A CRISIS appeal launched by the North Yorkshire Moors Railway after it was closed down by the pandemic has raised a 'staggering' £440,000.

General manager Chris Price said last spring had been a bleak time. "When we should have been opening our doors for the start of the season, we were having to lockdown the railway, not knowing when we would run services again," he said.

“The generosity of our members and the local community has been staggering; raising an incredible amount which will help get us back on our feet.

"From the whole team at the railway, thank you! We’ve had phenomenal support, and this funding has enabled us to retain our people and keep operating with plans for the future."

He said the railway had also been supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and was awarded £1.9m through the Government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund.