Looking back at the county’s railways… your ticket to this old yet still new world
“Look at a map of Yorkshire. See it as a profile of a proud old man whose face is turned towards the grey North Sea. The crow’s feet around his eyes and the wrinkles on his cheek are railway lines…”
Those words are taken from a British Railways Guide to Yorkshire from the 1950s and set the scene for this issue’s glimpse into the North Yorkshire County Record Office archives as look at railways in the county and the ephemera that surrounds them.
Railways have been, and remain, vital to the everyday life, work and prosperity of the county. They are celebrated on our doorstep at the National Railway Museum in York and treasured by the local people – many of them volunteers – behind the running of heritage railways such as the North Yorkshire Moors, Wensleydale and Embsay and Bolton Abbey lines.
We intend to take an in-depth look at heritage lines and the richness they add to the county in a later issue of Your North Yorkshire, but for now please enjoy these nostalgic images from our archives.
And if you have even a passing interest in our county’s railways, you are highly recommended to explore the County Record Office’s online shop where you can search for and buy historic images from the collection.
If you have any further information about any of the images on this page, our archivists would be keen to hear about it. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Let’s leave the last word to that 1950s British Railways guide: “A railway ticket is your passport to this old yet still new world…”
- The railway line from York to Scarborough opened in July 1845 and crossed the newly built Washbeck viaduct. This photograph of Washbeck Lane shows subsequent widening work in progress above.
- A group photograph of employees and horses at the Gallows Close Railway Goods Yard, Scarborough, which opened in 1902.
- Railwayman’s Almanack 1893.
- Railway timetable for January 1866 from the Craven Weekly Pioneer.
- The British Railways Guide to Yorkshire, circa 1950s, quoted above.
- The front cover of Railwaymen Magazine’s 150th Anniversary of Passenger Railways and Railwaymen.
- A plan showing Northallerton station alterations, 1911-1912.
- An LNER poster promoting Whitby, circa 1920s.
- A passenger train travels along the main East Coast railway line at Pilmoor.
- A group of schoolboys with the mayor and mayoress, Mr and Mrs Hamilton, on the front of a steam train in Harrogate station, circa 1935.