This smart heritage train line between Whitby and Pickering is a glorious throwback to the golden age of rail travel. First opened in 1836, it now carries passengers on joy rides through the stunning North York Moors National Park, but also moonlights as one of Yorkshire’s most popular filming locations. Most notably, it featured in the recent Downton Abbey film and the blockbuster Harry Potter films, but countless TV series have also used its stations and trains.
The train chugs through a wonderfully scenic route carved into valleys and moors, but the railway is also famous for its frozen-in-time heritage stations. Pickering is a 1930s-themed station that transports the visitor back to the steam era with a vintage platform and cafe, always drawing crowds of train enthusiasts. It recently made an appearance in the film version of Downton Abbey (2019) and BBC Agatha Christie drama The ABC Murders, and also featured in the latest Dad’s Army film (2016), starring Bill Nighy and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Goathland is the perfect country station, transformed into Hogsmeade Station for the first three Harry Potter films, and a hugely popular destination on the screen tourism map. The village of Goathland is also known as Aidensfield in ITV’s Heartbeat, which filmed in and around the North York Moors and Whitby. Goathland Station and several sections of the railway line feature in many episodes. Grosmont Station is home to the operating and engineering world of the NYMR, where visitors can catch a glimpse of the work taking place on the engines – it also makes an appearance in the 2017 feature film Phantom Thread starring Daniel Day-Lewis.
Season two of The Yorkshire Steam Railway: All Aboard aired from May 2019. The series goes behind the scenes of the railway, meeting staff and volunteers who keep the railway on track. Filming at NYMR is made possible with the support from our filming partners at Ryedale Council.