1 May 2013 and 3-12 May 2013
Spring sees the North Yorkshire Moors Railway reach the age of 40 and to celebrate this milestone, the NYMR has planned a special anniversary day and a 10 day festival to mark the occasion.
On the 01 May 1973 the Duchess of Kent travelled by special Royal Train to officially open the North Yorkshire Moors Railway between Grosmont and Pickering. With trains now also running through to Whitby, the railway has developed to become the world’s most popular heritage railway, visited and enjoyed by almost 350,000 people each year.
40 years to the day on Wednesday 01 May 2013, a special train will run from Whitby hauled by K1 2-6-0 No 62005. It is hoped that the newly over-hauled ‘Lambton, Hetton & South Joicey Colliery’ tank No 29 (one of the engines that worked the royal train in 1973) will double-head the train at Grosmont to make the picturesque journey along the line to Pickering. The fare for travel on and the special train is £40 and includes a special souvenir ticket signed by the original Royal Train crew, a glass of sparkling wine and a slice of celebration cake.
One of the original royal train drivers is Chris Cubitt who has been an active volunteer and member since the earliest days, and today is vice-chairman of the owning North York Moors Historical Railway Trust. He explains, “The 40th Anniversary day and festival that will follow is a great chance to celebrate everything that has helped the railway develop, during our first 40 years.”
The 10 day NYMR 40th Anniversary Festival will take place from Friday 3rd to Sunday 12th May and will focus on the locomotives that have contributed to the history of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. Highlights include a visit by LNER B1 No1306 ‘Mayflower’ and visits back home by the 62005 and J72 No 69023 ‘Joem’.
The home based fleet will be headed up by the 112mph record holding streamlined Pacific ‘Sir Nigel Gresley’ 60007, the fastest steam locomotive since World War 11, and the only other surviving B1 locomotive of 407 originally built, No 61264 – making a first special event appearance since the engine’s overhaul.
Philip Benham, General Manager said, “We believe this is the first time both surviving B1 locos have appeared together on a heritage railway. These were the very last class of steam locomotive to work the line for British Railways prior to closure in 1965, so should be an exciting spectacle to see.”
The Festival will also feature 3 LMS Black 5s, including 44871 and 45407, and the North Eastern Railway Saloon coach that featured as the “Old Gentleman’s Coach” from the 1970 film “The Railway Children” coupled up to ‘Joem’ (at a special supplement). Demonstration freight trains will run on various days throughout the event. There will be a chance to travel in style through the heart of the North York Moors including historic pre-war teak carriages, or passengers can upgrade to First Class Travel in recently refurbished compartment seats.
If all that wasn’t enough there will be a special Pie and Peas supper on the Esk Valley route to Battersby departing from Grosmont at 19.50 on Monday 6 May, which can be booked online www.nymr.co.uk. This is the perfect chance to sample the Railways new 40th Anniversary Ale and one of only a few times in 2013 to enjoy an NYMR steam journey on the Esk Valley Line. Scarborough & District Railway Modellers will be displaying a model railway exhibition in the Learning Centre on Platform 2 on the 11-12th May featuring Haymarket Cross (as seen in Hornby & BRM magazines) Rumbling Bridge, Heron Lane & Glengary.
Adult day rover tickets start from £23. Book your NYMR 40 Festival tickets online now www.nymr.co.uk. The North Yorkshire Moors Railway is open every day from 22nd March – 3rd November. For more information please call 01751 472508, book online www.nymr.co.uk or follow us on Twitter @NYMR and Facebook @North Yorkshire Moors Railway.