A rallying call on Yorkshire Day

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway is taking part in the 2022 Love Your Railway campaign. Charlotte Graham

Today is Yorkshire Day, and a trio of heritage railways organisations are using this to call upon the public’s support by visiting a heritage railway this summer – amid a series of challenges affecting heritage railways throughout the UK.

As well as the current spate of strikes affecting the North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR), which uses part of the national rail network, the prolonged dry spell of weather has been causing an outbreak of lineside fires, badly disrupting rail timetables.

The NYMR, Yorkshire Wolds Railway, and the National Railway Museum in York have joined forces with over 75 other heritage railway organisations for the second annual ‘Love Your Railway’, a nationwide campaign that shines a spotlight on heritage railway organisations, and is encouraging visitors to buy tickets to support them this summer.

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The campaign covers six weekly themes which aims to raise awareness of the importance of heritage railways as tourism destinations, educating and telling the story of Britain’s railways, while also providing local jobs and volunteer community engagement. The campaign also aims to highlight how the NYMR has benefited from the £10 million Yorkshire’s Magnificent Journey project (YMJ), supported by funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund,  and was designed to transform the railway and secure its future.

Chris Price, general manager at NYMR, said: “Our message for Yorkshire Day is ‘support your local heritage railway’; having survived the COVID pandemic, we’re now being hit by yet more challenges which are heavily impacting our timetables, visitor numbers and therefore revenue. The summer holidays are our busiest time of year, so it’s been a real challenge to maintain our high levels of service in the face of strikes and fires – but our team has been fantastic and kept us on track.”

NYMR and its fellow heritage railways from across the UK carry over 13 million passengers each year, over 560 miles of railway line and contribute £400 million in economic impact. 22,000 volunteers and over 4,000 paid employees keep the UK’s heritage railways on track, highlighting the significant role railways played through the industrial revolution.

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At the time of writing, the following railways participating in Love Your Railway 2022 are:

  • 1066 Country (Hastings Borough Council)
  • Amberley Museum & Heritage Centre
  • Avon Valley Railway
  • Bahamas Loco Society
  • Bala Lake Railway
  • Bodmin & Wenford Railway
  • Bredgar & Wormshill Light Railway
  • Buckinghamshire Railway Centre
  • Bure Valley Railway
  • Cambrian Heritage Railways
  • Central Tramway Scarborough
  • Colne Valley Railway
  • Crich Tramway Village
  • Dean Forest Railway
  • East Anglian Railway Museum
  • East Kent Railway
  • East Lancashire Railway
  • East Somerset Railway
  • Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways
  • Foxfield Railway
  • Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway
  • Great Laxey Mine Railway
  • Head of Steam
  • Headhunters Railway Museum
  • Heaton Park Tramway
  • HOPS
  • Hornby 
  • Heritage Railway Association
  • Invergarry & Fort Augustus Railway Museum
  • Isle of Man Steam Railway
  • Isle of Wight Steam Railway
  • South Devon newsletter
  • Keighley & Worth Valley Railway
  • Keith & Dufftown Railway
  • Kent & East Sussex Railway
  • Lappa Valley Steam Railway
  • Leighton Buzzard Railway
  • Lincolnshire Wolds Railway
  • Llangollen Railway
  • Lynton & Barnstaple Railway
  • Middleton Railway
  • Mid-Norfolk Railway
  • Mid-Suffolk Light Railway
  • Mumbles Development Trust
  • Museum of Scottish Railways
  • National Railway Museum 
  • Nene Valley Railway
  • Northampton & Lamport Railway
  • North Dorset Railway
  • North Yorkshire Moors Railway
  • Peak Rail
  • Plym Valley Railway
  • Rail Riders
  • Railway Preservation Society of Ireland
  • Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway
  • Romney Hythe & Dymchurch Railway
  • Scottish Railway Preservation Society
  • Severn Valley Railway
  • Sittingbourne & Kemsley Light Railway
  • Snowdon Mountain Railway
  • Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway
  • South Devon Railway
  • St Albans Signal Box Preservation Trust
  • Stainmore Railway Company
  • Stephenson Railway Museum
  • Straffan Steam Museum
  • Swanage Railway
  • Tanfield Railway
  • Telford Steam Railway
  • The Auckland Project
  • The Postal Museum
  • Threlkeld Quarry Railway
  • Vale of Rheidol Railway
  • Watercress Line
  • Weardale Railway
  • West Somerset Railway
  • Whitwell & Reepham Railway
  • Yeovil Railway Centre
  • Yorkshire Wolds Railway

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