we are looking for a solution to this in the future. Please do not hesitate to ask staff for help.

Most NYMR services can carry manual or powered wheelchairs and mobility scooters up to the following dimensional limitations: 

  • Width: 700 millimetres
  • Length (including footplates): 1200 millimetres
  • Weight (loaded): no more than 230kg (36 stone), which is the safe limit that many of our ramps can carry.

Some powered scooters are effectively road vehicles and are unsuitable for carriage in heritage vehicles. This is because the majority of mobility scooters have wider turning circles than wheelchairs occupying the same space and tend to be heavier and therefore are not appropriate to take on board trains with the confined space in the carriages. We do undertake however to carry those models of scooter that can be folded down into lightweight and manageable components and those that fit within the wheelchair size above.

It is the passenger's responsibility to load the scooter on and off the train and we ask the disabled passenger or their travelling companion to ensure that the scooter is folded down ready for boarding prior to the train's arrival. Assistance may be requested from either a member of the station staff or train crew. The folded scooters can be stored safely in the luggage compartments.  Passengers may use one of our wheelchairs on the station but these cannot be taken on the trains.  Please book these in advance.

Manual or powered wheelchairs can access the train at all stations except Newtondale Halt under the supervision of the NYMR staff. Passengers must ask for assistance when necessary and not attempt to use the ramp without assistance.

For reasons of safety, powered wheelchairs and scooters must not exceed 2 mph on station platforms and must not go near the platform edge.

  1. Other Information

Our policy admits the necessary companion, or carer, of a disabled visitor free of charge, while the disabled visitor pays the full fare applicable for the journey. We are unable to offer a free carers ticket against any of the vouchers (including family radio vouchers) and discounts currently available. 

We request customers who have purchased a free Carers Ticket online to please produce one of the following forms of ID at the Booking Office when collecting tickets: Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Document, Disability Living Allowance Record Book, Attendance Allowance Book, Invalidity Benefit Book, Visual Impairment Registration Card (BD8), Blue/Orange Parking Permit or written confirmation of the above from the DWP with photographic identification.

Please note that mobile phone networks may not work in the area through which the line travels.

Please ring the Customer Services office at Pickering (01751 472508) if you need any further information.

  1. Wheelchair Dimensions

Disabled Access Statement Aug 2018