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Dean of Ripon Cathedral Fulfils Childhood Dream

The Dean of Ripon Cathedral, Keith Jukes fulfilled his childhood dreams with a ride on the footplate of a steam engine at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway on Friday 19th April.

After reading about Keith’s ambition to drive a steam train in Living North’s summer 2012 edition the North Yorkshire Moors Railway decided to help him follow his dream. Danielle Ramsey marketing manager for the NYMR explains, “When we discovered how much Keith had loved travelling on a steam train whilst on holiday as young boy and his wish to travel on the footplate of an engine we decided to get in contact with the Dean of Ripon Cathedral and arrange a two way trip on the cab of a steam engine between Grosmont and Pickering on-board the engine Green Knight 75029. It was a fantastic sunny day and we are thrilled we have been able to help Keith fulfil his dream.”

Keith was accompanied by his wife Susanne and explains that “Beyond any doubt, it was an experience of a lifetime and I am deeply grateful to NYMR for the hospitality and welcome that I received. The footplate experience is one that I would commend to everyone. Not only is it an opportunity to have first-hand experience of magnificent steam engines but it is also a privilege to see the teamwork going on between the driver and fireman. The crew that day were absolutely magnificent and went to great lengths to explain to me all that everyone was doing. The NYMR is one of the best pieces of living heritage anywhere in the North of England and deserves all our support and accolades for the work they do and for the way they support the local economy.”

For those that wish to experience the thrill and joy of being at the front of a steam engine there is the opportunity to book onto one of 4 Footplate Experience Courses run by the railway ranging from Tin £175, Bronze £330, Silver £595 and Gold courses £1495. Check the availability online or email

Or if you are after something extra to add to your CV or looking for ways to spend your spare time and retirement why not become a NYMR volunteer and discover all the many ways you can help the registered charity from driving a train to working in a booking office to find out more visit

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway is open every day from 22nd March – 3rd November. For more information please call 01751 472508, book online or follow us on Twitter @NYMR and Facebook @North Yorkshire Moors Railway.


For further media information and images, please contact:

Danielle Ramsey
Marketing Manager – NYMR
Tel: 01751 473799

Notes to Editors:

Tin Experience ‘A view from the front’ £175

An outbound footplate ride in the cab of a Diesel locomotive from Pickering to Grosmont (18 miles) and a travel ticket for return “on the cushions” (aboard a carriage) at your leisure later in the day.

Also included is one-year membership of the NYMR, a souvenir certificate signed by your driver and a voucher for use in our Tea rooms.

Bronze Experience £330

A return footplate ride between Pickering and Grosmont. Includes lunch; one-year Membership of the NYMR, a souvenir certificate signed by your driver and a polo shirt. Your return journey will take you a total of 36 miles, a total elapsed time of 3 hours.

The course operates Mondays – Fridays (some exceptions) throughout the main running period. We regret, there are no weekend dates and the course does not run on special event days or Bank Holidays. Gift Vouchers can be purchased for our 2013 Bronze courses via our online shop.

Silver Experience £595

This course will utilize the light engine 1230 service from Grosmont and return at 1400 from Pickering, finishing at approximately 1515. Please be aware that this course is a light engine movement only – no carriages will be attached to the locomotive.

The fee includes; one-year Membership of the NYMR and a souvenir certificate signed by your driver.

Report to our offices at Grosmont by 0930, enjoy a light breakfast and then join one of our instructors for a short walk to the Locomotive Depot for a safety briefing. Next under supervision you will prepare the engine; oiling up, examining, checking fuel and equipment and raising steam pressure. Once the engine is ready you will be given instructions on how to operate and have time to familiarise yourself with the controls and how the engine works. A packed lunch will be provided to keep you going through the rest of the day.

Gold Experience £1495

5 Day Course (Maximum of 4 persons on each course)

Day 1: We meet you at Grosmont Tea Room for breakfast at 09:00 hrs. Then one of our instructors will take you on a short walk to the Locomotive Depot for a safety briefing, after which you will spend the day in the Engineman’s Mutual Improvement Classroom, for both theoretical and practical instruction on all aspects of locomotive and railway operation, including safety rules, signaling, boiler management, combustion, valve events, injectors, lubrication and braking systems. The day concludes around 17:00 hrs.

Day 2: Starting at 08:30 at the shed for more theory and practical instruction.

Day 3: At 08:30, under instruction you fully prepare the engine ready for work. You will familiarise yourself with the controls and how the engine handles by moving it around the shed yard, with precision stopping and coupling up; finally disposing of the engine around 17:00 hrs.

Days 4 & 5 The Real Thing: Starting at 08:30 we prepare the engine and work a train of passenger vehicles on two return journeys through to Pickering each day with you and the other participants driving and firing, concluding around 19:00 each day.

Full lunch is provided on days 1-3 with a packed lunch on days 4 & 5.