Staying on track: North Yorkshire Moors Railway to remain open for the winter season

North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR) has confirmed that in a festive first, the attraction will break from its usual winter tradition of shutting down to visitors, and will instead remain operational from December until March 2021.

Wednesday, 16th December 2020, 11:11 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th December 2020, 11:14 am
NYMR to run services throughout the winter

Commencing December 26, the NYMR will be operating The Optimist daily service which travels 24-miles along the heritage line from Pickering to Whitby.

Anyone planning on visiting from Boxing Day until January 3 will be able to travel the whole length of the line, through the North York Moors National Park and have time to explore the historic seaside town of Whitby, before embarking on the journey back to Pickering.

Those looking to walk off the festive feat are encouraged to hop on The Rail Trail from Grosmont to Goathland which departs twice daily at weekends until January 2 2021.

Visitors can climb aboard at Grosmont and take a short scenic journey to Goathland, before walking the 3.5mile return journey on a classic walking trail along the original 1836 route of the railway line.

Today, the remaining path along the old track gives chance to reflect on the history of the railways as well as an opportunity to enjoy a range of beautiful North York Moors scenery including ancient woodland, fast flowing becks and rolling hills.

From January 4 until February 28, the attraction will run one Optimist service and two Rail Trail journeys every Saturday through to Tuesday, with the exception of February 13 - 21 , when both services will operate every day, to accommodate family visitors looking for entertainment during the school half term.

To bring the winter season to a close, the attraction will be operating one Optimist and two Rail Trail services every Wednesday through to Sunday from March 1 -26 ,2021.

Details of the official 2021 season are yet to be unveiled.

Due to Covid-19 control measures* and to help the railway maintain capacity, pre-booking on all services is essential, by visiting

Winter timetable:

Dec 26 - Jan 3:

Optimist service departs Pickering at 11.20am - Return train leaves Whitby at 14.30pm

Sunday only service departs Pickering at 9.20am - Return train leaves Whitby at 13.15pm

Rail Trail departs Grosmont twice daily at 11am and 13.15pm with Goathland return (optional) at 12.25pm and 14.30pm during weekends

Jan 4 - Feb 28

One Optimist and two Rail Trail services running Sat - Tues (closed Wed - Fri) excluding Feb 13-21 when both services will operate daily

March 1 - 26

One Optimist and two Rail Trail services will operate every Wed to Sun (closed Mon & Tues)

*A number of Covid-19 control measures have been implemented, including limiting capacity on trains, Zoono ‘fogging’ carriages and public spaces, enhanced cleaning regimes, hand sanitiser stations and contactless payments for all refreshment and retail purchases.

Visitors are asked to maintain social distancing whilst visiting the railway, wear a face covering whilst moving around the railway and on the train and when seated on board the train (these may be removed whilst seated in a compartment), wash hands often and use hand sanitiser provided, avoid touching your face, and if you are feeling unwell or experiencing symptoms of Covid-19 please do not attend the railway.