Yorkshire's Magnificent Journey

Delivering our £10 million future vision

Yorkshire's Magnificent Journey is our £10 million project to ensure that future generations can continue to enjoy our 180 year old railway for decades to come. Over the past 5 years we’ve been busy delivering 7 unique initiatives. The project concludes in 2024 and you can find out more below about what we’ve already achieved and what’s still to come.

Bridge Renewals

We’ve replaced three crucial bridges along our railway to ensure that we can keep the trains running well into the future. The new bridges have replaced ones that were over 150 years old and starting to show their age. Find Out More

Fuss Free Access

We’ve made improvements to help ensure that our site is as accessible as possible for all to enjoy and feel included. This includes new specially adapted accessible carriages, enhanced signage and accessible maps. Find Out More

Carriage Stable

We have built a new £4 million carriage stable at Pickering to provide better care for our historic carriages. The new facility provides covered storage for up to 40 carriages and is making our work to care for and maintain the collection much easier. Find Out More

Goathland Learning & Interpretation

We are busy developing our learning programmes and have launched a fresh new programme of activities to engage young people with the railway. We have transformed the former pigeon van at Goathland into a new learning coach and have launched a new app. Find Out More

Volunteer Development

We have invested in volunteering including creating new volunteer opportunities across our departments and providing training and support to help volunteer development. We have also created the Outstation at Stape - a residential centre providing high quality volunteer accommodation. Find Out More


Our new apprenticeship scheme is helping young people gain the skills they need for a future in heritage railways. Our apprentices are working alongside our staff in engineering and lineside conservation. Find Out More

Lineside Conservation

Our lineside conservation project is helping to care for the land either side of our railway tracks. Our conservation work includes habitat surveys, practical conservation tasks and the creation of educational resources to help our visitors understand more about wildlife and conservation. Find Out More

We aim to help schools, families and other visitors to delve deeper into the fascinating stories behind the railway and the history of Goathland Station.

Our learning and archive teams are busy working with Headland Design to create an exciting interpretative station trail and immersive guards van exhibition at Goathland for schools and families. It will explore the story of our country railway through the people who worked it.

The Guards Van, a neglected Gresley BGP Coach E7054E passenger brake van fitted with pigeon carrier shelves and designed in 1943, has been carefully restored to preserve elements of its historic past. The new exhibition will complement these original features and help young visitors to have a more experiential visit to the van where they will discover the history and significance of the country railway in our remote and rural setting.

The Whitby & Pickering Railway was built by George Stephenson, opening in 1836 as a single track using horse drawn carriages and wagons, bringing with it an influx of navvies, miners and railwaymen, jobs for life on the railway, and the growth of industries such as whinstone and iron ore mining. It carried passengers, livestock, and freight such as iron ore, coal and alum across the moors, significantly changing the lives and infrastructure of this tiny, remote moorland community.

A section of this original line has become The Rail Trail, a popular walk between Goathland and Grosmont. A visit to the Guards Van will enhance this activity where the old horse drawn railway with its rope hauled incline will also be interpreted alongside plans for the faster steam deviation line.

There are also a wealth of historic buildings and facilities to engage with at Goathland. Goathland Station (originally Goathland Mill Station) is the archetypal branch line country station; with the complete range of passenger and goods facilities, mainly dating from construction of the ‘Deviation’ in 1865. There is a great tale to tell.

An interpretive station trail will explain the story of the station from the Deviation, along with the function and significance of many buildings of historical interest. The voices of former station masters, alongside Goathland’s first female porter and a World War 2 evacuee living in Station House, will all contribute to the storytelling of significant buildings such as the Waiting Room, Coal and Lime Drops and the Goods Warehouse. Other areas of significant historical interest include the weighbridge, cattle dock and a siding which was served by a narrow-gauge tramway. 

Alongside the trail and exhibition we are creating new activities for Key Stage Two age groups - from signalling and communication on the railway to life as a lad porter at an NER country station in the late 1800’s to accompany visits to Goathland Station. We are also creating pop up exhibitions from the wealth of archive research we have undertaken over the past two years as part of the Yorkshire’s Magnificent Journey project.

Your donation makes a vital difference to help our railway survive for future generations.