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Written by Nick Wise - 25 Jan 2005
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Location notes
Situated a few miles to the south west of Whitby the Pickering to Grosmont line covers about 18 miles through some spectacular scenery of the North Yorkshire Moors national park. "The line is owned by the North York Moors Historical Railway Trust who have run the line as a living museum since 1974" There are many different types of locomotive hauled passenger working both steam and diesel. With the occasional photographic freight charter or permanent way train.
Water Ark is on the section of 1 in 49 climb between Grosmont and Goathland (between Beck Hole and Darnholm).
Railway type and traffic
The trains are mostly steam hauled, with occasional diesel turns and failure stand ins. There are numerous events and galas.
For more details see the North Yorkshire Moors Railway website.
Environment
Water Ark is a rural location with steep hills on either side - there are no problems with crime etc. and the only people you are likely to come across are walkers or other railway photographers. The weather can vary between extremes (and sometimes seasons!) in very short periods of time, so warm / waterproof clothing is advisable.
Road directions
From the A169, follow the signs for Goathland. In the centre of the village, take the road signposted to Beck Hole past the car park (this is also the way to Darnholm). Less than half a mile after the Darnholm crossroads, a footpath leads off the right hand side of the road down to the railway at Water Ark.

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NYMR, Water Ark map co-ordinates
Parking
There is roadside parking on the Goathland - Beck Hole road.
Public transport
Take the NYMR to Goathland, then walk along the road to Beck Hole (a public footpath on the right hand side of the road coming out of the station into the village avoids the need to go all the way into the centre of the village). To get to the NYMR, from the north, take the Middlesbrough - Whitby 'Esk Valley Line' service to Grosmont. From the south, Pickering can be reached by buses from Malton / York.

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Amenities
There are no amenities at Water Ark - there is a pub at Beck Hole which serves food, but the best bet for toilets etc. is Goathland.
Accommodation
Bed and Breakfasts / rented accommodation are readily available in Pickering (several advertise in the Classified Ads in the railway press).
Sun Compass
Sun Compass using Suncalc by brought to you by Vladimir Agafonkin:
It might be necessary to adjust the time to suit your visit, this link should open with the current day.
NYMR, Water Ark

Googly map
Streetmap links
NYMR, Water Ark general view map
NYMR, Water Ark close up map

Windows Local Live Link - image quality may vary
NYMR, Water Ark



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Photographic notes
The line is approximately east / west at this location, so shots can be taken with good lighting in early to mid morning (looking westwards for southbound trains climbing out of Grosmont), or in mid to late afternoon (looking eastwards for northbound trains coasting down the grade to Grosmont). Steam locos generally face southwards (and any facing north will not be emitting much exhaust when going downhill), so the best bet for an afternoon shot looking eastwards is probably a diesel service.


General views - All photographs © Nick Wise unless otherwise stated
Fig 1 - Looking north east


Fig 1 - Looking north east

The line is approximately east / west at this location, so shots can be taken with good lighting in early to mid morning (looking westwards for southbound trains climbing out of Grosmont), or in mid to late afternoon (looking eastwards for northbound trains coasting down the grade to Grosmont). Steam locos generally face southwards (and any facing north will not be emitting much exhaust when going downhill), so the best bet for an afternoon shot looking eastwards is probably a diesel service.

Fig 2 - Looking north


Fig 2 - Looking north

Taken from a path running alongside the fence at the top of the hillside. There is a further location along this path that is less constrained by the surrounding trees although it can be tricky to get to, especially if the ground is wet.

Fig 3 - Looking north


Fig 3 - Looking north

Taken looking down from the main footpath (and requiring a wide angle lens). A similar shot is available slightly further to the right (and a bit lower down), although both are effectively side-on shots which can become restricted when the trees have leaves on.

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