TWO bright sparks have joined the team at North Yorkshire Moors Railway as mechanical engineering apprentices.

Finn Allen and James Woodland are benefitting from the apprenticeship thanks to grants from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Rural Payments Agency, Local Enterprise Partnership and Yorkshire's Magnificent Journey (YMJ) project.

YMJ includes apprenticeships in engineering, administration and countryside management of the NYMR's ecologically important lineside.

Finn and James are the first of 12 apprentices who will help to secure the future of the award-winning heritage railway line, enjoyed by more than 300,000 passengers every year.

Chosen from more than 30 applicants, Finn and James stood out because of their previous commitment as volunteers at NYMR.

Together they will develop their skills helping maintain the charity's historic engines and carriages, with the guidance and training of its team of professional engineers.

John Bailey, NYMR Trust chairman, said: "These landmark first apprentice appointments are exciting evidence of our commitment to the NYMR's future."