Just browsing through and saw your query. There is an excellent little book called Railways of the North Yorkshire Moors a pictorial history by K Hoole which describes the railway. ISBN:0 85206 731 3 published by the Dalesman 1983. I travelled the railway to York each day to go to school before it closed to passenger traffic in 1953.
The railway's formal name was the Gilling and Pickering (or G&P).
It started at Gilling station and turned north from the Thirsk to Malton line at Cawton. It cut through the treacherous Caulkeys Bank with a station built some way of of Nunnington. You can still see this station from a bridge if you go on the Nunnington to Oswaldkirk road.
After sidings near Harome, the next stop was Helmsley. It was a very tight curve at the south east corner. The railway turned east with a station at Nawton (passing through Ryedale School field first!), then went through Kirkdale. The viaduct is still there and you can walk over it.
The A170 bipass was crossed and then - at last, Kirkbymoorside station was reached. The 'k' was missed out in the station name.
The station is now occupied by RUssels tractor yard.
It went on towards Pickering. There was a siding to Spaunton Quarry. The penultimate stop was Sinnington. Whilst the A170 goes over a massive hill before Wrelton, the trains went to the south of this hill through a cutting instead. Otherwise, Wrelton; Aislaby and Middleton would have been served too!
The track did a kind of 'u'ee south of Pickering. It joined onto the line from Malton AND the Scarborough line at the same time. They all went north into Pickering station. Then you are on the North York Moors Railway.
Nowadays a car park stands where the lines south of the station ran. If the Malton line is reopened the car park (AND the toilet) will have to be demolished!
Around the time Ryedale School was built the regular service was stopped. Only a few passenger trains ran over the year.
To make matters worse, along came Dr Beeching and decided to wipe out all railways in Ryedale because they were loss making at a time when railways were mistakenly thought to be supposed to generate a profit. How can they? They were a public service not a business!
And so it was that 43 years ago (1964) the line was closed and all of the track ripped up. At least the station buildings and bridges survive. But there are loads of barriers to reopening; Pickering car park; the track at Kirkbymoorside is obstructed by the tractor depot; Ryedale School car park would have to be closed and inconvenienced; the tracks at Cawton and Gilling are sat upon by expensive houses where there was plenty of other space around. LUDICROUS.
Beeching sold railway land for development and left no way for the railway to be reinstated.
Unless completely new alignments are built at Gilling and Cawton or the offending houses are demolished, the railway may have no future return. Changing the route at Gilling would mean a new station would be too far out of the core village.
OR tight curves could be used with light rail 'tram-trains' like those in Germany instead of normal trains. It would allow street running in towns and villages were station approaches are blocked.
Such far-sighted thinking is not appreciated today. The car remains king in Ryedale, and it is doubted enough people would use a reopened railway unless it went close enough to the centres of towns and villages. Politics is against any such attempt to reopen due to costs and railways being less favoured than roads.
I thought I would let you know that I have an old monochrome snapshot of my father standing on the steps of the signalbox. Mostly just the steps but part of the name is shown (Kirbymoors....). The snap must have been taken about 1936/37 as my parents were married in 1936 and Kirbymoorside was my father's first posting after that. I was born there in late 1937 but my parents decamped back to my father's homeland of Northumberland when I was but months old. (It is for this reason that I regard myself as a Geordie despite being Yorkshire born).It is even possible that I may have an old railway timetable of the local train services but I will have to ferret about to check if that is so.
I also happen to have the parish magazine of December 1937 (because my christening is in it)if anyone there is interested.
Regards, T. B Strong
I am in the process of preparing some pages on all the closed stations around Ryedale for my Disused Stations web site http://www.disused-stations.org.uk/ I was hoping that members of this forum might be able to help with pictures of some of the stations either before or after closure. I have collected together a reasonable selection of pictures and tickets from all the stations but additional photographs (not very recent please) would be very welcome and would of course be appropriately credited. I can be contacted directly on [email protected] I am also looking for pictures of the Malton & Driffield Railway which will be covered at the same time.