The only section of the Forge Valley line to survive track lifting in 1953 was between Thornton Dale and Pickering. This section was used to transport stone from the local quarry at Thornton Dale to Thirsk. Because the section between Pickering and Kirbymoorside had been lifted, a detour was necessary via Malton and Pilmoor.
An accident occurred at Pilmoor in the early hours of 19 March 1963 damaging Sessay Wood Junction. Only the mainline from York to the north was repaired and the through link to Thirsk for the stone traffic from Thornton Dale was no more. Because of this, the last revenue earning train was on 25 January 1963.
A trial run of 'Presflo' wagons travelled to Thornton Dale on 27 May 1963. This was the final service along the line, before official closure on the 10th August 1964, and the tracks were cut back to Mill Lane Junction soon after in the same year.