HERITAGE Railways, including the North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR), are joining forces this summer to raise awareness of their importance as a tourist destination.
Following the campaign’s success in 2021, the second annual ‘Love Your Railway’ campaign, brings together organizations from as far afield as Scotland, Snowdonia, Leighton Buzzard and the Lake District as part of a national program – which puts spotlighting heritage railway organisations, encouraging visitors to support them this summer.
Led by NYMR, “Love Your Railway” is a six-week campaign taking place during the summer holidays from July 25 to September 4, with weekly themes spanning conservation, education and research.
Chris Price, Managing Director of NYMR, said: ‘Last year we were completely blown away by the response to Love Your Railway – to have over 50 heritage railways taking part in the first year of the campaign shows the incredible support and solidarity that runs through the sector.
“We have exciting new ideas and material planned for the 2022 campaign, and we appreciate that even more organizations have come together this year to help us spread the word.
“The goal is simple – there are over 150 heritage railways in operation, which protect, preserve and bring to life some of the nation’s rich cultural heritage – bringing enjoyment and learning to thousands of people. every year and we want to do everything we can to promote every heritage railway across the country.
NYMR and its fellow heritage railways across the UK carry over 13 million passengers each year, over 560 miles of rail line and contribute £400 million in economic impact. 22,000 volunteers and over 4,000 paid staff keep UK’s heritage railways on track, highlighting the important role the railways played during the Industrial Revolution.
Stephen Oates, chief executive of the Heritage Railway Association, said: ‘In 2021, ‘Love Your Railway’ secured collaborations from as far afield as Cornwall, Suffolk, North Wales, the North East of Scotland and Northern Ireland, with over 55 heritage railway organizations participating. .
“We are truly proud to support this campaign and look forward to seeing many more rail organizations get involved in the inaugural campaign.”
The six themed weeks during the campaign are: history, conservation, partnerships, family, volunteers and education.
Throughout the programme, Heritage Railways encourages visitors and supporters to get involved and share photos and memories of their visits on social media using ‘#LoveYourRailway’.
NYMR has collaborated with Carers Plus Yorkshire on this summer’s Festival of Green, as part of the railway’s ongoing charitable aims.
Among the festival’s packed schedule of events, NYMR hosted a series of ‘Waving At Trains’ nature walks from Fen Bog to Goathland Summit, as well as a special ‘Slow Train’ return service from Pickering to Grosmont for small groups.