Andrew Morley

Santa Steam Trains – 25th Nov to 24th Dec

Mountsorrel Running Weekend – 21st & 22nd October

Bridge to the Future – Bridge decks take shape.

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.


Bridge installation takes place!

With a crowd looking on, the GCR's new bridge across the Midland Main Line has taken a major step forward with the two main beams being successfully lowered into place in the early hours of Sunday 3rd September 2017.

A more detailed account of events is available at

Bridge to the Future – Crane assembly begins

The 1,000 Tonne crane which will be used to lift the deck of our new bridge across the Midland Main Line into place is now arriving at the construction site in sections.

The bridge deck is being fabricated off-site and is expected to be lifted into place when the Midland Main Line is closed to traffic.

For the latest updates see

Class 26 Driving Experience

Make a childhood dream come true!

Visiting Class 26 D5343 is available for Driver Experience on Monday 11th and Tuesday 12th September 2017.

Take control of D5343, visiting GCR courtesy of the Cotswold Mainline Diesel Group for a total of 32 miles with a rake of carriages on our double track railway.

For just £475, this is a unique opportunity to drive a visiting locomotive saving almost 15% off the standard Notch 2 price is too good to miss.

With only 4 places available, book now to avoid disappointment!






Class 26 Driving Experience £475 - September 2017


  • Welcome Briefing, including free tea/coffee for guests
  • Introductory DVD
  • Two return trips both with carriages, driving a main line diesel loco.
  • Lunch for the Driver
  • Guided tour of Loco works
  • Visit to signal box
  • Free train ticket for 2 guests
  • Presentation Certificate
  • 12 months free membership of Friends of the Great Central Mainline
  • Free "Through the Window" guide



Please call 01509 632323 (9am to 5pm) to make your booking.


Diesel Gala:

Class 26 D5343 is visiting GCR for our Diesel Gala on 9th/10th September. Click here for details.



“Locomotive Driving” - Booking Conditions 

Following receipt of the voucher, the holder should contact the Booking Office on 01509 632323 for a range of dates upon which the chosen package may be booked; once the date has been agreed, this is treated as a firm booking.

  • All bookings are made in accordance with the Company’s Conditions of Carriage and the special condition that the Company reserves the right to cancel, amend or alter any service offered and that no refunds will be provided where an alternative or amended service has been offered.
  • Participants must be over 18 years of age and be physically and mentally fit with reasonable hearing and vision. In particular participants must be capable of climbing up and descending the vertical steps between the footplate of the locomotive and ground level (approximately 6’).
  • The Company reserves the right to refuse access onto locomotives to anyone who appears to be unfit to operate them. This includes anyone who appears to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Applicants need not have any previous locomotive driving experience.
  • All bookings should be accompanied by full payment or credit / debit card details.
  • If you are unsure whether the person for whom the booking is intended can meet all of these conditions please call our booking office for advice before purchasing an experience.
  • Please make all cheques payable to Great Central Railway PLC.


A full refund will only be offered up to 14 days from the date of purchase subject to a £20.00 administration fee. Thereafter refunds will only be considered in exceptional and unforeseen cases where, for instance, the recipient has suffered serious injury or illness within the unexpired term of the voucher and in the opinion of the Company would be unable to undertake the experience.


The following fee will be payable upon change of date or cancellation:-

  • Within 2 weeks of booked date 20% of purchase price
  • Between 2 weeks and 6 weeks 10% of purchase price
  • Failure to turn up on the day without prior notification will result in the voucher being considered redeemed.


Bridge to the Future – Northern abutment takes shape

On Monday 17th July a photograph arrived from the Bridge to the Future construction site showing the first parts of the northern abutment now in place.

Seen first on Main Line Xtra, the photograph shows concrete sections which began to arrive on Saturday which form a void where concrete will now be poured to form the first level of the abutment to support our bridge across the Midland Main Line.

For the latest news on the Bridge to the Future project, please see

Midweek operations – unusual trains

When public services are not running, shunting operations and trip working are a regular occurrence at GCR with trains often containing vehicles not often seen together in regular service. On Tuesday 27th June an unusual train was formed in the "Up Through" siding at Loughborough ready for departure.

Visiting class 08 shunting locos 08683 and 08480 are seen in top-and-tail formation with a Mark 1 TSO coach number 4948 and two open goods wagons. These vehicles travelled along the line with the wagons returning to Quorn after the sidings were cleared to allow for the large marquee at The Model Event in mid-June, and the coach was delivered to the Carriage & Wagon works at Rothley for routine maintenance.

An “out of period” visitor to Rothley

In a brief distraction from railway activity, the peace of an ordinary Wednesday morning at Rothley Station was disturbed for 30 minutes by a rather modern but nevertheless essential visitor. A National Grid helicopter was seen carrying out inspections on the nearby electricity pylons and cables which run parallel with GCR for a short distance.

Visitors to the station enquired about the source of a mysterious noise as the trees which border the station initially obscured any view, before the helicopter appeared above the tree line. It is believed that a thermal imaging camera was in use to check for faults in the electricity cables.

The pylons run parallel with the GCR to the north of Rothley before crossing above the line at the south end of Swithland Sidings.

Our next running day

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
One steam locomotive (to be announced) and our diesel railcar are in service on passenger trains this Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

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Main Line Xtra

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Special Events

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