Railway celebrates 40 years with events

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The North Yorkshire Moors Railway will celebrate its 40th anniversary next month with a 10-day festival.

On the 1 May 1973, the Duchess of Kent travelled by special Royal Train to officially open the North Yorkshire Moors Railway between Grosmont and Pickering.

With trains now also running through to Whitby, the railway has developed to become the world’s most popular heritage railway, visited and enjoyed by almost 350,000 people each year.

Forty years to the day on Wednesday 1 May, a special train will run from Whitby hauled by K1 2-6-0 No 62005.

It is hoped that the newly over-hauled Lambton, Hetton and South Joicey Colliery tank No 29 – one of the engines that worked the royal train in 1973 – will double-head the train at Grosmont to make the journey along the line to Pickering.

One of the original royal train drivers is Chris Cubitt, who has been an active volunteer and member since the earliest days, and is vice-chairman of the North York Moors Historical Railway Trust. He said: “The 40th anniversary day and festival that will follow is a great chance to celebrate everything that has helped the railway develop, during our first 40 years.”

The 10-day festival will take place from Friday 3 May to Sunday 12 May and will focus on locomotives that contributed to the history of the line.