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Whitby railway station serves the town of Whitbymarker in North Yorkshire, Englandmarker. It is the terminus of the Esk Valley Linemarker, south east of Middlesbrough railway stationmarker and is operated by Northern Rail who provide all of the station's National Rail passenger services.

Services

Four trains per day leave Whitby on weekdays and Saturdays, with five trains on summer Sundays. Trains call at all stations to Middlesbrough.

As of 3 April 2007, services along the heritage North Yorkshire Moors Railway have commenced running from Whitbymarker to Pickeringmarker, running along the Esk Valley line to Grosmont railway stationmarker where they join the NYMR's own line. The 2008 summer peak service in July and August consists of three departures daily except on Sundays. There are trains to Whitby during the whole of the NYMR's season (mid-March to the start of November).

From 11 October 2007, the NYMR took over National Rail ticket sales at Whitby (as well as selling their own tickets).

History

Whitby's original 'station' stood near to the end of the remaining platform, in the form of the offices, workshop and carriage shed of the Whitby and Pickering Railway, a single track horse worked line opened throughout in 1836. Its engineer was George Stephenson.

In 1845, the W&P was taken over by the York and North Midland Railway and converted into a double track, steam worked, line. The Y&NM built the present Whitby station to the design of its architect George Townsend Andrews, who also designed the locomotive shed and the goods shed (demolished to make way for a supermarket, although a German bomber made a start during WW2). Andrews station included a fine 'Euston Truss' overall roof which was removed by British Railways in 1953 and replaced by the present awnings.

In 1854, the Y&NM helped form the North Eastern Railway, who later added two more platforms (also replaced by the supermarket) to help deal with traffic from the other branch lines that served Whitby; the Esk Valley Line finally opened throughout to a junction at in 1863. The coast line from opened in 1883 and from Scarborough in 1885. Block signalling replaced the time interval system in 1876 and brought Whitby an unusual three storey signal box (to make it high enough to see over the adjacent goods shed).

The NER became part of the London and North Eastern Railway at the grouping of the railways in 1923 and the LNER became part of British Railways with the nationalisation of the railways in 1948. The only changes brought to Whitby were in locomotives, rolling stock and signalling; the basic structure remained unchanged.

With the publication of the Beeching Report in 1963, change hung over Whitby station and its railways; the report recommended closure of all three lines that still served Whitby (the fourth line going north up the coast had already closed in 1958).There was strong local resistance to the closure of the three lines but in the event only one line, that up the Esk Valley to Middlesbrough was saved. It may seem strange that Whitby's 'main line', the largely double track line to Pickeringmarker, Maltonmarker with connections to Yorkmarker was not the one to survive but the saviour of the Esk Valley Line was the steep and narrow roads to the villages that it served, making replacement bus services impractical, especially for bringing school children to and from school in Whitby.

With the closure of all but the Esk Valley Line, Whitby lost almost all of its staff and in time the pickup goods train was withdrawn; the remaining double track as far as was singled and the signal box closed and later demolished, as was the goods shed. It was only a case put by an ex-Whitby signalman that allowed retention of a basic facility for running round loco-hauled trains, so as to allow for excursions and as it turned out today's through steam services over the NYMR.Platforms 3 and 4 were entirely removed and the site sold off, to be occupied by a supermarket.Platform 2 was cut back to what remains of the trainshed and its track removed, leaving only Platform 1 rail served.Apart from the roofless and truncated station, Whitby's only other surviving railway buildings are the two track engine shed, originally built by the York and North Midland Railway and extended by the NER and now in prospect of conversion into Captain Cook World and the neglected remains of one of the pair of Whitby and Pickering Railway 1835 weighbridge houses.

As of November 2008 until 1 October 2009, members of the public wishing for the link from Malton to Pickering to be rebuilt and for the North Yorkshire Moors Railway to be used for National Rail in addition to steam can sign the petition on Downing Street.

Image gallery

Image:esk_line_tile_map.jpg|Tile map from wall of Whitby station, showing routes across North YorkshireImage:37atwhitby.JPG|Class 37 at Whitby with a Pathfinder Tours railtour on 1 June 2005

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