Preparations to re-open on 25th July 2020 with appropriate COVID-19 precautions in place are at an advanced stage.

We expect to be running steam trains and Dales Dining services every Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday from 25th July onwards.  All tickets must be pre-booked through our online ticketing system. Demand will be monitored carefully and the timetable may be subject to late additions or removals of trains.

Customers will be more spread out than usual to provide social distancing between groups.  Stringent cleaning procedures will be in place for the benefit or our customers and staff.  More details of the precautions that will be put in place will appear here shortly.

Regrettably, events other than our standard travel and our steam Dales Dining services are expected to be cancelled during this period.  Plans for the events and timetables beyond August are not yet confirmed.

Visitors must check the website immediately before travel to ensure you are familiar with any late changes to the planned operations.

Thank you for your support during these difficult times.

1916 built steam locomotive ‘Illingworth’ will be re-named ‘Nightingale’ and Seacole’

1916 built steam locomotive ‘Illingworth’ will be renamed 'Nightingale and Seacole’ to mark the courage of those in the front line tackling the Covid-19 pandemic.

It will be a lasting remembrance of this difficult time, honouring the frontline staff and others who have put their lives at risk. Mary Seacole was a half Jamaican nurse who, like Florence Nightingale advanced nursing in the Crimean war of 1854. Many believe that she did not get the recognition she deserved and this name can remind future generations of the sacrifice BAME and overseas healthcare staff have made. Florence Nightingale was a pioneer of nursing and changed the profession forever.

​Illingworth is resident at our railway, and is seen regularly on the Victorian passenger trains.  Currently, it carries two names, Illingworth and Mitchell of Bradford Corporation. It will soon carry the two names of the nursing care pioneers.

A naming ceremony will be held as soon as it is judged to be safe and it is hoped that the railway, along with others in the wider community will take the opportunity to remember this time for current and future generations.

Note, Illingworth served the country in both world wars and worked on several pioneering projects in the UK. The locomotive acquired six names under various owners so this latest change is not without historic precedent.

Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway’s appeal is in urgent need for donations, not just to survive but to adapt swiftly to new operating conditions as soon as it is practical.  This means rearranging our operations: coaches, cafes, platforms, station and shops to maintain social distancing without detracting from the enjoyable steam railway heritage attraction.  The railway is keen to benefit the wider community, with educational activities, heritage opportunities and an enhanced ‘Dales Dining’ offer in a safe, sensible way. 

In addition the railway wants to honour those fighting the Corona virus, particularly nursing staff.  To mark this resident 1916 built steam locomotive ‘Illingworth’ will be reamed ‘Nightingale’ and Seacole’ .  This recalls the two pioneering nurses who cared against the odds in the Crimean war and laid the foundation for modern nursing. Representatives of the Florence Nightingale Foundation and the Mary Seacole Trust will unveil the nameplates once travel restrictions are eased.  This is particularly appropriate as the Florence Nightingale Foundation is marking 200 years since Florence Nightingale’s birth with the White Rose appeal.  Further information  -  https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/NightingaleSeacole

Mixed Traction Weekend...what might have been!

What might have been....this weekend gone would have seen one of the highlights of the year, with the railway showcasing it's full range of heritage traction, from steam locomotives, heritage diesels and our unique Edwardian electric autocar.

We always pray for good weather for these events...and good weather is what we got. 

Alas, we did not foresee the global pandemic and this event, like so many others, had to be cancelled.

Check out the video for what might have been, put together from a range of sources by one of our volunteers, Jordan Bell.

Facebook competition - win a cab ride!

We were busy trying to restore D5600 (the green class 31 that's sat at Bolton Abbey for many years) until the lockdown came along.  LIKE, SHARE & COMMENT this post on Facebook for the chance to win a cab ride in D5600 in 2021! 

Fundraising update

We've reached £9,000 with the fundraising initiative to ensure our future here at Embsay & Bolton Abbey.

Why do we need money if we are not running? 

We have significant fixed costs, such as insurance, basic building maintenance, business rates (although we've a 12 month break with the rates) water and energy costs, and professional fees.

These fixed costs amount to tens of thousands of pounds annually.

Right now, other than donations, our income for our charity has dropped to zero.

We are taking advantage of the initiatives on offer from the Government. We're hopeful to qualify for one of the grants, but even if (or when) that arrives, it will only stem our losses for a very short period of time and will not get anywhere near making up the shortfall in revenue from running our trains.

In reality, we expect to be affected significantly even after the lockdown restrictions are lifted, and so we've been working on reducing our fixed costs wherever possible, postponing restoration projects and looking carefully at how we can be sustainable going forward.

We're extremely grateful for the support which our members and visitors have offered us so far, in a variety of ways.  Mainly of course in the form of donations, but we've also had a dozens of new members join us in the last 10 days too.

If you are able to make a donation it will be gratefully received.  Maybe you can join the charity and enjoy the benefits of being a member too?

We hope that we can welcome you all back to our railway sometime soon.

Stay healthy and with best wishes,

Rob Shaw
Yorkshire Dales Railway Museum Trust

Beeching couldn't finish us...and neither will Covid!

Along with other businesses responding to the global coronavirus public health crisis, the Railway has decided to close until further notice. It is a difficult time for everyone, and people’s personal health is the most important issue.

The closure comes just before the start of the Railway's busier period, and has curtailed our ambitious Dales Dining and events programme.

The biggest source of income for the Railway is general fares from the visiting public, so the closure has severely affected our finances. We were closed in any case during January and so only have the fares money from some wet weekends in February and a couple of weekends in March.

In recent years we have grown the charities activities, taken on additional staff and invested heavily in overhauling our historic carriages.  This recent progress is now under threat and so, along with many other heritage railways, we have decided to launch an appeal for donations in the hope that anyone who wishes to continue to support the Railway can do so even if they can no longer visit. No-one knows how long the closure will last, so the more money the appeal raises, the better position we will be in when we eventually re-open.

Whilst we recognise, of course, that many may be giving extra to those support services and charities that need more help, we hope everyone understands why we have launched the appeal.

We wish all our staff, volunteers and visitors our best wishes during this exceptionally difficult period. Please stay safe and keep well.


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