The Yorkshire Wolds Railway was inaugurated at a meeting held at the Old Lodge Hotel on Old Maltongate, Malton, North Yorkshire on Friday 10th October 2008 with the aim of restoring at least a part of the former Malton & Driffield Junction Railway as a heritage railway attraction.
After completing a feasibility study, submitting the relevant plans, and speaking with landowners, access to the site was finally granted in October 2012. Since then, the members of the YWR have worked very hard to bring to life a section of this former line as a heritage railway attraction. There have been many notable and exciting dates since then, with the highlights being the arrival of our first piece of rolling stock in January 2013, and then the locomotive “Sir Tatton Sykes” arriving soon after in April 2013. We first opened to the public in May 2015 and welcomed over 600 visitors over the weekend.
The YWR has a broad cross section of talents within its growing membership including people who work or have worked in the heritage rail industry, the national rail industry, IT, media and financial professions to name but a few.
The YWR’s desire is, and always will be to create a tourist heritage railway attraction in the Yorkshire Wolds. This is in order to increase visitor numbers in the area and so help boost the economies of inland market towns such as Malton, Norton, Driffield and the rural areas in between. These are areas that have seen decline due to the hardship that the farming industry has seen in recent years and because of sizable employers in market towns closing down or moving production of manufactured goods abroad.
The Yorkshire Wolds is a highly scenic area and whilst up until now has not always been widely seen as a tourist hotspot, nevertheless is seen by the YWR as offering the potential to create a first class tourist heritage railway attraction which could draw in greater visitor numbers and spending power.
In time a revived railway could link up with other local attractions such as Sledmere House, the Driffield Navigation, Fimber picnic site and the medieval village at Wharram Percy, to name but a few examples. This would then enable the Yorkshire Wolds to exploit its scenic qualities and charm in order to improve local employment and business opportunities and demonstrate to visitors what a beautiful, historical and heritage rich area the Yorkshire Wolds, its villages and market towns really are.