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North Yorkshire Moors Railway


RCD’s Overview

This is one of the UK’s premier heritage lines and gets our very top rating.

This railway carries more passengers than any other heritage railway in the UK and may be the busiest steam heritage line in the world. It runs from Pickering (just 25 miles from York) through the North Yorkshire Moors National Park to Grosmont, and beyond to the seaside resort of Whitby. It operates an extensive train service, both in terms of operating days (daily from April to October, thereafter weekends), and in the number of trains it runs over considerable distances by heritage railway standards (up to 8 trains a day on the Pickering/ Grosmont section). Its collection of operational steam locomotives is one of the largest and most impressive in the country. Giving a wonderful ride through the North Yorkshire Moors National Park to the historic harbour town of Whitby, this is a heritage railway not to be missed.

The railway has introduced new pricing for 2023, with a very attractive £49.50 unlimited annual pass (entire line, Pickering - Whitby) giving 12 months worth travel. Amazingly good value! Other tickets are also available (see below).

The support group is the 'North York Moors Railway Trust' (see 'Information on the Suport Group' below).


Happening This Month:

  • Go to 'Homepage' and click into 'Railway Club Calendar'

Key Facts (where and when)

Extent of Railway (where to where):

Pickering to Grosmont and Whitby 

Principal Visitor Centre:

Pickering Station (YO18 7AJ)

Period of Operation*

- April to October (Daily)

- December (Special event trains)

 [* This is a summary. Please go to the railway’s website for definitive operating days] 


Key Facts (what you’ll see)

Services usually steam or diesel?

Predominantly steam, but also some diesel on most days

Type of Steam / Diesel Locomotives Used:

Mostly former main line steam and diesel locomotives

Length of Line:

18 miles to Grosmont: 24 miles to Whitby

Time taken for a round trip:

From Pickering: To Grosmont: 2 hours 45 mins. To Whitby: 5 hours

Number of trains per day:

Up to 8 in each direction

Number of Stations:

7 stations (including Whitby)


  • Unlimited Annual Pass (Pickering - Grosmont - Whitby)

Adult: £49.50. Children (0 to 15) go free!

  • Shorter Journey (travel up to 2 stations)

Adult: £13.50 (one station) or £25 (two stations). Children (0 to 15) go free!

Time to allow for Visit:

Full day





Picnic/Play areas:


Preservation Established:


Car Park Facilities:

Limited car parking at Pickering, Goathland and Grosmont stations (charges apply). Also parking at Levisham. Paid town parking available in Whitby.


Key Facts (Galas/Events/Dining)

Dining Trains:

- Over Christmas Period (Christmas Moorlander and Christmas Buffet Lunch)                                                                      

Event Trains:

- Santa Specials: December

Principal Galas:

- Annual Steam Gala: September                                                                            


- Footplate Experience

- Photography Workshops




Telephone:                                                           01751 472508


Social Media:                                            

                                                                             Also on Twitter/ Instagram


Brief History of the Railway and its Preservation  

The railway was one of the first to open in the country, planned by George Stephenson in 1831 and opened from the seaport of Whitby to Pickering in 1836. It was conceived as a means of opening up trade routes inland from the port of Whitby. The railway was designed and built to be used by horse-drawn carriages with a rope-worked incline system at Beck Hole south of Grosmont, due to the very hilly terrain. In 1845, the railway was acquired by the York and North Midland Railway (later absorbed by the North Eastern Railway), and it re-engineered the line to allow the use of steam locomotives. It also extended the line south of Pickering to make connection with a line leading to York and beyond. The Beck Hole incline remained, so an alternative route around Goathland was built and opened in 1865. The line proved successful and was doubled in stages. In time, Whitby became rail connected by other railway companies, to Middlesbrough, to Scarborough and to Saltburn, however the York - Whitby line was regarded as its prime route. The Beeching Report of 1963 recommended closing all lines to Whitby, however the provision of alternative bus transport in the rural Esk Valley proved impractical, and so the Whitby - Middlesbrough line was reprieved. This spelt the death-knell for the Whitby - York line, which was closed in 1965. In 1967 the North Yorkshire Moors Railway Preservation Society was formed aiming to preserve the line between Grosmont and Pickering as a heritage railway. The line was successfully re-opened as the North Yorkshire Moors Railway in 1973.


Steam Operational Locomotives:

(1) LNER Class J27 (Worsdell) - No. 65894 (NER Class P3 No. 2392)

(2) LNER Class Q6 (Raven) No. 63395 (NER Class T2 No. 2238)

(3) LMS Class 5MT ‘Black 5’ (Stanier) - No. 5428 ‘Eric Treacy’

(4) SR Class S15 (Maunsell) - No. 825

(5) SR Class V ‘Schools’ (Maunsell) - No. 926 ‘Repton’

(6) BR Standard 4 Tank - No. 80136

(7) BR Standard 4MT - No. 76079

(8) BR Standard 9F - No. 92134

(9) Kitson Lambton Colliery - No. 29

(10) Cockerill type IV steam tram - ‘Lucie No.8’


Diesel Operational Locomotives/DMU:

(1) BR Class 04 shunter - D2207

(2) BR Class 08 shunter No. 08556

(3) BR Class 08 shunter No. 08850

(4) BR Class 25 - No. D7628 ‘Sybilla’

(5) BR Class 26 - No. 26038

(6) BR Class 37 - No. 37264

(7) Heritage DMU Class 101 - Set 101685 ‘Daisy’


Steam Locomotives Under Overhaul:

- NER Class E1 - 69023 ‘Joem’


Diesel Locomotive/ DMU Under Overhaul:

(1) BR Class 11 shunter - No. 12139

(2) BR Class 24 - No. D5032 ‘Helen Turner’

(3) Heritage DMU Class 101 DMU - Set 101680 (50204 and 51511).


Stored/ Under Restoration/ Out of Service:

- LNER Class A4 - No. 60007 ‘Sir Nigel Gresley’ (off site)

- LMS Class 5MT ‘Black 5’ - No. 44806

- SR West Country Pacific (Bulleid) - No.34101 "Hartland"

- BR Standard 4 - No. 75029 ‘The Green Knight’

- BR Standard 4 tank - No. 80135

- WD Austerity - No. 3672 ‘Dame Vera Lynn’

- Robert Stephenson - Lambton Colliery No. 5

- Bagnall 2702 ‘Constance’

- BR Class 24 diesel locomotive: No. D5061


Name of Support Group:

North York Moors Railway Trust

Annual membership fee:

Adult: £40. Junior £20 (cheaper if pay by direct debit)


Benefits of membership:                                  

-          Travel benefits, currently 50% off daily travel services (exceptions, like Special Events and Galas, apply)

-          Free Travel for cycles and dogs

-          Quarterly Magazine, ‘Moors Line’   


How to Join:                                       Go to


What They Say About Volunteering:

Our volunteers play a vital role in all the work we do. You do not need any previous experience of working or volunteering on a railway; there are hundreds of volunteers up and down the line performing a variety of enjoyable, meaningful and challenging roles which extend beyond operating and maintaining our trains. We also offer roles within our lineside conservation, education, development, fundraising and infrastructure departments along with improving our visitor experience and helping to support our junior volunteers. Most of all we aim to be friendly and welcoming ambassadors of our heritage railway.


How to Volunteer:                                         Go to


How to Donate:                                             Go to


WHY JOIN:  With its large collection of locomotives and rolling stock, historical infrastructure and extensive services, help is always needed to maintain this prestigious railway.


Those interested in this railway may also be interested in the following railway societies also listed on this



Traditional Railway Societies:

- North Eastern Railway Association

- LNER Society                                                      


Locomotive Societies (steam):

- North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group

- Sir Nigel Gresley Locomotive Trust

- Thompson B1 Locomotive Trust

Model Railway Clubs:

- Scarborough and District Railway Modellers

- Ebor Group of Railway Modellers (York)

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