THE crucial role which Britain's railways played during the Second World War will be remembered this weekend.

The North York Moors Railway is turning back the clock to the dark days of the 1940s for their annual wartime weekend.

Visitors will take a step back in time as stations come to life 1943-style with re-enactments, displays and entertainment as the clock from the era of austerity.

Now in its 19th year, the event takes place on October 14, 15 and 16.

Pickering, Goathland and Grosmont all take part in the event with displays featuring life on the home front and this year, for the first time, Whitby will also be taking part.

Railway general manager Philip Benham said: “In many respects the men and women who worked on the railways during the war were the forgotten heroes.

“They often worked very long hours and had a great sense of discipline and duty.

“It was a risky occupation yet despite this, what they achieved was remarkable. Our event serves as a reminder of their vital role to help win the day.”

Between 1939 and 1944 the railways were subjected to more than 9,000 bombing raids yet the Nazis were never able to completely paralyze the network.

Among the many vital roles played by Britain's railway workers was the civil defence of the stations, engine sheds and track.

And over half of the total railway workforce became involved in the defence of the nation’s railway infrastructure.

For full details of the weekend’s events visit