The current section of the North Yorkshire Moors
Railway was originally opened as the Whitby &
Pickering Railway in 1835, and operated using horse-power. It was
designed to make Whitby more accessible to inland towns by
traversing the difficult climb over the high moors. The popular
line soon reached York, and continued on after grouping with the
London & North Eastern Railway in 1923, and after
Nationalisation in 1948.
In 1965, British Rail closed the line to passengers, and all
services stopped the following year. However, the restoration
campaign was rapid, and a section of the track was purchased from
British Rail in 1967. The preservation group was allowed to keep a
much larger section than originally planned, to prevent access
roads and a cark park from spoiling the picturesque moors.
After a few short runs, the North Yorkshire Moors
Railway opened for full service in 1973, and has
continued ever since. At 18 miles in length, the railway is the
second longest preserved line in the UK. It is also the most
popular with visitors, mainly due to the incredible, unrivalled
scenery, and the options for many walks in the local area.