North Yorkshire Moors Railway awarded £4.6m lottery grant

Image source, Graham Staples
Image caption,
The Heritage Lottery Fund said the grant would help ensure the attraction's future

A heritage steam railway has been awarded £4.6m by the Heritage Lottery fund.

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR) said the funding represented half of a planned £9.2m sustainability project which aimed to secure the railway's future.

The railway, which runs steam trains between Pickering and Whitby, attracts 350,000 passengers a year.

Owned and operated by a charitable trust it employs 100 people.

It also relies on about 1,000 volunteers and NYMR claims it contributes around £30m to the regional tourist economy.

The 18 miles (29km) of railway has more than 30 bridges and the charity already invests around £1m a year maintaining the route and the 50- to 100-year-old vehicles it operates.

John Bailey, chairman of NYMR, said the grant would allow the organisation to begin essential projects and start raising the matching funding through a public appeal.

"This should ensure that 50 years hence, people will still be learning from and enjoying the experience of steam across the moors," he added.

Image source, NYMR
Image caption,
NYMR relies on 1,000 volunteers

Planned improvements

  • Renew and repair worn-out iron bridges around Goathland (£2.67m)
  • Improve access for passengers (£770k)
  • Construct a covered stable for up to 40 carriages at Pickering (£4.16m)
  • Better serve school groups and families with a dedicated education carriage at Grosmont (£330k)
  • Create a new volunteer hostel at Grosmont (£450k)
  • Develop initiatives to recruit new generations of volunteers (£170k)
  • Build a railway apprenticeship programme (£470k)
  • Place new emphasis on the care and management of the 18 miles (29km) of lineside (£170k).

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