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Page last updated at 15:53 GMT, Monday, 19 April 2010 16:53 UK
Pete Waterman opens railway bridge on North York Moors
The North Yorkshire Moors Railway. Photo: Philip Benham
The new bridge between Goathland and Grosmont replaces an old Victorian one

Legendary music producer and rail enthusiast Pete Waterman has unveiled a plaque marking a new beginning for the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.

The ceremony celebrated the completion of a £750,000 project to replace an old Victorian bridge.

The bridge lies between Goathland and Grosmont, and carries the railway over Eller Beck at Darnholme.

It has been one of the biggest engineering challenges the heritage steam railway has faced.

The bridge, known as "Bridge 30", had to be replaced over the winter in readiness for the start of the main running season. It was the nature of the work involved, and the remote location of the site which proved difficult.

Much of the money needed to build the bridge has been raised thanks to the generosity of the public, the railway's own members and two substantial grants - one from North Yorkshire County Council for £300,000 and one from the North York Moors Coast & Hills LEADER Programme for £100,000.

Those involved in removing the old bridge and installing the new one were described as "heroes" by Philip Benham, the General Manager of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. They have completed the project on time and within budget despite working in appalling conditions in the worst winter for 30 years.

Pete Waterman at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway
Some of the money for the new bridge has been raised by the public

Representatives from the funding bodies, contracting firms, senior volunteers of the Railway and the Bishop of Whitby joined Pete Waterman as he unveiled a plaque on the site of the bridge which was officially opened to trains on 27 March 2010.

"In many ways the plaque unveiling is a celebration of two key milestones" said Mr Waterman. "It's a celebration of engineering excellence and is a reminder of the skills and talents we have in this country able to deliver complex projects of this kind.

"Secondly, it marks a new lease of life for the NYMR, enabling it to continue to go from strength to strength, bringing delight to thousands of visitors from both the UK and overseas. I'm very proud to be here today and it's further evidence of the renaissance taking place within the heritage steam movement."

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