North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR) has confirmed that in a festive first, the attraction will break from its usual winter tradition of shutting down to visitors, and will instead remain operational from December until March 2021.
From Boxing Day, the North Yorkshire Moors Railway will be operating The Optimist, a daily service which travels 24-miles along the heritage line from Pickering to Whitby, which has proved hugely popular amongst visitors this year.
Anyone planning on visiting from Boxing Day until January 3 will be able to travel the whole length of the line, through the North Yorkshire Moors National Park and have time to explore the historic seaside town of Whitby, before embarking on the journey back to Pickering.
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The Rail Trail from Grosmont to Goathland will also depart twice daily at weekends until January 2, 2021. Visitors can climb aboard at Grosmont and take a short scenic journey to Goathland, before walking the 3.5mile return journey on a classic walking trail along the original 1836 route of the railway line.
From January 4 until February 28, the attraction will also be running one Optimist service and two Rail Trail journeys every Saturday through to Tuesday, with the exception of 13 – 21 February, when both services will operate every day, to accommodate family visitors looking for entertainment during the school half term.
To bring the winter season to a close, the attraction will be operating one Optimist and two Rail Trail services every Wednesday through to Sunday from 1 to 26 March 2021. Details of the official 2021 season are yet to be unveiled.
COVID-19 measures include limiting capacity on trains, Zoono ‘fogging’ carriages and public spaces, enhanced cleaning regimes, hand sanitiser stations and contactless payments for all refreshment and retail purchases.
Visitors are also asked to maintain social distancing whilst visiting the railway, wear a face covering whilst moving around the railway and on the train and when seated on board the train (these may be removed whilst seated in a compartment), wash hands often and use hand sanitiser provided, avoid touching your face, and if you are feeling unwell or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 please do not attend the railway.
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