North East Connected


North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR) has announced the completion of its £4 million carriage stable, one of the key projects in its £10 million Yorkshire’s Magnificent Journey (YMJ) Appeal.

The five track single-storey carriage shed, featuring a cantilevered roof, will accommodate up to 40 of the railway’s heritage carriages, and for the first time enable servicing and cleaning tasks to be completed undercover.

The new facility at Pickering forms part of a larger scheme to transform the railway and secure its future as part of the Yorkshire’s Magnificent Journey (YMJ) Appeal.

The YMJ Appeal, designed to transform the railway and secure its future, is funded by grants from the European Union, the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Department of Environment Farming and Rural Affairs, the Local Enterprise Partnership and by donations from the charity’s members and  supporters.

The carriage stable is just one of six projects, which also includes the new education coach at Goathland, aimed at helping to deliver one of the charity’s key objectives, to improve interpretation and education facilities on the railway.

The coach, which has recently returned from a full refurbishment, will bring to life the story of the railway through the people that worked it. An immersive social history experience is currently being developed, and will include material from the recent oral history project where people donated their memories. The education coach is due to be finished and be operational by April 2022.

Lineside conservation is another important YMJ project; NYMR Lineside Conservation Officer Kerry Fieldhouse and her team have completed a full habitat survey along the 18 miles of track. All special or scientifically significant flora and habitats have been mapped and will form part of the ongoing conservation management plan. The next stage is a survey of animal species, including bats, butterflies, reptiles and turtle doves.

In keeping with the charity’s educational objectives, the newly-published Visitors’ Guide and Children’s Activity Guide will help raise awareness of the landscape around the railway and the wildlife it sustains.

YMJ is also funding heritage conservation work, to the boundary fences and a full review of the lineside huts and fogmen’s huts to identify opportunities for upgrading, preservation and conservation.

The Yorkshire’s Magnificent Journey funding has enabled the NYMR to completely redevelop the old school at Stape with a new role as ‘The Outstation’, the railway’s new Volunteer Development Hub and outreach centre. It provides a 20-berth, fully-equipped facility enabling the NYMR to offer unparalleled levels of engagement and experiences to new and non-traditional audiences. It’s intended to give a more diverse range of people and wider communities the opportunity to experience the pleasure and benefits of volunteering on a heritage railway.

Other YMJ projects in progress include the conversion of four carriages to provide ‘fuss-free’, easier access, with tailored seating for wheelchair users and accessible toilets on every train.

In February 2022, the YMJ funding will also enable the renewal and reconstruction of Bridges 24 and 25 at Goathland Station – crucial to the railway’s ongoing operation.

John Bailey, NYMR Trust Chairman, commented: “Fifty years ago our founders had the vision and determination to re-open the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. Today we face challenges of a similar magnitude.  We share their vision and determination, manifest through these projects that make up Yorkshire’s Magnificent Journey. They mean that 50 years hence, people will still be learning from and enjoying the experience of steam across the Moors.”

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