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

National Lottery funding safeguards the future of world-famous visitor attraction and popular movie location, North Yorkshire Moors Railway

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway’s ambitious ‘Yorkshire’s Magnificent Journey’ project has started thanks to a £4.4m grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The 180-year-old North Yorkshire Moor Railway (NYMR) runs along 24 miles of steep inclines, remote landscapes and breath-taking vistas, carrying over 300,000 visitors every year. A popular film location, NYMR has featured in many award-winning movies including Phantom Thread starring Daniel Day Lewis. One of NYMR’s most magical features is Goathland Station, which doubled as Hogsmeade Station in the first Harry Potter film. 

The DSP, part of Endemol Shine UK, documentary ‘The Yorkshire Steam Railway: All Aboard’ was watched by more than 3.5 million last year. Series Two airs on Channel 5 on Friday 17 May, at 8pm. Scheduled to run for six weeks, the documentary will go behind the scenes meeting the staff and volunteers that keep the railway on track. 

NYMR’s ambitious ‘Yorkshire’s Magnificent Journey’ project is dedicated to preserving the railway for future generations.  The work will take around five years to be completed, during which time the railway will remain open for its daily services as advertised. 

NYMR is a registered charity which provides a high-quality, safe and authentic evocation of the steam age for the public, and over the past 18 months the railway has been finalising the shape of the project and raising urgent funds. The £9.7m Yorkshire’s Magnificent Journey project has also received £1.75 million from the Rural Payments Agency (RPA), as well as contributions from local organisations and private donors. As a result, NYMR can now begin work to preserve the railway’s historical infrastructure and assets and improving visitor services and experiences.

The railway is an educational charitable trust providing an interactive experience for all ages. The grant will enable NYMR to invest in new opportunities for curriculum-based learning for young people as well as better accessibility from north of the National Park. The conversion of four carriages will provide greater access, tailored seating, wheelchair facilities and accessible toilets on every train.

The impact of the project is expected to be significant, with an emphasis on a volunteer development programme. This will include the recruitment of a new post to drive awareness of volunteering within the local community and a new volunteer centre, where families can be accommodated. This is essential to the development of the current junior volunteer scheme and the long-term recruitment of volunteers. New training opportunities will also include a line side conservation programme and the recruitment of 12 apprentices.

A major part of the project is the preservation of the railway for future generations to enjoy this includes the renewal of Goathland Station bridges, with three iron bridge spans being replaced. A new carriage stable close to Pickering Station is also being built, which will enable the charity to store and house its historic vehicles, preserving them for the future.

John Bailey, NYMR Trust Chairman, said: “This is just incredible news – and I am so proud of everyone at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway who has worked so hard to achieve this amazing success. We’d like to thank the National Lottery Heritage Fund, RPA and the York, North York and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership who have made this possible.

“The project is the result of two years of careful planning – with staff and volunteers shaping the seven projects. We couldn’t do this without the help and support of local people – and are so grateful for the donations we have already received.

“These are exciting times for everyone who cares for the railway, our visitors, supporters, staff and volunteers. This is the most ambitious project we’ve ever undertaken and will build on our successful growth in recent years, so we can all achieve even more in the future.”

With a combination of donations and grants, the railway has raised 90% of the funds to deliver the project. However, NYMR still needs to raise an additional £1 million over the next five years to be able to complete the project. For further information and to donate visit www.nymr.co.uk/YMJ.

RPA Chief Executive Paul Caldwell said:

“I am delighted that we have been able to support this project to protect this important slice of history in the North Yorkshire landscape.

“The funding will help to safeguard the cultural significance of the railway. With 27,500 new visitors to the area expected by 2024, it will also provide a boost to the local economy as a renewed appreciation for its landscape and heritage.”

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway is an award-winning charitable trust that carries 300,000 passengers every year. It is Britain’s most popular heritage railway and is one of the best visitor attractions in the North East. 

The NYMR trust relies heavily on donations and the work of its many volunteers. The 180-year old railway already invests around £1 million annually but there’s only so much the fare box can generate and much more is needed for the railway bridges and its 50-100-year-old vehicles to remain viable.



The National Lottery Heritage Fund: Using money raised by the National Lottery, we Inspire, lead and resource the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future. www.heritagefund.org.uk.

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