There is something special, almost magical about steam trains. The very sight, the sound and the smell of a steam locomotive just makes me want to stop and stare in awe at these kings of the rails from days gone by. Thundering past along the line billowing a trail of steam and pulling a string of Pullman passenger coaches or merely puffing workmanlike to halt at a neat station lined with buildings made from stone and wood with a metal footbridge connecting the platforms steam trains seem to possess a kind of mesmeric quality. Whether it was the same for those Victorians who laid the rails, constructed the stations and built these mechanical marvels or for those in the subsequent age of steam who travelled and worked on the railways, I do not know.
Now I am neither a ‘train spotter’ nor an ‘anorak’ but I am lucky enough to live near to the North Yorkshire Moors and the opportunity to walk a few miles across the Moors on a bright sunny day this weekend visiting the stations of Goathland and Grosmont on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway was just too good to miss. There was a ‘gala of steam’ to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the Pickering to Whitby line and the opportunity to see steam trains not usually associated with such a small country branch line. The railway itself is a working railway offering daily train services (not always with steam trains) across this beautiful part of North Yorkshire. It was a glorious afternoon, filled with more than a hint of nostalgia for those days of steam! Here are a few images:-