STEAM locomotives on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR) are to come to the rescue next month, replacing the usual diesel commuter train service into Whitby which is being disrupted for a week over the jubilee weekend for essential repairs
Due to the normal Middlesbrough to Whitby service not running because of bridge replacement work, bosses at the heritage railway have announced they are planning a better, more frequent service from Pickering into the seaside town from June 1-9.
General manager Philip Benham said: “When we heard that Northern Rail’s service couldn’t run, we decided to step in and help.
“We think everyone’s a winner here because not only do you get the chance to ride behind a steam engine, but we’ll drop you right by the harbour side in the middle of Whitby.”
The work will see engineers working to replace Danby, Duck, Thorneywaite and Carr End bridges on the line between Middlesbrough and Whitby.
Phil Verster, route managing director for Network Rail, said: “This route is vital for hundreds of children who use the train to travel to school each day.
“After considerable discussion with Northern Rail it was clear these essential improvements needed to be scheduled for the school holidays in order to minimise disruption.
“This decision to schedule the works during the jubilee weekend was not taken lightly. These bridges are nearing the end of their life and need to be replaced.
“Network Rail has already given an undertaking that substantial engineering works of this kind will not be scheduled during the Olympics.
“The autumn and winter school holidays are not suitable as large cranes are required to lift the bridges which cannot operate in bad weather.
“We are doing everything possible to complete the works in a timely way to keep disruption to an absolute minimum.”
Service information is available from NYMR on 01751 472508.