Whitby Railway Station has been in existence since the beginning of the railway system in the 1830s by the entrepreneur, George Hudson (1800 – 1871) known as ‘The Railway King’.
This week, a new project was announced to reopen the second platform at Whitby Station in a £2 million scheme of investment which will enable the number of trains from three to five per day running to and from Whitby by the NYMR. It is hoped to be completed by April 2014.
This year is the 41st Anniversary of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, formed by a group of volunteers with the aim of keeping the rail links open, once threatened with closure by Beeching in the 1960s. Working with Network Rail, and with funding from the Government’s Coastal Communities Fund, it is hoped that the increased services to Whitby will bring extra passengers to provide an important boost to the local economy.
The station is owned by Network Rail and run by Northern Rail, and, together with the North Yorkshire Heritage Railway, will try to ensure that the works will be concluded with minimum disruption, indeed, Construction Marine Limited, the principle contractor for the scheme, have already commenced work as from this Monday.
This expansion will certainly help the number of travellers coming into Whitby from the students and schoolchildren to the hundreds of holidaymakers and day visitors to the town, via the NYMR line and the Esk Valley Line. The proposed new station to serve James Cook Hospital will be an additional stop on the Whitby Railway to Middlesbrough line enabling many of the local population, staff, patients and visitors, access to the hospital by rail. The new station is set to open in April and will offer fully lit waiting and seating area with passenger information and a public announcement system.
It is hoped that the improvements will help to generate around 70 local jobs which is very welcome for the towns employment statistics.
As well as the commuters to Whitby and the day trippers, the NYMR organises many events throughout the year including the Steam Galas, Sixties and Seventies Weekends, Railway in Wartime, Witches and Wizards Week, Classic vehicle Weekend and the ever popular Santa Specials. The Esk Valley Line offers visitors the popular Music and Ale trains every Friday throughout the summer with Santa Rides in December.
Whitby Railway is an important part of the structure of the town and the improvements will hopefully enforce the viability of this important link with the rest of the country.