Bright sparks, Finn Allen and James Woodland, have joined North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR) as mechanical engineering apprentices.

As a registered charity, NYMR provides a high quality, safe and authentic evocation of the steam age for the public. Thanks to grants from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Rural Payments Agency and the Local Enterprise Partnership and the generosity of supporters its Yorkshire’s Magnificent Journey project (YMJ) is now firmly on track.

YMJ includes apprenticeships in engineering, administration and countryside management of the NYMR’s ecologically important lineside. Finn and James are the first of 12 apprentices who will help to secure the future of the award-winning heritage railway line, enjoyed by more than 300,000 passengers every year.

Chosen from more than 30 applicants, Finn and James stood out because of their previous commitment as volunteers during which time they gained valuable experience. Together they will develop and enhance their skills helping maintain the Charity’s historic engines and carriages, with the guidance and support of its team of professional engineers.

As pictured Finn Allen and James Woodland (L-R).

Local lad, Finn, has been an NYMR Junior Volunteer since he was 13 years old. His apprenticeship will enable him to complete a Mechanical Engineering Standards Framework course at NETA, Portrack, Stockton, with hands-on work placement training at the NYMR.

James, originally from South Yorkshire, is now settled in the Esk Valley area and ready to embark on his new NYMR career. He’s been a volunteer at Barrow Hill Roundhouse near Chesterfield working on their locomotives. He too will be undertaking vocational and workplace training alongside Finn. What’s more, he will gain valuable technical skills at a specialist training establishment (T.T.E) in Middlesbrough.

John Bailey, NYMR Trust Chairman, said: “These landmark first apprentice appointments are exciting evidence of our commitment to the NYMR’s future. Our   staff and volunteers look forward to working with them passing on vital engineering skills and experience to another generation.

Everyone at the railway would like to thank the grant funding agencies and our generous donors who’ve made that possible. Investment in future engineering skills will help ensure the NYMR continues to provide our thousands of visitors with an evocative enjoyable experience of the age of steam. That had its cradle in the North East so it’s highly appropriate its future should lie there too.

With a combination of donations and grants the Charity has raised 90% of the funds to deliver its YMJ project. The heritage railway still needs to raise an additional £1 million over the next five years and is appealing for further support to achieve that target.  For further information and to donate, please visit


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

Louise Iles – PR Account Director: [email protected]

Sam Wright – PR Account Manager: [email protected]

Notes for editors

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway is an award-winning charitable trust that carries 300,000 unique 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 needs to raise £1million by 2022 so its railway bridges and its 50-100-year-old vehicles can remain viable.

  • The NYMR cares for operating and developing the railway it owns from Pickering to Grosmont.
  • The heritage railway operates over Network Rail from Grosmont to Whitby.
  • The charity provides a high quality, safe and authentic evocation of the steam age for the public.
  • The NYMR is an Educational Charitable Trust. Providing education for all ages.
  • The railway is a fully accredited museum.

About 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.

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