National award for Swithland Signalling

The Great Central Railway picked up a prestigious gong on Wednesday 5th December at the National Railway Heritage Award.

Presented by the head of the National Trust, Simon Jenkins, the signalling award was presented to the GCR in recognition of the completion of the Swithland Sidings scheme; the culmination of the ambitious multi million pound double track project.

The signalbox at Swithland was commissioned in the Summer of 2012, two decades after it was proposed by the projects main sponsor, the late David Clarke. His vision was to return the section of the Great Central between Loughborough and Rothley to double track status.

 

At Swithland, an impressive installation of loops and sidings has been installed together with a restored signalbox and complex signalling. Trains can now, not only pass each other heading in opposite directions, but slower trains can be put into loops to allow faster services to ‘overtake’. The whole installation has been finished to a very high standard by the railways Signal and Telegraph department, using hundreds of thousands of volunteer man hours.

You can read more about the installation here.

Managing Director of the Great Central Railway Bill Ford said, “We are immensely proud to collect this award. It is a tribute to our team who completed the project to such a high standard, the fundraisers who helped make it a reality and most of all to the late David Clarke, the man who inspired and provided a large amount of funding for the project. He had a passion for signalling and while he never lived to see Swithland Signalbox commissioned, I am sure he would have been extremely impressed. His vision is now an educational legacy for future generations.”

The Great Central Railway’s steam and diesel gala events have already been enhanced by the new installation. In 2013 a gala is planned which will allow the enthusiasts to get into Swithland Sidings and see the award winning signalling in action close up.

If you're a signalling fan - get the indepth lowdown on the scheme from a Main Line magazine article - Swithland

 

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