Snainton was the principal station on the Forge Valley Line being the busiest and the only one with a passing loop and a platform in each direction. At just over 8 miles from Pickering and 11½ miles from Scarborough, the surroundings were probably the flattest part along the line and the station was conveniently placed on the southern outskirts of the village.
There was a brickyard situated to the south of the goods yard where bricks were stored in the early times of the railway before transporting them to other parts of the country. In later years after the Second World War the brickyard was used to store timber which was imported by Gabriel, Wade & English of Scarborough. The timber was used in the Post War housebuilding programme.
A well-travelled passenger gave a hippopotamus skull to Benjamin Fieldsend around the turn of the century. It was mounted on a bracket under the station canopy where it made a fine 'nestbox' for the local birds. The skull remained until the station closed in 1950 and it was then presented to a signalman at Ravenscar, where it disappeared one night and has not been seen since.
The station was cut off at both ends by level crossings. At the east end was Foulbridge Lane with a Crossing Keepers House and at the west side Middle Lane. Both sets of gates were double swing and hand operated. As well as the passing loop, Snainton provided coal drops, loading bay and an extra loop in the goods yard. The signal cabin was placed on the platform on the left side of the east bay window.
A small wooden waiting shelter was provided on the other platform adjacent to the main station building.