RAILWAY enthusiasts will gather this weekend to mark the 50th anniversary of the closure of a North Yorkshire line.

The route between Grosmont and Rillington, near Malton, closed 50 years ago tomorrow, under the famous Beeching cuts.

Dedicated volunteers managed to re-open the line eight years later as the North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR), and the organisation will mark the anniversary of the closure this weekend.

Philip Benham, managing director of the railway, said “We are extremely proud of the achievements of the last half century since Dr Beeching wielded his infamous axe. This major award by the Heritage Railway Association is fantastic recognition for the Railway, and we are very much looking forward to celebrating all that NYMR has achieved over the years.

"Today we carry almost 350,000 passengers a year, a record not just in this country but around the world. Our many volunteers, staff and partners have proved the potential of this magnificent line.”

Historic locomotives will be on display or operating over the weekend, reflecting the engines seen when the line closed.

Those on show will include K1 No.62005, K4 No.3442 (now 61994) “The Great Marquess”, scenic diesel railcar (Class 101 DMU) Class 25 D7628, 76079 BR Standard Class 4 2-6-0 in action. The Sir Nigel Gresley, Class A4 Pacific No 60007, will also run for the first time in 2015.

Tomorrow, exactly half a century after the official closure date, the two locos 61994 and 62005, which ran the last train south from Whitby on the line in 1965, will work a special Pullman dining train to commemorate completion of the project to rebuild a second platform at Whitby station, and to thank volunteers, staff and other organisations involved in the project.

"The locomotives ran the last steam train south from Whitby in 1965. The new platform will be officially opened by BBC Look North presenter Harry Gration.

A photographic exhibition, Last Train to York, is running from tomorrow until October 1 in the Learning Centre on Platform 2 at Pickering Station, from 10am to 4pm. The photographs were taken the day the line closed by Maurice Burns, who was 18 at the time and is now an NYMR member. They have not been seen for 50 years.

The NYMR will also run special services on March 14, 15, 21 and 22, on the Esk Valley Line from Whitby, Grosmont and Battersby Stations.

For more information and to book tickets visit www.nymr.co.uk or phone 01751 472 508.