Pickering railway station

Pickering railway station

Infobox UK station
borough=North Yorkshire
manager=North Yorkshire Moors Railway

caption = Running in board at Pickering.

Pickering railway station is the southern terminus of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway and serves the town of Pickering in North Yorkshire, England.


=W&P (1836 to 1845)=

Originally, from 1836, Pickering was the southern terminus of the horse worked Whitby and Pickering Railway engineered by George Stephenson. The coach shed at the end of the W&P's line stood approximately where the north end of the Y&NM trainshed stands today. The W&P minute books (in The National Archives) also refer to a weighbridge at Pickering but if built its location is unknown.

=Y&NM (1845 to 1854)=

In 1845 the W&P was taken over by George Hudson's York and North Midland Railway and the present station was built (to the design of George Townsend Andrews. The Y&NM converted the line into a double track steam railway and constructed the link from Pickering to Rillington Junction on the new line from York to Scarborough.

As well as the fine station building the York and North Midland Railway also provided other characteristic Andrews buildings, a stone built goods shed with wooden extension and a gas works occupied the area now known as 'the Ropery', the goods shed was demolished to make way for the new road but the gas works retort and purifier house still stands today adjacent to the new road. It ceased to produce gas when Pickering got its own Gas and Water company; later the NER had it converted into a corn warehouse. By the 1960s it had become a tyre retailers and subsequently was well restored for use as a cafe, later becoming a ladies hairdressers. Not bad for one of the earliest surviving railway gasworks buildings. When they were building the adjacent doctor's surgery, the base of the gasometer was discovered and excavated, still smelling of coal gas. It was filled in and sealed off and then built over.

The Y&NM also built a small brick single-road engine shed, large enough for a single loco, the shed was extended by the NER in 1867, retaining the same style (they even dismantled and re-erected the end section of the original building, according to the original contract plans held in the NYMR archives). There was a standard Y&NM house built adjacent to the shed. Both buildings are still standing today, incorporated into a joinery works. The shed lost its clerestory roof some time in the 1950s according to surviving photographic evidence but for a building about to become redundant (in 1958) BR surprisingly made the roof good as plain slate. This building is not only a rare (if not the only) surviving example of a G.T.Andrews engine shed but it is one of very few rural single track engine sheds still standing.

The Y&NM also provided a number of (mainly single storey) gatekeepers cottages next to those road crossings away from the town center (Haygate Lane, Mill Lane and Newbridge (2 storey)), all of which still survive.

=NER (1854 to 1923)=

The NER made various changes at Pickering, they raised the platforms from almost track level to about the present level, in so doing they had to provide two steps down into every room in the station office block. They also extended the platforms beyond the limits of the Y&NM trainshed.

In 1876 the engine shed was extended to take two larger engines rather than one small one, the extension was carefully matched to the original building, apart from a difference in the cast-iron window frames. They even dismantled the original southern end of the shed and re-erected it on the extended shed (instructions on the original tender drawings for the extension, held in the NYMHRT Archives).

The biggest change came with the introduction of block-signalling in 1876. Signal cabins (the NER name) were erected at Mill Lane, Hungate, Bridge Street, High Mill and Newbridge. Later as the branches to Scarborough and Helmsley were opened, small signal cabins on the branches were opened to control the single to double track junctions, these were Eastgate and Goslip Bridge. Of these seven cabins only Newbridge survives today.

Originally there was a small turntable behind the engine shed but it became too small and inconvenient and was replaced by a 45 ft turntable north of the station near High Mill signal cabin.

It is not known what arrangements were made to provide engines with water at Pickering in earlier times but the NER erected a standard cast-iron panelled tank on a brick base (similar to the one at Goathland) at the south end of the sidings immediately north of the station. This tank was filled by a pump located in a pump house between the north end of the Y&NM trainshed and the beck, the water being taken from Pickering beck. The tank served three standard NER water columns, on the up and down main lines and on the turntable road. It also supplied water to the engine shed.

=LNER (1923 to 1948)=

Very little changed at Pickering during the LNER's twenty-five year rein, a new paint scheme, two tone green and cream replaced the NER's brown and cream but most of the NER's characteristic enamel signs remained in use, although the Running in boards were painted over during WW2. Although the LNER brought different locomotives, most of the local trains still consisted mainly of NER stock.

BR (1948 to 1965)

The present station lost its characteristic overall roof in 1952 as an economy measure, the roof being replaced by the awings shown in the image. The NYMR have been granted HLF funding for a number of schemes at Pickering station which includes reinstatement of the 1845 designed roof, which should be complete by 2010.

At some time in the early BR period (probably at the same time that the overall roof was removed), Pickering lost its characteristic small W.H.Smiths bookstall on the up platform. This bookstall had been there since some time in the NER period, it appears in the background of views taken by local photographer Sidney Smith before and during the first World War, subjects include a local Sunday School outing. It also appears in a photo of a wedding group on the platform in early BR days, a copy of which is held in the NYMR Archives digital image collection.

On 6 April 1959 the engine shed closed and Pickering's engine requirements were supplied by Malton shed. The turntable was also removed (by then there were no terminating passenger services, both branch lines having closed).

Pickering station carried on as usual until its death knell was sounded in the Beeching Report of 1962 which planned the closure of all railways serving Whitby. Despite a fierce local campaign of opposition the line between Rillington Junction and Grosmont closed on 8 March 1965. The line from
Rillington Junction as far as Newbridge signal box (about a mile north of the station) remained open for goods for a further year, a solitary signalman being retained at Pickering to work all the cabins needed by the goods train.

Pickering's Closed railway lines

In pre-preservation days Pickering was not a terminus; the main line continued south to Rillington Junction and thus to Malton, with connections for York. The Malton - Whitby service was axed by Dr Beeching in 1965. Just south of the town was a double junction (at Mill Lane) with the Forge Valley branch turning East for Scarborough. This line closed in 1950 except for a freight only service to Thornton Dale which succumbed in 1963. A second branch headed West for Kirby Moorside, Helmsley, Gilling and eventually Pilmoor on the East Coast Main Line. This line provided Pickering's through passenger service to York but was closed in 1953. A bus service, operated by Yorkshire Coastliner, now replaces the railway line to Malton and York, which is advertised along with railway services on the station's departure boards.


External links

* [http://www.nymr.co.uk/timetable Train times and information from the North Yorkshire Moors Railway]


*cite book |author=Henry Belcher, |title=Illustrations of the scenery on the line of the Whitby and Pickering Railway in the north eastern part of Yorkshire |publisher=EP Publishing |location=East Ardsley, [Eng.] |year= |pages= |isbn=0 7158 1164 9 |oclc= |doi=
*cite book |author=G.W.J.Potter, |title=A History of the Whitby and Pickering |publisher=SR Publishing |location= |year=1969 |pages= |isbn=85409-553-5 |oclc= |doi=
*North Eastern Railway, Its Rise and Development; by W.W.Tomlinson (David & Charles 1967 reprint of 1914 original)
* [http://www.archive.org/details/northeasternrail00tomlrich North Eastern Railway, Its Rise and Development; by W.W.Tomlinson 1914 original available here]
*cite book |author=K.Hoole, |title=North Eastern Locomotive Sheds |publisher=David & Charles |location=Newton Abbot |year=1972 |pages= |isbn=0 7153 5323 3 |oclc= |doi=

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