North Yorkshire Moors Railway awarded £4.6m lottery grant
The railway, which runs steam trains between Pickering and Whitby, attracts 350,000 passengers a year.
Owned and operated by a charitable trust it employs 100 people.
It also relies on about 1,000 volunteers and NYMR claims it contributes around £30m to the regional tourist economy.
The 18 miles (29km) of railway has more than 30 bridges and the charity already invests around £1m a year maintaining the route and the 50- to 100-year-old vehicles it operates.
John Bailey, chairman of NYMR, said the grant would allow the organisation to begin essential projects and start raising the matching funding through a public appeal.
"This should ensure that 50 years hence, people will still be learning from and enjoying the experience of steam across the moors," he added.
- Renew and repair worn-out iron bridges around Goathland (£2.67m)
- Improve access for passengers (£770k)
- Construct a covered stable for up to 40 carriages at Pickering (£4.16m)
- Better serve school groups and families with a dedicated education carriage at Grosmont (£330k)
- Create a new volunteer hostel at Grosmont (£450k)
- Develop initiatives to recruit new generations of volunteers (£170k)
- Build a railway apprenticeship programme (£470k)
- Place new emphasis on the care and management of the 18 miles (29km) of lineside (£170k).