THE North Yorkshire Moors Railway has launched a series of initiatives to help it remain the world’s most popular heritage steam railway.
The railway which runs between Whitby and Pickering opened its doors on 26 March for daily services and has high hopes for another well-attended season.
Last year the attraction welcomed record visitor numbers of 360,000 and now, as part of its efforts to remain attractive to visitors of all ages, the North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR) has frozen most of its fares.
Day Rovers, as well as Family tickets which admit two adults and up to four children remain unchanged. The NYMR also plans to give passengers a special book of discount vouchers on buying their train ticket.
They will special offers from businesses and other attractions along the route of the railway, as a means of encouraging visitors to get the most from their experience.
General manager Philip Benham said: “The railway is making a huge effort this year to remain a good value family attraction, not just as a train ride but as the gateway to a day out, be it to the stunning North York Moors or on to the seaside at Whitby.
“We are also keen to make maximum use of all our assets, from the Pullman train to the individual saloon carriages as a way of enabling people to create and enjoy their own experiences.
“If more people are going to stay at home to holiday or take days out, then we want the NYMR to be top of mind as the place to be for their ‘staycation’ or ‘daycation.’
Steam engines kicking off the season will include Eric Treacy and the railway’s most iconic resident engine, A4 streamliner No 60007 Sir Nigel Gresley, is expected to make a comeback soon after the start of the main season, along with the 93-year-old North Eastern Railway Q6 engine 63395.
This year marks the 175th anniversary of the Whitby-Pickering Railway which opened between the two towns on 26 May 1836
And the railway will be finding ways to celebrate this landmark throughout the season, including running a celebratory Pullman train from Whitby to Pickering on the anniversary day - Thursday 26 May.
As well as celebrating its long heritage, the NYMR wants more visitors to enjoy the charm and romance of its historic carriages.
The NYMR hopes more people will consider hiring its carriages for private or corporate functions, and believes it has something very unique and very special to offer. A new package of literature has been produced to help attract custom.
This year it will also be promoting the idea of combining a shorter steam train ride with a walk for families who are on very tight budgets.
The Rail Trail which runs between Goathland and Grosmont is one such walk that could be undertaken as part of a circular route, combined with a steam train ride in the opposite direction.
Afternoon teas will also be making a comeback and will be served onboard the Pullman train on four occasions throughout the summer from Grosmont to Pickering.
To find out more about the NYMR go to www.nymr.co.uk or call the Customer Services team on (01751) 472508.