This weekend the railway celebrates 50 years since the formation of the charitable Trust (1967 - 2017)* and to mark the occasion we will be giving away an anniversary gift for passengers that travel along the line on the 3rd June.**

Chris Price, General Manager at NYMR, said: “Celebrating fifty years since the formation of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway Preservation Society is a real achievement. Had it not been for a passionate small group of volunteers the railway we know and love would not exist today. We will continue to improve the quality of the infrastructure, the railway vehicles and visitor experience for future generations to enjoy and we look forward to the next fifty years.”

The NYMR is one of the earliest and most historic lines in the North of England. Its origins go back well over a century and a half, and were an important trade link between Pickering and Whitby. Following a meeting in 1831 George Stephenson was asked to report on building the line of simplest construction for the employment of animal power. The complete 24 mile stretch of line was fully opened in May 1836. The line operated for well over a century during which modifications were gradually made and steam locomotives took over. In the 1950’s traffic began to dwindle and by 1965 the line operated its last passenger service.


Interest however was in favour of trying to keep the line across the moors open and in 1967 a meeting was held by people keen to re-open the line. The meeting was held at the home of Tom Salmon in Ruswarp on 3rd June. Six people attended with four apologies. There was debate about which route to focus on - should it be through the moors towards Pickering, or the coastal Whitby to Scarborough line? The latter was complicated by the possibility of potash traffic from Hawsker, and the moors route was by general consensus felt to be the better option. Although the needs of Goathland were a primary consideration, the ultimate objective would be to progress reopening the line in stages from Grosmont through to Pickering.

Later that year the North Yorkshire Moors Railway Preservation Society (NYMRPS) was formed, holding its first public meeting at Goathland Village Hall on 18th November 1967.

Through a major fund-raising scheme and help from the County Council, sufficient funds were raised to re-open the line in stages until 24 May 1975 the line was again open between Grosmont and Pickering. As progress was made, so the interest in running to Whitby increased. Occasional trains were introduced to try the Market, being operated by an outside operator. It was thought that these trains were successful enough to run more and now we operate over 100 days a year under our own Train Operating License and using our own Locomotives.

North Yorkshire Moors Railway is one of the most historic lines in the North of England, taking visitors on picturesque journeys along an 18-mile railway line aboard steam and heritage diesel trains. The railway passes through stunning scenery, from wooded valleys to beautiful countryside, stopping at charming villages and spectacular seaside locations.

For further information or to pre-book tickets online before your visit please go to For regular news, updates and competitions, North Yorkshire Moors Railway is also on Facebook and Twitter




For further information please contact Gough Bailey Wright on 01527 579 555

Louise Iles – PR Account Director: [email protected]

Sara Gillespie – Junior Account Manager: [email protected]

Sam Wright – Account Executive: [email protected]


Notes for editors

*1967 was the formation of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway Preservation society which then became the North Yorkshire Moors Railway Trust Ltd.  

**Guests travelling along the line with a valid ticket on the 3rd June will receive a 50th anniversary biscuit, pending availability. Available at Pickering, Goathland, Grosmont and Whitby Booking Offices only.

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway is a not for profit charitable trust providing memorable experiences for visitors and fulfilment for volunteers and staff through the operation of Britain’s most popular heritage railway between Whitby and Pickering.

  • The NYMR cares for operating and developing the railway we own from Pickering to Grosmont.
  • Operating over Network Rail from Grosmont to Whitby.
  • Provides a high quality, safe and authentic evocation of the steam age for the public.
  • Educational Charitable Trust. Providing education for all ages.
  • The NYMR is a fully accredited museum.