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20th August 2014

Boost for Whitby tourism as second railway platform opens.

On Saturday the 16th August the long wait for a second railway platform at Whitby was finally over. The first steam train pulled into town laden with visitors heralded a new time table which brings extra trains into Whitby every day.

It is the culmination of two years work from when Network Rail agreed to improve services on the heritage line in conjunction with the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. The project has cost more than a million pounds to complete and rail chiefs are confident that the local economy will receive a boost in tourism income as the number of trains arriving each day is raised to five from three. The North Yorkshire Moors Railway is hoping that the extra trains could pull in up to 30,000 new visitors to Whitby each year.

North Yorkshire Moors Railway runs its steam locomotives on the line between Pickering, Grosmont and Whitby. It is an extremely popular line with steam train enthusiasts as wells as the general public. Two of its locomotives, Chiru and Eric Treacy used the new platform during testing which took place earlier in the week with 400 passengers onboard to ensure it was given a thorough workout.

Being run by volunteers and a registered charity the North Yorkshire Moors Railway is unique in that it is the only one in the country that can run on Network Rail's track.

The funding of the project was made possible by the Government's Coastal Communities Fund which aims to provide jobs in coastal areas and promote sustainable economic growth. This was in addition to an initial £850,000 coming from Network Rail. The new platform construction includes a state of the art signalling system as well as changes to the power supply and electrical systems.