YORK’S only heritage railway will celebrate its 25th anniversary next month with a massive family fun day - featuring a chance to drive a loco.

The Derwent Valley Light Railway at Murton Park originally opened in 1913 and ran for 16 miles from York to Skipwith near Selby, via villages including Dunnington, Elvington, Wheldrake and Thorganby.

Passenger services ended in 1926 and the line closed in 1981, but passenger trains began to run again in 1993 on a half-mile section of track at the Yorkshire Museum of Farming at Murton.

The railway is entirely run and maintained by a group of volunteer enthusiasts, and now they are planning a big fundraising fun day on Sunday, March 25.

Spokesman Craig Benton said some activities would be subject to suitable weather, but passenger and freight trains would certainly run throughout the day, and people who had always fancied driving a loco would get their chance through a ‘driver for a fiver’ offer, which would operate on a first come, first served basis.

A Wickham trolley and newly-restored DVLR Pump Trolley will be demonstrated and a 5” gauge live steam engine is set to give rides.

There will also be a model railway exhibition, fairground rides,a brass band, classic cars, scooters, classic cars, helicopter rides and tractor rides.

An air ambulance helicopter and a police helicopter might also be on display, although this will only be confirmed at the last minute, and it is hoped that some cast members from the TV soap Emmerdale will pay a visit.

Some of the money raised would go towards an appeal to create a new shed in which engines can be restored and maintained, he added.

*Murton Park is situated just off the A166 to the east of York. The family fun day will run from 10am to 5pm, with admission costing £10 for adults and £5 for children.