North Yorkshire Moors Railway welcomes King Charles III to commemorate our 50th anniversary

Today, on the 12th June, His Majesty The King travelled behind Flying Scotsman in the Royal Carriages along the North Yorkshire Moors Railways heritage line and met the railway's Chief Executive Officer, Chris Price, and longstanding volunteers to mark the 50th Anniversary of the official opening of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway (1973-2023).

During His Majesty’s visit to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, the Royal Train journeyed from Grosmont to Pickering, where The King unveiled a plaque to memorialise the occasion. He also took the opportunity to view Flying Scotsman, which turned 100 on 24th February 2023, and had been specially prepared for the occasion: its roof painted white and new lamps fitted to the cab, in line with the tradition of hauling the Royal Train.

Welcoming His Majesty to NYMR was Chief Executive, Chris Price, who said, “It’s an honour to be able to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the NYMR with a special visit from King Charles III. For all these years we have preserved our heritage railway and to celebrate this with royalty is such a privilege. It gives us the enthusiasm and joy to continue for generations to come.”

Built in 1923 at Doncaster Works, Flying Scotsman started life as just another of Sir Nigel Gresley's A1 class of locomotives. It is now considered the most famous locomotive in the world, holding the world record for a non-stop run in a steam locomotive, set in 1989 with a 422-mile trip. The celebrity engine retired from service in 1963, and is now a star attraction in the collection of the National Railway Museum (part of the Science Museum Group) in York, where it is a working museum exhibit. Its visit to Pickering is the latest in its centenary programme, which sees the locomotive on the tracks, hauling main line tours and visiting heritage railways across the country.

A registered charity, the NYMR requires between 300-500 hours of volunteer support every day to bring its story to life. Among the team are a few long standing volunteers who have been at the NYMR since the first day in 1973 when the Duchess of Kent officially opened the railway. Fifty years on, and John Bruce, Chris Cubitt, John Hunt and Terry Newman are still firing on all cylinders as the NYMR steams into the future.