This is how you can visit the abandoned Yorkshire Dales railway station that came back to life

Volunteer station master Keith Walker at Scruton
Volunteer station master Keith Walker at Scruton
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Buried deep beneath overgrown foliage after its closure in 1956, residents of Scruton thought of their old railway station as a 'sleeping beauty'.

It fell victim to the axing of under-used rural branch lines - it was part of a route from Northallerton to Bedale - and lay derelict for decades before it was rescued by enthusiasts and brought back into use.

Volunteers run an award-winning programme of schools visits at the restored station

Volunteers run an award-winning programme of schools visits at the restored station

Meet the volunteers who keep the Wensleydale Railway running

The line itself remained open for quarry traffic until 1992, but Scruton's old station buildings were by then abandoned and covered in ivy. Their original function was gradually forgotten.

Salvation came in the 1990s, when the Ministry of Defence offered to reinstate the line for military trains once the quarries using it had closed and the route was offered for sale. The first army train - serving Catterick Garrison - ran in 1996. At this point, a group called the Wensleydale Railway Association were active in campaigning for the restoration of passenger services on the line, but once the repairs had been funded, decided to operate trains themselves, and the MOD supported them.

Around £1.2million was donated towards the project, and in 2003 the Wensleydale Railway were awarded a lease to run a 22-mile section of disused line from Northallerton to Redmire, via Scruton. Leeming Bar and Leyburn stations were re-opened, followed a year later by Bedale, Finghall and Redmire.

The ladies' waiting room has been restored

The ladies' waiting room has been restored

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But Scruton was still derelict and dilapidated, and its rejuvenation seemed a long way off. The parish council became involved, and local volunteers spent over 300 hours clearing undergrowth from the site. Grants from the Railway Heritage Trust allowed work on the infrastructure to begin, and the buildings were re-roofed and the ticket offices and waiting rooms restored. A trust was formed to oversee maintenance.

2014 was the year Scruton's residents had been waiting for - a vintage railbus called at their station for the first time in 60 years to mark the anniversary of the line's closure. There were still obstacles to overcome before the Wensleydale Railway's heritage services could include Scruton - the platform had to be extended to comply with modern safety regulations, and Scruton was marooned; there was no through route from Redmire until the Northallerton West terminus was completed around six months later.

For almost two years, Scruton was a working station again, but disaster stuck in August 2016, when there was a collision between a steam train and a car at a level crossing near Yafforth. The section between Northallerton West and Scruton was immediately closed to await safety upgrades, and has yet to re-open.

Local volunteers give their time to maintain the site

Local volunteers give their time to maintain the site

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Local volunteers were determined not to let their newly-revitalised station die again, and they turned their attentions to running an award-winning education programme, organising school visits where children can play the part of Edwardian railway workers.

They've also collected an archive of material and photos relating to the station's operational heyday which is on display in the restored buildings.

The Wensleydale Railway's long-term plan is to extend the line beyond Redmire along its original route to Garsdale - where it could link up with the Settle to Carlisle Line - via Aysgarth, Askrigg and Hawes.

Scruton shortly before its closure in the 1950s

Scruton shortly before its closure in the 1950s

The Wensleydale Railway Association Trust are opening Scruton to the public for Heritage Open Days on Sunday September 15 and 22, with guided tours from from 10am-4pm. Admission is free and refreshments will be served in the station garden.

Scruton is not currently operational as the line awaits urgent level crossing upgrades

Scruton is not currently operational as the line awaits urgent level crossing upgrades

Scruton in 2009, before restoration began

Scruton in 2009, before restoration began