Yorkshire's Magnificent Journey


The Yorkshire’s Magnificent Journey project has commenced thanks to a £4.4m grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The £10m project has also received £1.75 million from the Rural Payments Agency (RPA), as well as contributions from local organisations and private donors. With a combination of donations and grants, the railway has raised a majority of the funds to deliver the project. However, we still have a final push for the last £300,000 to be able to complete the project.

Volunteers are absolutely vital to our operation. From the historic work of volunteers who enabled the railway to reopen in 1973, through to the input of over 1100 volunteers today, every one makes an invaluable contribution.

The Yorkshire's Magnificent Journey project has supported the appointment of a new Head of volunteer Development to focus on volunteering. This is helping us explore new ways to engage potential volunteers and to create new volunteer roles within the railway. This five-year post will ensure that a sustainable flow of volunteers is in place for the future when the project ends.

The new post is introducing enhanced volunteer recruitment and training initiatives as well as systems to help us make the best use of volunteers' skills in ways that complements the work of our paid staff.

The areas of volunteering being developed are:

  • Identifying new sources of volunteers, particularly in the urban centres neighbouring the North York Moors.
  • Improved records management to support the volunteer development team with a properly developed, operated and managed skills database.
  • A system to identify the skills and expertise necessary to support operational requirements.
  • Exploring opportunities to build on the agreements with external companies who offer volunteer workers as part of their training and development within their own organisations.
  • Working with potential employers to identify how they can be supported to benefit from volunteers at the railway working in their own organisations.
  • Exploring ways for young people aged 16-18 to move into mainstream volunteering and ways to support them.

The project also aspires to remove barriers to volunteering and help attract a new generation of volunteers - the future custodians of the railway. We also aim to increase the demographic of our volunteers and offer opportunities across all ages, backgrounds and experience. These may be people who have not previously thought of volunteering or maybe not even heard of the railway. To help broaden our volunteer base we will offer a range of ways to support us - with regular, committed, long-term volunteering at one end and shorter term, bite-sized, easy to access opportunities at the other.

The Outstation at Stape

The Yorkshire’s Magnificent Journey project has also supported the creation of a brand new Volunteering Development Hub and outreach centre – The Outstation. This was formerly the old school at Stape. This unique centre is fully equipped and has 10 bedrooms that can accommodate up to 22 people. This means we can provide both a high standard of volunteer accommodation and use the centre to connect us with new audiences. Our vision is to introduce a more diverse range of people to the railway including families, young people, volunteers and community groups and to work alongside organisations to enrich their own employer-supported volunteering programmes. Guests will be able to participate in conservation projects as well as with preservation, maintenance and mechanical initiatives and we hope to ignite the start of a long-term relationship with the railway.

This project represents a huge investment in our future sustainability and the delivery of our objectives as a charity. Your donations are crucial to help support projects like this and inspire the future generation of railway custodians. Thank you.

Your support and generosity can help us achieve our goal, Yorkshire's Magnificent Journey!