Full steam ahead as new platform sees major increase in passengers

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway. Picture: Tony Bartholomew
The North Yorkshire Moors Railway. Picture: Tony Bartholomew
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A YEAR on after a new platform was unveiled at Whitby Station, steam railway bosses have seen a 10 per cent rise in passenger numbers.

In the past year 120,000 passengers travelled to and from Whitby using the North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR)

The railway said the figures “paint an upbeat picture of the growing popularity in taking a step back in time for a day out at the seaside or on the moors.”

The extra platform and improved trackworks, unveiled last year 50 years after the controversial Beeching Axe saw one of the loveliest routes in the country taken out of commission, has allowed NYMR to increase its daily services from three to five in and out of Whitby.

Spokesman Phil Bustard said: “The challenge now for the railway is to keep visitor numbers growing and to get holidaymakers to enjoy the Moors and go down to Pickering, to see the castle and the Beck Isle Museum.”

It is estimated that the North Yorkshire Moors Railway helps to lever some £30m per year into the local economy.

With daily services operating for most of the year, coupled with special events, the railway attracts almost 350,000 visitors per year making it one of the most popular steam railways in the world.

The additional platform at Whitby and associated track works was introduced at a cost of £2.3m and put in place through a partnership of organisations. It is expected to generate a further £3.5m per year of economic benefit to local tourism.

A recent acquisition by the railway is the Mulberries Tearoom at the end of the platform at Pickering, which is being rebranded.