All aboard North Yorkshire Moors Railway's Light Spectacular for half-term holidays

The latest seasonal attraction on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway is tripping the light fantastic as the heritage railway goes full steam ahead post-pandemic.

After navigating the difficulties of the pandemic, the North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR) got back on track for the 2022 season this year with daily services, running Monday to Saturdays until October 30, and a calendar of events.

And as the darker nights draw in, its major half term attraction is the return of its annual October Light Spectacular.

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Departing from Pickering station every evening during October half term at 6pm and 7.45pm until October 30, it’s a really fun way to experience this grand example of British transport on a line which dates back 180 years when it was planned by the Father of the Railways, George Stephenson, to open up trade routes with Whitby.

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway - Light Spectacular Express, covered with thousands of colourful lights at Pickering Station, North Yorkshire. Picture by James Hardisty.

The Light Spectacular route is shorter than the daily service, taking you from Pickering to Levisham and back in a journey that’s around an hour long – so perfect for little ones with a short attention span.

And there’s much to capture their imaginations on the trip.

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After collecting your wristbands, which you get to keep, at Pickering Station, you hop aboard the train which is adorned with 17,000 LEDs.

Along with the wristbands, they flash in tune with a megamix of tunes taking you from the 70s to the early 2000s in a journey through musical time.

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Pictured Freya Hardisty, aged 9, preparing to board the train at Pickering Station.

The tracks are introduced with a familiar voice too, with TV’s ‘Voiceover Man’ Peter Dickson, known for his narration on X Factor, Britain’s Got Talent and Ant and Dec Saturday Night Takeaway, lending his distinctive booming tones to the experience.

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All the classic tracks are in there, by the likes of Jackson 5, Abba, Queen, Culture Club, Monster Mash the Grease soundtrack, Shania Twain and MC Hammer.

The kids on board loved singing along and there was plenty of families dancing in the aisles as the train chugged its ways through the moors, lighting up the rugged landscape on the way.

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There’s also a trolley on board serving snacks (and wine for the parents) to keep you well fuelled on the journey.

Wrist bands which are given out to passengers as part of the light and musical experience, as you trvel along the bands change colours with the beat of the music.
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Pickering Tea Room is also open for food and drink and you can also take your own on board.

Every penny you spend on tickets, tea, cake and memorabilia goes back into necessary funding towards the heritage railway to ensure all charitable aims are being delivered. This means you’ll be contributing directly to the running of the heritage railway as a dedicated charity.

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Tickets please

Tickets are priced £30 from If you use code LOCAL20 at checkout you’ll receive a 20% discount.

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Pictured (left to right) Jordan Wake, with Sophie Mei Lan, taking a quick selfie before boarding the train at Pickering Station.

Up next

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Although the daily North Yorkshire Moors Railway services finish for the 2022 season on October 30, the railway will be back for a series of Christmas experiences.

These include a series of festive dining experiences aboard the Pullman Dining Train as well as the ever-popular Santa Specials.

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Join Santa and his special team of elves at either Pickering or Grosmont Station before an adventure aboard the Santa Express departing on December 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23 & 24.

The train departs from Pickering. Picture Credit Charlotte Graham
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The train features 17,000 LED lights. Picture Credit Charlotte Graham