Whitby Town Council has launched a campaign to reinstate the Malton to Pickering line after it was shut under the infamous Beeching Axe, which saw more than 4, miles of railway and 3, stations closed in the s as part of a major reshaping of British Railways. It is hoped the move will lead to visitors from further afield abandon their cars in favour of rail travel to the resort and provide much-needed links to York and Leeds for residents, as well as create new jobs.
The authority has written to the town councils in Pickering and Malton in the hope they will back the campaign and it is also seeking support from the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, which operates steam trains on part of the old line, which closed in The first class coaches were named Premier , Transit and Lady Hilda. The company subsequently ran two return journeys per day except on Sundays.
Whitby and Pickering Railway
In July , for Ruswarp Fair the company provided a special coach that ran sixteen trips during the day between Whitby and Ruswarp which proved very popular some passengers travelling repeatedly because of the novelty. There is a recorded instance of a ship from the Baltic docking at Whitby and its captain finding orders awaiting him to proceed to Liverpool. Through rail journeys became possible from Whitby to the industrial districts of the West Riding , Hull , Manchester, Liverpool, London and other destinations.
Whitby became accessible to day-trippers and holidaymakers.
To encourage traffic George Hudson formed a company to develop the West Cliff in Whitby, building roads and hotels before work stopped at Hudson's downfall in With a connected national rail network the Royal Mail used the railways to carry mail. The first train from York to Whitby each morning was the mail train, a train that continued running for the best part of one hundred and twenty years.
The conversion of the line from horse to steam power took place in stages; the first steam train service between Pickering and Levisham started on 1 September using a single track. By the following year a second track had been laid and was passed for use by Her Majesty's Railway Inspector Captain RE Coddington in a report dated 8 June following an inspection three days earlier.
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Approval was given for opening the line from the bottom of the Incline to Whitby but allowed the use of only a single engine. A further report dated 30 June following a second inspection the previous day, found a much improved state of affairs, one track was complete and the second within a day of completion.
Captain Coddington summed up that 'I am of opinion that the line may be opened with safety on the 1st Inst according to the wish of the Company'. Coddington's reports that the horse-drawn coaches continued to run until replaced by steam trains. The wooden sleepers required for rebuilding the line appear to have been imported from the Baltic to Whitby, details of several shiploads of sleepers are held in the National Archives.
Scarborough and Whitby Railway
At that meeting, the directors informed the shareholders that they had been in communication with Mr. The line itself, it will be seen, does not pay the interest on the purchase money alone, and the enormous outlay in converting it from a Horse to an Engine line is entirely unproductive. There were other lines promoted to connect along the north coast of Yorkshire between Scarborough and Whitby, including the Scarborough and Whitby Railway Company which issued a prospectus in late In October the NER opened a line between Castleton and Grosmont completing a route between Scarborough, Whitby and the ports of the north-east via the North York Moors ,  it had also completed improvement works in July, allowing express trains to travel between the two coastal towns in one and a half hours.
A branch line was proposed, from the start at Crowdy Hill in Whitby connecting to the River Esk, where a wharf would be built. An act allowing construction of the new line was passed on 29 June Construction of the line began on 4 May Included in the construction was a large arch brick viaduct over the River Esk near Whitby see Larpool Viaduct.
The company needed further acts allowing it to raise extra capital for, and to extend the timescale of the construction, and to make connections with lines in Whitby and Scarborough. The line was opened on 16 July At the southern end of the route, the goods yard at Gallows Close north of Falsgrave tunnel was expanded for use as a carriage yard in the busy summer months, with excursions routed via the overspill station at Scarborough Londesborough Road sent there for storage between turns.
Campaign aims to restore rail link - Whitby Gazette
This practice continued after nationalisation of the railway system in During its operational lifetime the Scarborough and Whitby line became notoriously impracticable and difficult to work. The junction layouts at both ends of the line Prospect Hill in Whitby and Falsgrave in Scarborough meant that trains had to reverse direction in order to gain access to the route.
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These movements, particularly in the days of steam, were time-consuming and disrupted the movement of other trains. This problem was especially acute at Scarborough, where Central station was extremely busy during the summer months. The route itself was steeply graded in both directions 1 in 39 being the steepest and its location along the coast meant that the rails were often slippery due to rain and sea mists.
This made driving conditions in bad weather extremely difficult and great skill was needed from the engine crews to prevent trains from stalling on the climbs.