Andrew Morley

Mountsorrel Steam Running Weekend – 24th & 25th March

Easter Holiday Trains – 27th-29th March & 3rd-5th April

Easter Vintage Festival – 30th March to 2nd April

Spring Diesel Gala – 14th & 15th April 2018

Fish Supper Saturday – 21st April 2018

Fish & chip supper on board a steam hauled-train (pre-booking essential)

Peppa Pig & George – 5th, 6th, 7th May 2018

Peppa and Family

Crossing the Canal – It’s Money Match March!

The Great Central Railway’s appeal for funds to repair a Victorian bridge in Loughborough has passed the forty thousand pound mark. The ‘Crossing the Canal’ appeal is the latest fundraising for an exciting railway reunification project which will one day create an eighteen mile heritage line across the East Midlands.

The elegant bridge, which once carried trains across the Grand Union Canal on the north east side of Loughborough is set to be repaired when funds are available. The appeal has a target of four hundred and seventy five thousand pounds.

To have reached just shy of ten percent of our target in under three months is truly humbling,” said GCR Managing Director Michael Gough. “We’d like to thank everyone who has supported the appeal so far. We have had so much interest in the reunification project.

Already enthusiasts and the local community helped to raise money towards the construction of a new railway bridge over the Midland Main Line at Loughborough. This will one day carry Great Central heritage trains between the two existing halves of the GCR. Several other pieces of infrastructure need to be repaired or replaced. Once the project is completed, trains will run between the outskirts of Leicester and Nottingham.

To take the total raised even higher, during March 2018, a ‘money match’ campaign is running. Donations to the appeal during March will be matched pound for pound up to twenty five thousand pounds. “When we last held a Money Match March, for the new Main Line bridge,” continued Michael, “the response was incredible. People loved the idea of making their contribution go further. If the new fund is fully subscribed, we’ll be able to move the total up by another fifty thousand pounds and be even closer to crossing the canal.”

To find out more about the canal bridge appeal, the reunification project AND to make a donation online, head to Donations received online, or through the post in March 2018 will be matched pound for pound up to twenty five thousand pounds.

Donations to the appeal through the post can be made with a cheque (payable to ‘DAVID CLARKE RAILWAY TRUST’ with Crossing the Canal written on the rear) sent to, DCRT, Lovatt House, 3 Wharncliffe Road, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 1SL.


The Diesel Brake Tender

The forthcoming Lash Hurrah event on 18th/19th November will see the unveiling of a new and unique vehicle.

The diesel brake tender was one of those railway vehicles that no one paid any attention to until they had all gone. At the end of the 1950’s British Railways was pressing ahead with the mass introduction of new diesel engines to replace the steam engine, as well as a mass replacement of wagons. It was soon discovered that the new diesels did not have the same braking ability as the steam engines they were replacing and not all the new wagons had train brakes either. This resulted in British Railways converting a number of old carriages that were also being replaced into weights that could be used to assist the diesels when stopping these unbraked trains. By the late 1970’s when most unfitted goods trains had either been upgraded or replaced the use of these tenders was no longer required, so they fell into disuse and were scrapped.

The vehicles could be seen all over the country, with many being allocated to the Nottingham area for use on the many coal trains that operated from the regions collieries.

None survived into preservation, but a group of engineers from 'Railway Vehicle Preservations', based on the Great Central Railway, decided to build a new one to enable demonstrations to be recreated using the extensive wagon and diesel collections based on the railway. In exceptional cases they also saw use on passenger trains.

The new diesel brake tender is expected to work all weekend at the Last Hurrah and can be seen on goods trains and some passenger services.

FoGCML 2018 calendar

FoGCML 2018 calendar.

Friends of the Great Central Main Line have produced a 2018 calendar with all proceeds going to the Reunification Project appeal.

Thirteen exceptional pictures from talented photographers will take you through the year. The calendar is A3 is size with room to write appointments.

Each calendar costs £10 and will soon be available from the Emporium at Loughborough Central station. Alternatively you can pre-order one by emailing the Chairman of the Friends of the Great Central Main Line

Flying Scotsman steams through Loughborough

World-famous steam locomotive Flying Scotsman hauled a main line railtour "The Cathedrals Express" through Loughborough early this afternoon, passing under the GCR's new bridge.

60103 has passed the site recently during the construction of the abutments and a small crowd gathered on the A60 road bridge to witness the recently restored loco pass by.

The charter had left London Victoria at 08:43 on route to York with a booked arrival time of 15:52.

We look forward in years to come to GCR trains passing over the completed bridge which will eventually provide us with a connection to the national network.

The bridge over the Midland Main Line is the first major milestone in achieving our long term goal of an 18-mile heritage railway. See for more details on the project.


Our next running day

This Weekend
Two steam locomotives, one diesel loco, and our diesel railcar are in service this weekend.

9F 92214 J94 68067
English Electric Type 1 D8098 Metro Cammell Diesel Railcar

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