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 magnificent 180 year old railway. Our seven initiatives will improve the experience and facilities for all our visitors and ensure that we have the volunteers, infrastructure and skills we need to operate for the next 50 years.

Our journey will take us to 2024 and has been possible thanks to generous funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the European Union, the Department of Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs, our Local Enterprise Partnership and kind donations from our many supporters.

What is the lineside?

The lineside is the land either side of the railway tracks. Our 36 miles of lineside (18 miles each side of the tracks) covers approximately 170 acres. It’s packed with cultural, historical and natural heritage – from manmade features like stations and workshops, to vast swathes of ‘living lineside’ - the grasses, flowers and trees viewed from the train window.

Dotted along the lineside are special features that you might not even notice - miles of fencing, dry stone walls, ditches, lineside huts, signals, signs and markers.

A Living Lineside

The Lineside Conservation Project focuses on caring for and managing the lineside.

Our railway travels through the stunning the countryside of the North York Moors National Park. But how many people realise they are passing two Sites of Special Scientific Interest, a Yorkshire Wildlife Trust nature reserve (a Special Conservation Area) and ancient woodland?

The lineside links these important habitats and, because it is relatively undisturbed, the many species of plants and animals living and moving through here can thrive.

We are busy surveying these habitats to enable us to enhance and protect them. We are working closely with our neighbours, the North Yorkshire Moors National Park Authority, the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, Natural England and many others to make sure our lineside buzzes with life.

We are also producing information, interpretation, educational resources and events to encourage our staff, volunteers and visitors to discover more about the lineside as part of enhancing their experience and enjoyment of the railway.

Managing the Lineside into the future

Maintaining our 36 miles of lineside involves many specialist skills and hard work all year round from our staff and volunteers. Often these tasks are more related to land and estate management than to traditional railway works.

Keeping the railway safe is a priority. Train drivers need a clear line of sight to see signals, signs, crossings and staff and volunteers working on the railway and lineside (who in turn need to see them). This requires careful vegetation management, including managing trees.

We also need to maintain access for maintenance works and keep our boundary features intact to protect people and livestock. We are currently auditing our many boundaries to help with planning their long-term maintenance. We also have responsibilities towards minimising fire risk and retaining and conserving traditional lineside structures such as retaining walls, huts and signs.

There are many heritage and habitat features along the lineside that we would like to bring to life. We aim to maintain a ‘traditional’ appearance for the railway whilst also enhancing wildlife and biodiversity and an enjoyable experience for our passengers. Donations are crucial to help support these initiatives and train volunteers and staff to effectively manage and maintain the lineside. Thank you for your support.


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