A PROJECT to preserve the North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR) has received £4.4 million from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The NYMR has been raising funds over the last 18 months towards the Yorkshire’s Magnificent Journey project, which will help preserve the railway’s historical infrastructure and assets, as well as improving visitor services.

The £9.7m project has also received £1.75m from the Rural Payments Agency (RPA), as well as contributions from local organisations and private donors.

John Bailey, chairman of NYMR trust, said: “This is just incredible news – and I am so proud of everyone at the NYMR who has worked so hard to achieve this amazing success.

“We’d like to thank the National Lottery Heritage Fund, RPA and the York, North York and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership who have made this possible.

“The project is the result of two years of careful planning – with staff and volunteers shaping the seven projects. We couldn’t do this without the help and support of local people and are so grateful for the donations we have already received.

“These are exciting times for everyone who cares for the railway, our visitors, supporters, staff and volunteers. This is the most ambitious project we’ve ever undertaken and will build on our successful growth in recent years, so we can all achieve even more in the future.”

RPA chief executive Paul Caldwell said: “I am delighted that we have been able to support this project to protect this important slice of history in the North Yorkshire landscape.”

With a combination of donations and grants, the railway has raised 90 per cent of the funds to deliver the project. NYMR still needs to raise an additional £1m over the next five years to be able to complete the project.

To donate, visit nymr.co.uk/YMJ

  • Series two of The Yorkshire Steam Railway: All Aboard starts on Channel 5 on Friday, May 17, at 8pm. It will run for six weeks and goes behind-the-scenes meeting the staff and volunteers that keep the railway on track.