Sunday Evening Reflection: North Yorkshire Moors Railway

Trains are my preferred way to travel since I was a child. There is a meditative quality about the clatter of wheels turning on the railroad track, the intermittent sound of the whistles and bells, and the rolling landscape of trees, rivers, and small villages gliding by the large windows. I agree with Edna St. Vincent Millay when she wrote, “there isn’t a train I wouldn’t take, No matter where it’s going.”

You are invited to board the North Yorkshire Moors train, where steam engine # 76079 will take us on the line between Grosmont and Pickering. Tea will be served and I promise you that we will have a stimulating conversation as we go along. We can recite Edna’s poem “Travel” together as we go along.

All Aboard!!!

Travel
Edna St. Vincent Millay – 1892-1950

The railroad track is miles away,
And the day is loud with voices speaking,
Yet there isn’t a train goes by all day
But I hear its whistle shrieking.

All night there isn’t a train goes by,
Though the night is still for sleep and dreaming,
But I see its cinders red on the sky,
And hear its engine steaming.

My heart is warm with the friends I make,
And better friends I’ll not be knowing;
Yet there isn’t a train I wouldn’t take,
No matter where it’s going.

North Yorkshire Moors Railway Preservation Society is dedicated to railway conservation. A not-for-profit organization, it is run by volunteers.

“In June 1967 a small group of local people formed the North Yorkshire Moors Railway Preservation Society. Its members were convinced that operating the line between Grosmont and Pickering could be viable if sufficient voluntary help was forthcoming. From one person in 1972 the numbers have grown with over 550 volunteers.”

54 Comments

  1. Liz says:

    How wonderful to take this journey with you today. We visited Pickering Station a few years back but did not have time to travel on the train, can you believe. It is firmly on our list of ‘next visits’ for the complete experience! X

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      I was thinking especially of you when I wrote this post. I had been hoping for clear skies like the ones that are in the brochure, but then realized the power of a cloudy sky over the moors. There was such drama in the landscape, conjuring up the great stories. And of course, it was the perfect atmosphere for a cup of Yorkshire tea! Hugs coming across the pond.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. I enjoyed the lowering sky as well.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Liz says:

        Thinking about those moors, perhaps one of our next podcasts should be about Wuthering Heights, or the Brontës in general…..?!

        Liked by 4 people

      3. Clanmother says:

        Oh let’s have that conversation!! Heading over to the bookshelf as I write this comment. I remember studying Wurthering Heights in my first year university literature class and having a differing opinion from the prof on the complex relationship between Catherine and Heathcliff. That’s when I first recognized that interpretation of narratives were influenced by age, experience, perception! This would be an amazing discussion.

        Liked by 3 people

      4. Liz says:

        It must be 30 years since I read WH – yikes! Your uni experience sounds fascinating and I’d love to hear more. I’ll get ready for a re-read…..!

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Clanmother says:

        I just found an excellent audio on Audible which gives a background of the Bronte’s and how the stories came to be, which always give a greater understanding of the story itself. It was the Winner of Audible’s 2017 Narrator of the Year Award. Narrated by: Joanne, Frogatt, Rachel Atkins – introduction. Here we go into the moors…..

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Liz says:

        Found it, ordered it, have donned my cloak and good boots, off we go…..

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Clanmother says:

        The game is afoot – had to borrow this phrase. It seem so appropriate heading in to an adventure…

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Liz says:

        Haha, absolutely (perhaps we should put Sherlock Holmes on the list too…..)!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Annika Perry says:

    Rebecca, I’ve travelled quite a few times on this route and it is incredible! Thank you for reminding me of this unique routes, its spellbinding views. I love the poem too … there is always that sense of anticipation and excitement as the whistle goes when a train departs! Hope all is well with you. hugs xx

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      For several years, I lived on the Canadian prairies, where the golden grain fields melt into the distant horizon and the sky goes on forever. The train whistle could be heard for miles away, always reminding that trains were the connecting force that brought us together from the Atlantic to the Pacific. One of my favourite quotes about the prairies is by Geronimo: “I was born on the prairies where the wind blew free and there was nothing to break the light of the sun. I was born where there were no enclosures.”

      Liked by 5 people

  3. Dave Astor says:

    What a treat, Rebecca, to see great train prose from you, great train poetry from Edna St. Vincent Millay, and great train photos and video imagery.

    Far from soothing, but my favorite novel with a strong train element is Emile Zola’s riveting “Beast in Man.”

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Found it, Dave! Emile Zola’s “Beast in Man” is found on Audible. I have never heard of that book before and just read the blurb at the beginning. Thank you for the introduction. I have added it to my to-read list and confess I feel a little trepidation about opening the first page for I know that I will be on a unforgettable journey.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Dave Astor says:

        If/when you do read that Emile Zola book, Rebecca, I hope you like it! It’s quite intense and depressing, but, like most Zola novels, well worth the time.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Clanmother says:

        Sometimes we need to take off our “rose-coloured” glasses. It is challenging but adds to our personal resilience!!!

        Liked by 4 people

  4. Aw.. How wonderful to see. We are big fans of Yorkshire and been many times. Went on this railway years ago from Pickering to Goathland.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      The best part of the trip was listening to the stories of the volunteers and feel the pride in being able to keep the memory of steam travel alive. I was doing a bit of research on Britain’s transition away from steam trains. The name Alan Pegler came up – businessman, entrepreneur and railway preservationist and actor. Lots of titles, but I think trains were his first love and passion. A reminder that anything is possible.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Indeed it is. These stories should never be forgotten. My Mr. is like you. He prefers train travel. His grandfather was a driver. Maybe that is why.

        Liked by 4 people

  5. What a delightful train ride this was, Rebecca. My sister lived in West Yorkshire on Ilkley Moor when she was younger. It was really lovely there. Yorkshire Tea is Chris’s tea of choice and we can buy it here in Florida. 🙂 I’ve done a few train journeys in the past and found it to be a very relaxing experience. No traffic is a big bonus. Have a lovely week my friend. *hugs*

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      You must tell Chris that I share his love for Yorkshire Tea. The first time I had a cup was at Betty’s in York. What I didn’t know at the time that Betty’s was part of the family owned business that produced Yorkshire Tea. It is a small world!! I finally found Yorkshire Tea in a specialty shop so I have a treasure stash that I alone know where it is! 🙂 Sending many hugs to you – welcome to a new week of possibilities.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I will tell him. He’ll think you’re also a tea connoisseur. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Jean-Jacques says:

    What a marvelous idea and for me the post of all posts, bound to nudge to center stage, the subject that so thoroughly inspires reveries of longing thoughts for the peaceful times and memories of the early days of train travel. I can still remember the sound of night time a passing, on a winter country night.
    A few lines from an old poem, about the thirties, as in…
    A time you’d hear
    That lonely call,
    Of a wailing train…
    Thank you, Rebecca, your your beautiful story on North Yorkshire Moors and that memorable living poem of Travel, by Edna St.Vincent Millay.
    What an inspiring treat indeed, to start the week!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      I know exactly what you mean but the train clatter and whistle in the winter. When I lived in Northern Manitoba, the only way to reach our mining town was by ore train and plane travel. The ore train was an 11 hour trip crossing 200 miles of the most incredible Canadian Shield landscape, which included several bridges over the rapids of the Churchill River. The whistle would signal the train’s arrival, which would be around 11p.m. The train station was built on muskeg. Every year we would sink it sink lower and lower. Great memories. You have beautifully captured the nostalgia of train travel in your lines of poetry. I must include the link to the full poem, which you publish on your blog in 2013: https://fournierjj.wordpress.com/2013/03/22/nobody-hears-their-silent-fear/

      Liked by 2 people

  7. J.D. Riso says:

    Trains are my favorite mode of transport, too. So nostalgic.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      I agree – I feel like I’m traveling in another time, which I perceive to be slower, less chaotic. But I have a feeling that humanity has always lived in complexity and uncertainty, which prompts an inner journey. When I step on a train, I look forward to being, for that moment, suspended in time, when all I am required to do is watch the world move from the window. I am delighted you joined me!! Hugs and more hugs!

      Liked by 5 people

  8. I enjoyed my train trip into the past with you as I sat back and enjoyed the scenery. The sound freight trains rumbling through the village was a big part of my growing up years. The last train I took was the Amtrak from Boston into Manhattan for a meeting. Everyone, myself included, was hunkered down over our laptops working. A far cry from your trip!

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Mary Jo Malo says:

    Such beautiful photos and video, Rebecca. Isn’t there something magical and moody about a flat gray sky contrasting with bright, green grass? Thank you for providing a vicarious experience. There’s always an adventure with you!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Ah, we are on a grand adventure together!!! Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I mean to ask about the music in your stunning film. It works so well.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      I’m so glad you asked! A few months ago, I realized that if I wanted to create visual storyboards and videos, I needed to have music to add emotional vibrancy. My search for royalty free music found Epidemic Sound: https://www.epidemicsound.com/ I love their breadth and depth of music, hip-hop to jazz to RNB. I was also interested in the emerging artists and the structure of the Epidemic’s product offering. There are so many talented musicians. I am a “creator” under their program, which has given many ways in which to enhance photos. Which brings me to the idea of photography. The are massive amounts of photos out there in the universe that are absolutely extraordinary. Here again I see amazing talent and creative effort. The important point is that we respond to is a story. There must be a narrative that prompts a memory, a hope, a longing. Hugs coming your way.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. You are so right. That music flowed with the narrative which was entirely your photographs and videos. It just kept moving it along, like the train itself. You are also spot on re the talent of musicians out there. Not to mention of those who can make wonderful shorts like this…. xxxx

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Ah, Rebecca, what a lovely journey. Of course trains are my preferred way to travel too and I adore their clickety-clack! 😉 xoxoxo

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      So glad you joined me for tea, Marina. I appreciate our conversations and look forward to meeting up with you on your blog. I travel to Greece from my kitchen table when I stop by your space. It is truly an extraordinary virtual experience. Many hugs coming your way.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh, and it’s a pleasure having you over every time! Our journeys together are precious! Many hugs your way! 😘🤗

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Ms Frances says:

    The first railroad across the U.S,A. was one of the most celebrated wonders of the New World. And, the presence of railroads have changed the commercial world, and still do, and have given thousands of us joy as we look at the countrysides as we ride by. Your video of the lovely pastures, a little view of sheep in a green pasture–and all the trees on green hills was a joy (I looked at it two times). I lived in the vast country side of Nebraska as a child so I did not hear a train whistle until we spend some time visiting our Grandparents in a town where the train passed through. To my sister and I trying to sleep in an upstairs bedroom, it was a delight. A good memory, Thank you for this lovely post.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      The history of the railroads has so many stories that twist and turn, highlighting both the best and worst of how progress is made. Do you remember riding that northern railway which had so many stops along the way and the magnificent scenery that went by the windows. There were no towns, just miles of bush, rock, rapids, rivers. The eleven hours went be quickly. One of my most fondest memories of living in the North. The best story about the Nebraska trains is the “North Platte Canteen.” And you were there!

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Ms Frances says:

      Yes, I remember that first ride to Lynn Lake. It seemed like a very long journey through long miles of small trees, small I think because of the cold weather and wind that was so part of the far north. I remember, also, the many miles, and I think you may remember riding the train in Brazil, of the vast desert with only small brush and not much more. I think these many miles in both places have possibly changed a lot through the years. We have the privilege of remembering different scenes, actually they are precious memories, a big part of our story.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Clanmother says:

        I do remember the train in Brazil, many years ago. It was a steam engine and the seats were wicker. I felt so important sitting in the seat looking out as the landscape rolled by. Trains are memory-makers!

        Liked by 2 people

  13. Carolyn Page says:

    Oh Gosh, Rebecca, I exclaimed when I began to read your post.
    During 2017 we boarded the Steam Train at Pickering and rode that wonderful full bellied beast to Whitby. What a fabulous journey with the chug a chug a chug of the wheels and the green pastures twirling by. What special memories they bring.
    I could go on and on, but, you know the gentle exhilaration I experienced. And, I would do it all again, to be sure.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Oh my goodness, Carolyn. We might have been on the same train. 2017 was the year we boarded the same train as you. It is indeed a small world so it would seem that we are destined to meet!!!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Carolyn Page says:

        Hahah… Once the world gets back to some semblance of normality (I use that term loosely) we may even meet on a train! Now wouldn’t that be fine.
        Come to think of it I haven’t been on an ‘extended’ train journey; it has never been on the bucket list. But, who knows what the future may bring? I’m up for whatever surprise is in store!!!

        Liked by 2 people

  14. Amazing! I’ve never been there and had no idea.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      So glad that you joined me for tea. Trains have always been my symbol for freedom.

      Like

  15. Resa says:

    We definitely share the joy of riding the train. It is my preferred mode of travel, too! The ride you took us on was a beauty. The poem made me shiver… yet, it’s surprisingly simple.
    ( I was waiting to hear your wonderful voice reciting it over the, video. Still, I heard it in my head as I read!)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Thank you for giving me this idea! You are brilliant, Resa!!! Stay tuned….

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Resa says:

        Okay… tuned in! Hmm?

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Oh, trains! I love train photos, Rebecca — outside, inside, the scenery along the way. I love the sound of a distant train. I’m a comfortable distance away from the train here. Now and then, if I’m outside the noise is too much for me. But from inside — such a lovely sound. Kudos to the preservation team. Hugs on the wing.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      There is something magical about a train whistle from afar – it is a call to action, to adventure, to exploration, to a place where we have never been before. There is a promise that we will meet kindred spirits along the way. Hugs coming back on wings of speed.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I would give anything to take the train ride now with a cuppa to boot. Thanks and much appreciated for sharing

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      I am delighted that you joined me on the train and shared a cuppa! Welcome to a new week of possibilities!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Pickering is 30 minute drive from us. My sons grandfather played a part in bringing the trains back. It’s special to us.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      This is very exciting news. Your son must be very proud of his grandfather. What made the day so special for us was the volunteers who welcomed us aboard and made sure that we all had the famous Yorkshire tea. When I returned to Canada, I looked for Yorkshire tea and was delighted to find it on our grocery shelves. Every time I have a cuppa of Yorkshire tea, I remember the train ride on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. I am looking forward to our ongoing conversations. Many thanks for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

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