With Red Grouse and Black-necked Grebes already in the bag there was just one more Yorkshire tick that I needed – a steam train ride to Whitby! Rather fortuitously the North York Moors Railways offers just such a route (funny that) and on a gloriously sunny morning we arrived at Pickering where our chariot awaited. Being more familiar with GWR style stations this 1930’s recreation of the LNER at its finest was a joy to behold, even more so with steam filling that all-over roof.
Setting off on time we were soon powering our way towards Whitby, passing through gloriously varied scenery and already planning the rest of the day. A visit to the abbey was of course a must having thoroughly enjoyed reading Bram Stoker’s Dracula, but so too was fossil hunting and fish and chips. Then we arrived at Grosmount Crossing and everything changed.
Overhearing a radio message to our guard two ominous words stood out – broken rail. Surely it couldn’t be? Alas it was.
In an incredible bit of bad luck our train had either caused or ridden over a broken rail just before the station, clearly something that needed to be fixed and the result being that all services for the day were immediately terminated. To be fair to the railway this was something completely outside of their control and full refunds were offered, but even so seeing Whitby Abbey in the distance from our replacement coach service back to Pickering was truly gutting. Unfinished business for sure but we will definitely be back.