~The North Yorkshire Moors Railway~
14th July 2012
For a change, I had a look over my shoulder and took the car and tent to somewhere completely different. I don't know if it's "Lakeland Fatigue" or some other medical condition, but I've not found it easy heading for Cumbria this "summer", so it really was time to try something else.
Q6 No.63395 & Deltic "Royal Scots Grey" No. 55022
The "Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, Everything" is hidden in this report, but can you find it?
Scroll down for photos and a description of the day....
Willow Garth Caravan Park
I arrived at Willow Garth Campsite, Great Barugh, nr. Malton on Friday evening. It's a pleasant enough setting and is approximately 5 miles away from both Malton and Pickering. The following signpost was photographed on a sortie out west, hence the distance discrepencies.
Maybe more about Marton and Sinnington later. I'm heading for Pickering.
Class 24 D5061 at Pickering Railway Station
This is the empty stock arriving to supply the 09:00hrs Pickering to Grosmont. The locomotive will leave the train and, using points - out of view, loop round to lead the train back out the way it is arriving. Pickering used to be a through station, but in the "Preserved" period is a terminus. The timetable might have led readers to expect a steam locomotive, but this is clearly a diesel.
Pickering Station Roof
Perhaps I was the only one looking at the roof and feeling puzzled. Subsequent research has revealed that this roof was put in place just over a year ago. BR had removed the original one in 1952 and this one was designed to be as close, in appearance to the original, as possible.
The Station Clock
Diesel Multiple Unit
The clock was originally from Winchester Station and was brought here during the "Preservation" era. The "DMU" is awaiting a turn on the 10:00 service to Grosmont. Sentiment and nostalgia come in many forms; I prefer the steam engines, but have no recollection of ever seeing them in BR action. Some folk prefer diesels, some may even find that the DMU in the photograph stirs their blood. Some poeple are bus enthusiasts, it takes all sorts.
The line follows a deep valley up through Newton Dale (where Levisham Station can be found), North Dale and then Eller Beck on the way to Goathland. This view is just north of Newtondale Halt, said to be the most remote (from public access roads) railway station in the England. More about the railway will feature in tomorrow's report (15th July).
This "Lower Quadrant" signal is at "Clear". These types of signal were replaced by "Upper Quadrant" signals from the 1920's onwards as they were regarded as safer in the event of the wire breaking, i.e. they would fall to "Stop" - the horizontal position, whereas these earlier models would remain at "Clear" in the event of the wire failing. Pay attention, there might well be a quiz at the end!
Goathland Railway Station
Goathland was Aidensfield in the YTV series "Heartbeat". The next stop after Goathland is my destination, Grosmont. All being well, I'll meet up with friend and fellwalker, Jo Hall, from not-too-far-away and we'll have a walk on territory she knows quite well.
I've left the train and took this photo from the level crossing. Grosmont was originally called "Tunnel" and the village attributes its very existance to the arrival of the railway, as part of the Whitby to Pickering Railway - 1835. The work of railway pioneer Robert Stephenson, this "permanent way" is one of the earliest of our railway routes.
Southern Railway No.825
No.825 awaits her opportunity to take a train to Pickering. Note the smoke deflectors either side of the front of the smoke box. These are designed to force the steam from the chimney higher and away from the driver's line of sight. Preserved Railways carry a speed limit of 25 mph and thus the smoke deflectors are less essential than when the engines ran on main lines in the "old" days.
Jo's with me now and she is a closet rail enthusiast, she can't put her camera down. 9F No.92114 was listed to run today and I was looking forward to seeing her in action. Later, a young platform assistant at Goathland informed me that "she" was having her bolier washed out and would not be running. Ladies, that's a better excuse than "washing my hair", try it one day.
Class 55, Deltic No.55022
Talking of nostlagia, does anyone remember the sight and sound of Deltics pulling East Coast expresses on the main lines?
Jo and Amber the Dog
We are walking on Stephenson's original route, "The Rail Trail". Stephenson's original line was horse drawn, but the horses gave way to a counterbalanced weight system for the steep incline from Beck Hole to Goathland. In 1847, George Hudson bought the railway line and introduced steam locomotives. They could not attempt the steep gradient, so the "Deviation" line was built and opened in 1865. The story of George Hudson is for another day - a maverick, a "rogue trader" of his day.
Birch Hall Inn
Beck Hole is another fascinating place. They play quoits on the local "pitch" and we were unlucky not to see a game in progress, as they often have a game on Saturdays. Birch Hall Inn is incredibly small and sells beer, teas and scones with jam. Light refreshments were taken. Here we take a deviation of our own as Jo wanted to visit Darnholm, this puts us back on the present rail route.
The birds of Beck Hole are very tame, often the case when cake is on offer. A short, sharp climb takes us on the grassy path for Darnholm. The riverside path is closed due to erosion.
Focus on the ford - with a normal flow, the water runs under the channels and beyond that, the stepping stones come into play.
Enthusiast in the Bracken
Standard Class 4 No. 80072
This section is part of the "Deviation". Built in 1950, Standard Class 4's can boast 15 survivors from the cutter's torch, this one is on loan from the Llangollen Railway. It's nice that Preserved Railways lend each other engines.
Goathland Railway Station
Looking north, the path from Darnholm came in on the right at the end of the platform. This weekend, the railway held a Classic Cars event and cars were on show at most stations.
I think I've got the make and model correct. We walked past some "Heartbeat"y stuff in Goathland, but that's not what I've come to see.
Stephenson's trains would have come up and down this way.
Q6 No.63395 & Deltic "Royal Scots Grey" No. 55022
The Q6 pulls the "Pullman" Diner to Pickering. You can pay a little extra and have a meal on the train. The Deltic is in running order and can run on main lines. Do a bit of "Googling" and see what you can learn about Deltics etc.
The Old School Tearoom, Grosmont
As part of my ongoing research project into tearooms and refreshment opportunities, we had to take another short break.
My Return Train
Pickering Railway Station
With a hint of sadness, I walk away and take one look back. What a great day! With grateful thanks to the original pioneers and entrepeneurs of the railway age and to the visionaries of the "Preserved" era, they have provided us with a wonderful archive.
Walkers: Jo Hall and Me.
Time taken: 6hrs from train-to-train over a distance of about 7 miles. So much to see!
Route: Grosmont on the "Rail Trail" to Beck Hole, over to Darnholm, Goathland, Incline back down to Beck Hole and along the old trackbed back to Grosmont.
Weather and Conditions: Sunny intervals, warm. Cloudier in the late afternoon. Deluge later forced me out of the tent and into the pub.
Richard's Refreshment Review: Pickering and Grosmont both have tearooms. Birch Hall Inn is well worth a visit, but let's have extra hot water with the teapot. Goathland has a tuck shop with ice creams etc. The Old School Room Cafe deserves a closer look, we had coffee in the playground, so can't say too much about the wider menu and quality of meals in the main hall.
The Comment facility will have to change soon due to the removal of such by JS-Kit aka Echo. I'm not sure what their issue is, perhaps it's unprofitable or something. For this weekend of two similar walks, I've left comments open only on the second walk, dated 15th July.
All photos copyright Richard Ratcliffe 2012 ©