Saturday, 6 August 2016

NYMR: Grosmont to Goathland On The Rail Trail...

Evening all. We've been out walking today! We arrived in Whitby last night and, following a pleasant overnight stay at Raithwaite, we had planned to walk from Grosmont to Goathland today along the 'Rail Trail'. This route follows the North Yorkshire Moors Railway quite closely and takes you through some lovely countryside. It was a beautiful sunny day and I felt we had been very lucky with the weather. We arrived at Grosmont at around 11am and having parked up in the station car park we wandered up onto the platform to watch the next departure. At the head of the train and providing a very attractive sunlit sight was Thompson B1 4-6-0 No61264...
61264 is of course the sister to the other preserved B1: 61306 "Mayflower": of which I had the pleasure of crewing many times when I was younger. The 4-6-0 got the "Right Away" at 11:30 and duly stormed away up the gradient towards Goathland and beyond. A very sunny Grosmont station was then left quiet. From here, NYMR trains can run along the preserved route to Pickering or cross-over onto the main line to Whitby or Battersby. Steam trains to Whitby run daily from Grosmont in the summer I believe...
"Grosmont Station"
We walked over the level crossing before turning right and walking through the pedestrian side of the Grosmont tunnel. This brings you out at the rear of the engine shed and workshops. The NYMR have a viewing gallery above the running shed and also allow you to walk around the side of the shed to reach a gate which looks into the works. From the gated area I snapped the 1918-built Q6 0-8-0 No63395 which was resting in front of the visiting S160 from the Churnet Valley. There were four steamers out today on the railway...
"Engines At Rest At Grosmont Shed"
We walked back through the tunnel before turning right and heading steeply upgrade. The Rail Trail is a 3.5-mile route to Goathland and the first section involves climbing up and over the Grosmont Tunnel. You gain a surprising amount of ground fairly quickly and we were soon looking down over the station from the summit above the tunnel...
Having reached the top of the tunnel, the path descends back down towards the lineside. The route follows the track bed of George Stephenson's original Whitby & Pickering Railway of 1836; a once horse drawn line. The tunnel through to the engine shed was also once part of this system I believe. The path drops down alongside the engine shed once again and from there we spotted Gresley K4 Class "The Great Marquess" on shed...
The full North Yorkshire Moors Railway shed complex...
The countryside along here is just beautiful. The greenery was lovely to see...
Coming away from the engine shed, the Rail Trail joins the NYMR lineside for a short distance. Right on cue, Black Five No44806 rumbled towards us with a train from Pickering. 44806 was built at Derby in 1944 and was purchased by the NYMR in 2013 after spending many years of her preservation life on the Llangollen Railway...
Leaving the lineside, we continued on towards Goathland...
It took us a couple of hours to do the steady walk. The route is well regarded as being ALL uphill in this direction and indeed the final gradient up to the village takes it out of you! The walk was however very pleasant and very varied. Lush trees and greenery would change to open fields before turning into dark wooded areas on the banks of hidden streams...
Wooded rivers would break up the green landscape for a moment before you continued back into the trees...
In a clearing, not too far from Goathland, the final gradient begins. Its quite a climb up here and we did admittedly have to stop for a "blow up" (a sit on a bench in our case!) before continuing on towards the summit. In the days of the horse drawn wagons, this gradient had to be worked by a counterbalanced weight system to haul the loads up the hill as the horses simply couldn't cope...
The gradient continues on for some time and, having crossed a road to reach the final ascent to the village, we wheezed over the top and sauntered into Goathland. Goathland enjoyed TV fame as the base of the television show "Heartbeat". It was called Aidensfield in the show and the area still draws people to the village under the banner of 'Heartbeat Country'. The TV series included many shots of the NYMR and the village itself was used heavily for the external shoots...
"Goathland Village"
We bought a little vintage tin in the Aidensfield (Goathland) shop before wandering down towards the Garage on route to the station...
With the sun continuing to shine and the temperature still fairly strong, we decided we needed some liquid refreshment after our climb to the village. For those not feeling sympathy, we don't do a lot of walking so this was a big thing for us! We enjoyed a drink outside the Aidensfield Arms, again made famous by Heartbeat...
Thirsts quenched, we wandered down towards Goathland Station where we purchased two Single tickets to Grosmont. We thought about walking back and, perhaps if it hadn't been so hot, we might have done. Goathland station was also used during the filming of Heartbeat but in recent years it has gained fame in the Harry Potter film series as "Hogsmeade"...
We enjoyed an Ice Cream from the station cafe whilst waiting for the train to arrive. Sods law, the train was hauled by the Class 25 Diesel "Sybilla"...
"Can't Win Them All"
We boarded the BR stock behind the Class 25 for our short ride to Grosmont, forming the 2:50pm train. The next train up from Grosmont was hauled by the BR Standard Class 4 Mogul No76079 which duly barked into the platform making a right noise! The gradient up into Goathland is 1 in 49 I believe and it certainly made the 'Pocket Rocket' make her voice heard. You can't help but appreciate the effort put in by the loco's up here...
With 76079 out of the section, the 25' was given the "Right Away" and we duly departed down grade towards Grosmont. The full route of the NYMR is 18 miles between Grosmont and Pickering and we'll be riding the entire line tonight on the Diner: I'm looking forward to that! The diesel took us gently downgrade back to base whilst we surveyed the scenery we had just walked through out of the carriage window. The B1 was waiting to take over the service as we pulled into Grosmont...
"Returning To Grosmont"
I finally managed to get an unhindered shot of the B1 No61264...
Having left the train at Grosmont and captured the B1 alone, we wandered back to the car for the journey back to Raithwaite. We hadn't got long before we needed to be back for the Diner and so we headed off without haste. The B1 was simmering at the head of the stock near the level crossing as we passed. What a lovely railway and a very nice walk along the Rail Trail. Cheers all, Sam...

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