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Announced at a ceremony in London for the 2012 National Railway Heritage Awards, the North Yorkshire Moors Railway has received the Ian Allan Publishing Award for the best overall entry in the competition for the “Train of Thought” project to restore Pickering station to its former glory.
The “Train of Thought” project had at its heart the re-instatement of the original station roof designed by G T Andrews in 1846, but dismantled by British Railways in 1952. Started in 2009, the roof was back in place in 2011, with project finally completed in June 2012.
With major funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Yorkshire Forward the project also has a strong educational focus, based on the NYMR’s long history as one of the country’s oldest passenger railways. Along with the new roof, a visitor centre has been created in the former pump room, while a new two storey building in keeping with the original design, houses an archive room, and learning centre, providing year round facilities for schools and learners of all ages. An adjoining picnic area incorporates original canopies from Church Fenton station.
Philip Benham, General Manager said “The North Yorkshire Moors Railway is overjoyed with this major award which is a great way to end the year. As the world’s most popular steam heritage railway, we now have at Pickering, where most passengers start their journey, a station of which the whole Railway can be truly proud.”
“I wish to pay particular tribute to Bryan Draper, secretary of our parent body, the North York Moors Historical Railway Trust, without whose patient work to bring together a funding package, the project would never have got off the ground. Bryan has continued to be a guiding hand throughout the three year construction period.”
“Special mention is also due to project architect John Ives, volunteer project manager Nick Bielby, and another long-standing supporter, Dave Fenney, who undertook much of the research into the original construction features of the station first opened back in 1847. We are also grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund and other funding partners, and the building contractors who executed the construction work so well. Finally, but by no means least, we could not have won this award without the vital help and support of our many volunteers and staff.”
A plaque unveiling ceremony will take place in the spring of 2013 just as the NYMR is geared to celebrating 40 years as a heritage Railway. Marketing Manager Danielle Ramsey explains “we have various events and activities planned for 2013 that will help celebrate the North Yorkshire Moors Railway 40th Birthday, starting with a fundraising walk in March, a special volunteer day in April, and a fantastic 40th Anniversary Festival in May, plus loads more to be announce soon.”