All Aboard the North Yorkshire Moors Railway

We love the sounds and smells of a heritage steam locomotive!


And in Whitby, with the North Yorkshire Moors Railway being close by, we are very lucky as we see and hear the steam trains regularly.

Whitby is one of the country’s most popular staycation resorts and the sights and sounds of a steam train simply add to the joy!



North Yorkshire Moors Railway


As with many great things, the North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR) started off ‘small’.

Small in the sense of a group of people who, in 1967, formed the North Yorkshire Moors Preservation Society.

This followed the line closure in 1965, part of the Beeching Cuts.

Five years later, the organisation boasted 550 volunteers.

Today, the NYMR Trust includes 100 full time staff and around 50 seasonal staff along with a team of over 600 dedicated volunteers.


Starting Out


In 1970, the first NYMR Member’s Day passenger trains rattled along sections of the tracks.

The following year, the first steam passenger train also made the picturesque journey from Grosmont to Pickering.

The organisation became a registered charity in 1972, under the North York Moors Historical Railway Trust.

As the organisation gathered momentum, in 1973, the Duchess of Kent officially opened NYMR.

Roll forward to 1979, the first dining trains appeared under the prestigious title of the Pullman Dining Train Service.

In 1984, a shed was purchased at Pickering for the carriage and wagon maintenance depot, a crucial element of  NYMR.

Over the years, many similar developments took place, ensuring NYMR is a thriving concern.


Popular With Everyone


Harry Potter

There are few people who are uninspired by a steam train!

The NYMR has won awards over the decades, and improved the infrastructure of the line.

Improvements included platform extensions, restoration projects and more.

One of the biggest developments in the history of the NYMR was the arrival in 2007 of the first NYMR passenger operation to Whitby.

A second platform opened in Whitby in 2014.

In 2016, the NYMR won the White Rose Award, a sought-after accolade in the tourism industry.

Today, the NYMR is one of the country’s finest heritage railways and has been used in many films and TV series, including the Harry Potter franchise.


The Beeching Report


This infamous report changed British Railways forever.

A huge document published in 1963, it recommended the closure of three remaining railways serving Whitby (yes, three!).

Two were closed: the Malton to Whitby line and the coast line to Scarborough (now the Cinder Track).

The Esk Valley line to Middlesbrough was saved and is still in use today (which makes us wonder if any of the others could also have survived, too).

Of course, the line’s closures hit our town hard as it meant many locals lost their jobs.


Some Fascinating Facts About The Old Railways


Goathland Station was originally called Goathland Mill.

In the 1860s, the Beckhole Incline caused headaches for railway owners and workers.

Opened as part of the Whitby and Pickering Railway (W&PR) in May 1836, the incline allowed trains to be hauled up and down from Beckhole to Goathland Bank Top station.

At Beckhole, the height above sea level was 200 feet and at Goathland Bank Top it was 350 feet, reaching a 1 in 10 gradient at times.

It is now the famous Rail Trail, popular with walkers.

A deviation line was constructed, including a new station at  Goathland.

This new line involved constructing four stone overbridges, seven stone under-bridges and one stone viaduct along with other structures.

Famous York architect George Townsend Andrews, who designed York Old Station, Paragon Station in Hull also designed stations at Malton, Rillington Junction and Pickering.

The Whitby to Pickering line was opened in 1835 with the stretch from Whitby to the Tunnel Inn (now Grosmont) being the first section of track.


The North Yorkshire Moors Railway Today


A thriving heritage railway, the NYMR has become a leading steam locomotive tourist attraction.

The  2024 main season started on 23rd March to 3rd November although there are additional special event dates.

Purchase your tickets in advance and depending on your ticket choice, you can explore the stations along the way, including Whitby (just moments from the Riviera), Grosmont, Goathland, Newtondale Halt, Levisham and Pickering.

As well as providing direct employment and volunteer opportunities, the NYMR has expanded its portfolio to offer Footplate, Tours and Talk experiences.

The organisation helps with the preservation of historic carriages, preservation of diesel locomotives and steam trains.

The dining trains are still a sell out year on year.

A number of events are hosted each year and for 2024, here’s the list:

Diesel Gala – 14 to 16 June 2024

Annual Steam Gala – 26 – 29 September 2024

Through the Decades – 12 & 13 October 2024

Santa Specials – 30 Nov, 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21-24 December 2024


The Outstation, at Stape

The Outstation is the North Yorkshire Moors Railway’s Residential Community Engagement and Volunteer Development Centre located in Stape, North Yorkshire.


The Riviera and the Railway


If you love steam trains, then stay with us here at the Riviera.

We are a ten-minute walk from Whitby Railway Station (and a 15 minute walk back as it’s uphill!).

During the main season, we can often hear the locomotive whistle and the chuff-chuff-chuff of a train’s arrival or departure.


Welcome to the Riviera

Most of our guests are smitten and one stay is never enough. We regularly welcome back guests who have fallen in love with Whitby and fallen in love with our sea views.

Our 15 spacious en-suite bedrooms are renowned for their originality. Each has been uniquely designed to suit individual tastes. And what’s more, they are beautifully furnished with lots of modern comforts so you enjoy a restful and cosy stay.

There is a choice of Four Poster Superior King, King Size, Deluxe Double, Standard Double, Family, Twin and Single bedrooms.