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Cycle the Solar System

York’s solar system model

Welcome to the website for the York Solar Cycle. Here you can find out everything you need to know about this wonderful cycle route.


This scale model of the Solar System is spread out along 6.4 miles of the old East Coast main-line railway. Along it you can find scale models of all the planets in our solar system aswell as a model of the Cassini spacecraft

Keep up to date with events and special occasions by following us on twitter: @yorksolarcycle

Upcoming event on the 20th and 21st of June! Check out the event page for more details!


When the Selby coal field was developed in the early 1980s the line was diverted. The route was bought by the newly-formed Sustrans for 1. The construction of this track in 1985-1987 was the first venture for Sustrans, who have gone on to create the National Cycle Network with the help of a 43.5 million grant from the Millennium Commission.

The scale of our model is 575,872,239 to 1. So every 100 metres along the track corresponds to more than 57 million kilometres in space. The speed of light is about 1.16 mph, so it is easy to walk at 3 times the speed of light and to cycle at 10 times the speed of light.

For full details of the scale of the planets and their orbits, look at Model Dimensions.

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