STEAM trains have returned to the North York Moors for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic.

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway welcomed visitors back on Saturday after it was unable to restart its new season in April due to the pandemic.

General manager Chris Price said: "It is great to see passengers returning to the NYMR. Public support has been fantastic and it’s great to see people enjoying the sights and sounds of the locomotives whilst adhering to social distancing measures.

"Our initial plan was to get the railway operational and we now feel that we can progress to phase two of our plans with our newly named service; ‘The Optimist’. Easing of social distancing and our enhanced cleaning measures have allowed us to create this new journey to allow our passengers to once again travel the full length of the line and explore the town that’s famed for its prominence in Bram Stoker’s Dracula; Whitby."

Steam journeys will be running seven days a week, with four departures daily from Pickering to Levisham return, and from Grosmont to Goathland return, with a total journey time of circa one hour.

Tickets must be pre-booked for a specific time slot before visiting. All stations will remain closed, except to pre-booked guests, and a one-way passenger walkway system will be in place.

To pre-book your visit, go to