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North Yorkshire Moors Railway

The English county of Yorkshire is famous for its wild, open and unspoilt landscapes and guests of Great Rail Journeys who visit the area with us may enjoy a relaxing trip along the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. Covering a distance of 29 kilometres (18 miles), it is one of the UK's longest heritage railway lines runs through the beautiful North York Moors National Park, connecting the picturesque market town of Pickering and the village of Grosmont.

The railway first opened in 1836 as the Whitby and Pickering Railway for the transportation of both goods and passengers to and from Yorkshire's east coast. It continued to run until 1965 when it suffered the same fate as many of the UK's provincial railways; closure under the recommendation of 1963's notorious Beeching Report. Salvation for the Whitby and Pickering Railway arrived via an enthusiastic and dedicated preservation society who arranged open weekends and 'steam galas' to fund the re-opening of the line. Their goal was achieved in 1973 and the North Yorkshire Moors Railway was born.

Today, carefully-restored carriages are hauled by diesel and steam locomotives along the picturesque route, which reportedly features one of the oldest railway tunnels in the world.

Highlights of the journey

The trains that travel the North Yorkshire Moors Railway call at a number of stations along the line and many of these places will be of interest to our guests. The station serving the rural village of Goathland played the role of Hogsmeade Station at which the Hogwarts Express calls in the Harry Potter film adaptations.

Goathland itself doubled as the fictional village of Aidensfield in the popular and long-running television drama 'Heartbeat'. Using photographs and original specifications and documents, a team of volunteers has authentically restored Levisham Station in the typical style of a small North Eastern England railway station from around the year 1912. The studio of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway's own artist-in-residence is also located at Levisham Station.



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Our customers love our North Yorkshire Moors Railway tours
Yorkshire and Northumberland
Mrs Aers
4 stars
“Most of the planned visits were fine. York was great with a knowledgeable tour guide for the city, the Minster was fine and in the free time we visited the Jorvik centre. Whitby was excellent and we enjoyed the train journey to Pickering The trip to Carlisle was disapponting , a) because of the mist/fog and b) we thought it was to be a Heritage Railway. We could have been provided with some info on Carlisle, in the rain we eventually found the Tourist Office. Alnwick was great, we visited the Garden as part of the tour and would suggest in future tours the Castle is included as part of the tour rather than having to make our own booking. Bamburgh Castle was great but the deteriorating weather meant the visit to Lindisfarne was challenging!! The journey to York from Newcastle was spoiled in that the reserved seats were not reserved and we were packed in with non tour passengers . Both hotels were excellent, in terms of food and accomodation. Car parking was the best I have experienced at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. Our tour guide, Sue, was good but we would have liked more sight-seeing/history info, there was too much emphasis on where is the best place to eat. For example as we journeyed by train and coach it would have good to have more info about what we were passing/viewing. Or greater written detail as we appreciate some may not wish to be "talked at". Your guides need to have more practical info for example at one station we were advised to use the toilets across the bridge on the platform from where our train was due to depart - but the guide got it wrong - not impressed - we had to trudge back, in the wind and rain, to use the toilets before departing. Surely this type of detail especially on a regular tour should be made known to your guides
Collected by Trustpilot
The Harrogate Flower Show
Oct 05 2017
Mrs L Godson
4 stars
“It was an excelkent tour. The only reason for 4 rather than 5 stars was because of one or two reservations about the hotel.
Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Pickering is a delightful and traditional Yorkshire market town and is notable for its twelfth-century parish church, and for the impressive remains of the medieval Pickering Castle. Now an English Heritage site, the castle stands on a hill overlooking the town and was originally built between 1069 and 1070 during the Norman conquest of Britain.

Several of Great Rail Journeys escorted rail tours include a trip on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway in their itineraries, including our rail trips to the Harrogate Flower Show in spring and autumn and our longer train tour which explores the best attractions and destinations in Yorkshire and Northumberland.

The railway operates a fleet of beautifully-restored and magnificent steam locomotives which date from between 1904 and the late 1950s. Wherever possible, Great Rail Journeys endeavours to ensure that our guests enjoy the nostalgic and unforgettable experience of a steam-hauled ride along the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.

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