TRIBUTES were last night paid to a volunteer guard who died working on a heritage railway line.

Former policeman Robert Lund, 65, from Beverley, East Yorkshire, died after he was crushed between two carriages operating on the famous North Yorkshire Moors Railway on Monday.

It is understood he was a long-standing volunteer on the railway, which featured in the Harry Potter movies and where tourists flock in their thousands every year.

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His family issued a statement last night saying: “Robert was a reliable and caring husband and father who was always a keen railway enthusiast and enjoyed playing for the Humberside Police rugby team.

“He retired as a serving officer from the force in 1997 and continued to work as a civilian until his retirement last year.

“He enjoyed working as a volunteer at the North Yorkshire Moors railway, where he began working as a ticket inspector before progressing to a train guard.”

Mr Lund, known as Bob, died after he was trapped while working on the line at Grosmont station at about 12.30pm on Monday.

Paramedics fought to save him, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Railway staff and volunteers who were present are being offered counselling.

All services on the line, which runs for 18 miles from Pickering to Grosmont, were suspended, but resumed yesterday.

Railway general manager Philip Benham said: “The accident took place during a shunting operation, which is where we detach and attach carriages, a normal routine procedure.

“The railway will be conducting its own investigation alongside those of the British Transport Police, the Rail Accident Investigation Branch and the Office of Rail Regulation to establish what went wrong, and determine any action that might be needed to prevent a recurrence.”

Others in the heritage railway community were left shocked and saddened by the tragedy.

Carl Les, a county councillor who is a director of North Yorkshire’s other heritage line, the Wensleydale Railway, in Leeming Bar, said it was a tragic reminder of how safety is paramount.

“It is an industry where you always have to be mindful of safety,” he said.

“It is sad enough that someone has been killed but this is a volunteer who is giving up spare time, probably retirement time, to go and enjoy a hobby.

“You don’t expect hobbies to be dangerous and it is really one of our family that has died.”

The railway is the most popular heritage line in the country, carrying about 350,000 passengers a year.