Wolds railway is on track for grand opening

volunteers at the Yorkshire Wolds Railway
volunteers at the Yorkshire Wolds Railway

Members of the public will soon be able to ride on the newly-restored Yorkshire Wolds Railway - or at least a section of it.

It was in 1950 when the last passengers travelled on the railway which was opened in 1853 and ran between Driffield and Malton.

And after seven years of hard work by volunteers, 300ft of “demonstration line” together with a visitor centre at Fimber, near Wetwang, will be open to the public for the first time on Sunday 24 May and Monday 25 May between 10am and 4pm.

In what’s hoped will become a major visitor attraction for the wolds area, the railway will be open every Sunday until October when the public will be able to ride along the track in the cab of a diesel locomotive while learning about the history of the railway.

Railway chairman Ed Hague said the opening was “a monumental achievement.”

He said: “We’ve seen the social and economic benefits that heritage railways can bring to other areas, and we hope that in the long term we at the YWR can do similar.

“We are still very much a ‘project’ and getting the public on to the site will give the opportunity for us to show what we have done so far and what we plan for stage two which is very exciting!”

The site of the visitor centre and demonstration track was just an empty field seven years ago before volunteers came along and laid the line on the original track bed.

Meanwhile, planning permission is in place to extend the line by up to one mile south towards Wetwang Green Lane, yet it’s estimated that could cost around £300,000 because of the high price of steel and its transportation costs. The prospect of extending the line by any great distance to the north of Fimber is blocked by the collapse of the Burdale tunnel.

The YWR is always keen to involve new people, and anyone interested in becoming a member, volunteering, making a donation or just finding out more should visit the YWR website at www.yorkshirewoldsrailway.org.uk, or call 01377 338053. Additionally, if you have any pictures or stories of the line, please let them know.