Fascinating photos reveal surprisingly intact remains of railway line in the North York Moors which closed in 1960s

These are the surprisingly intact remains of a rural branch line which once served picturesque towns and villages in the North York Moors.

Railway engineer and writer Gareth Dennis photographed the old tracked from the Nunnington to Helmsley section of the Gilling to Pickering line, which closed in 1964 – though passenger services stopped running in the early 1950s.

Mr Dennis suggested that the current condition of the route would lend itself to being converted by Sustrans into a walking and cycling trail.

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The line linked up to the Thirsk and Malton line at Gilling and the busier line between York and Whitby at Pickering. There were stations at Helmsley, Kirkbymoorside, Nawton, Nunnington and Sinnington. Most of the station buildings survive and are now private houses.

Some of the old trackbed is now private landSome of the old trackbed is now private land
Some of the old trackbed is now private land

Mr Dennis said: “I spotted/made use of this fine multi-span arch bridge that took the old NER Helmsley branch over the Rye near Nunnington. It looks structurally sound, but the parapet copers and pilaster capstones could do with some love.

“Also: despite its legal status, much of the route remains intact between what's left of Nunnington station and Helmsley (apart from a few open fields where the formation has been flattened). It would be a useful link for Sustrans North to take charge of!”

Other structures along the line including a viaduct, signal boxes, bridges, signage and railway cottages are all still visible. Some remains of the Helmsley Station platforms can also still be seen. The only station to have been demolished is Kirkbymoorside.