WORK to restore Pickering station to its former glory has won high-profile recognition in the 2012 National Railway Heritage Awards.

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway received the Ian Allan Publishing Award for the best overall entry in the competition for the Train Of Thought project for its work.

The project aimed to reinstate the original station roof, which was designed by G T Andrews in 1846 but dismantled by British Railways in 1952. Started in 2009, the roof was back in place in 2011, with the project finally completed in June 2012.

With major funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Yorkshire Forward, the project also has a strong educational focus, based on the NYMR’s history as one of the country’s oldest passenger railways.

A visitor centre has been created in the former pump room, while a new two-storey building in keeping with the original design, houses an archive room and learning centre, providing facilities for schools and learners of all ages.

An adjoining picnic area incorporates original canopies from Church Fenton station.

Philip Benham, general manager, said they were “overjoyed” and thanked all involved, from the Lottery Fund and funding partners, to volunteers and staff.

“As the world’s most popular steam heritage railway, we now have at Pickering, where most passengers start their journey, a station of which the whole railway can be truly proud.

“I wish to pay particular tribute to Bryan Draper, secretary of our parent body, the North York Moors Historical Railway Trust, without whose patient work to bring together a funding package, the project would never have got off the ground. Bryan has continued to be a guiding hand throughout the three year construction period.”

He also commended project architect John Ives, volunteer project manager Nick Bielby, and long-standing supporter, Dave Fenney, who researched the original features of the station.