50 years ago it all finished. Like many other routes across the network, the lines from Whitby would see many go, with just one service retained - all in the name of; progress, efficiencies, modernisation. So it was to be. For then the world was looking forwards, getting rid of old technologies, of Empire and finding a new Britain, with a new sense of itself. So it was to be – apparently.
Some saw things differently, that learning from the past and preserving what we had a right to be proud of was just as important. Within years the NYMR was formed and from its initial start, came years of toil, years of work to one of, if not the most successful preserved railways anywhere in the world. The return of the engines that hauled one of the last railtours on the line was indeed special. For me personally more so, having an interest and affection for K1, 62005 but as ever and just like that initial tour all those years ago - Gresley’s K3 again took centre stage.
The fact that this special ran today is indeed a marvellous triumph for the ideal that railway preservation has lots to offer, be that interest, friendship and enjoyment for all those that visit, share the passion, or volunteer. Indeed, today’s celebration was as much an achievement of success as it was a thank you to the service and memory of all the volunteers that have been a part up unto this day.
While the invited guests enjoyed their luncheon many others looked on as the two LNER designed moguls made ease of the train that conveyed their place into yet another NYMR milestone. Seeing the train at Whitby gave chance to follow its progress along the Esk Valley. Speed restrictions and new workings allowing a rare chance to see it again at both Grosmont and Goathland.
I’m sure in the future that the NYMR will still be the vanguard of progress and of being a fantastic tourist attraction for the region, that offers a view of yesterday, both today and tomorrow. Long many that continue, for the next 50 years and many more beyond.....