A POPULAR event which attracts thousands of visitors to Pickering has been cancelled.

North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR) has announced that it is not running the Through the Decades Event as it refocuses on its budget.

The event, which replaced the Railway in Wartime weekend a couple of years ago, was attended by re-enactors and visitors from across the country.

A spokesperson for NYMR said: "After careful consideration, we have made the decision to cancel our Through the Decades event, which was planned for 12th to 13th October 2024; we would like to apologise for any disappointment caused.

"As a heritage attraction, we are re-focusing our time on the NYMR’s core events and activities this year to make them even more spectacular than ever. These include our ever popular Annual Steam Gala and the renowned Santa Specials.

"We’re also proud to announce that we’ll be collaborating with exceptional organisations and charities from across the whole of the rail industry to support the upcoming nationwide Railway 200 campaign. We are busy behind the scenes planning our programme of events and activities for Railway 200 which will take place in 2025."

The spokesperson added: "We appreciate there will be a lot of disappointed people, but we hope everyone understands our decision, and that as many people as possible will still use the railway on the weekend of 12th-13th October, when our standard services will be running as usual."

The spokesperson said NYMR would be re-focusing its time on the NYMR’s core events and activities, such as the Annual Steam Gala and Santa Specials.

"We appreciate there will be a lot of disappointed people, but we hope everyone understands our decision.

"Our passengers and visitors are more than welcome to come along dressed in the 40s attire and still be in the spirit of the decades. There are currently no plans to re-introduce the event in the future.

"The railway is not closing down, we have refocused our budgets to better reflect the core events and activities. We have not made this decision lightly and we are taking these steps for the best interest of our heritage charity."

In March an auditor has “cast significant doubt” on NYMR's ability to continue after a year that saw visitor numbers drop and operational costs rapidly increase.

Accounts for the year ending February 2023 showed that the Pickering-based trust operating the 18-mile heritage railway made a loss of half a million pounds.

Falling visitor numbers in the summer of 2022 and the price of coal increasing due to the war in Ukraine were attributed to the losses.  

The trust had a deficit of £519,000 in the year compared with a surplus of £2.4million the previous year.

Its bank balance at the end of the year was £1.4m - £2.5m less than the previous year.