GCR Admin

Weekend Shed Tours Saturday 10th & Sunday 11th November

Volunteer members of the Boscastle team will be offering informative tours of the Loughborough Locomotive Shed on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th November.

The tours will begin at 10 30 on the Saturday and then, as guides are available, up to 16 15. On the Sunday, the first tour will begin at 11.45 (but will be held back, if necessary, to allow passengers arriving on the 11.05 departure from Leicester, if this is delayed due to the Armistice services).

Party size is limited at the discretion of the guide.

Please assemble outside the loco shed door and await guide.

Tours last approximately half an hour; please allow 10 minutes to walk to the shed prior to the tour and 10 minutes to walk back again.

 

Loco Shed Scene - Dennis Wilcock

YOUR CHANCE TO SEE RESTORATION, OVERHAUL AND REPAIR WORK IN PROGRESS AND HEAR ABOUT THE PLACE OF 'BOSCASTLE' IN THE STORY OF THE GREAT CENTRAL RAILWAY.

There is no charge for the tour, but donations towards the overhaul of Rebuilt 'West Country' Class 4-6-2 no. 34039 Boscastle will be much appreciated - especially in view of the major work needed on the firebox.

PLEASE NOTE:  Visitors are required to be in possession of valid GCR travel tickets or platform tickets.   Tours are not suitable for children under 6, or for pushchairs.

All locomotives and attractions appear subject to availability. Great Central Railway reserves the right to amend or cancel any service.

Bill Ford. Leader and legend. 1937-2018.

 

The very sad news of Bill Ford's passing on Sunday has no doubt already reached so many of our friends and supporters.

Bill was instrumental in the Railway's development from the earliest days of preservation.

He will be greatly missed by the whole GCR family.

National Railway Museum broadcast

We were very pleased to welcome a film crew from the National Railway Museum at our End of Steam event on 11th August.

They filmed a live 54-minute Facebook broadcast from GCR which included significant footage from the footplate of 70013 "Oliver Cromwell, which is owned by the NRM, and some detailed background on the original 1968 event.

We have been informed by NRM that the film has been watched more than 33,000 times now and has potentially reached more than 120,000 people, making this one of their most popular posts ever. These figures do not include the additional audience of people reached through other posts and on Twitter, which would increase the numbers further. All-in-all some very valuable publicity for our railway.

A link to the film and the blog is shown below for those users who do not have Facebook:
https://blog.railwaymuseum.org.uk/fifteen-guineas-the-price-of-progress 

 

 

Future of AC Cars Railbus 79976

On behalf of the management.

In order to start the next phase of the Bridging the Gap project, clearance of the area north of the Loughborough locomotive shed has begun.

For several years, the AC Cars Railbus 79976 has been left untouched without any firms plans for restoration.

Following a recent push to find a new home for the vehicle, to no avail, the decision was taken to begin the heartbreaking process of dismantling the vehicle. This decision was not taken lightly.

However, following a recent enquiry from a prospective buyer, further dismantling has ceased.

We hope that in the coming weeks this vehicle will have a new owner.

Crossing the Canal – Appeal news

As reported in Main Line magazine (ML175), the Crossing the Canal appeal has now passed the £130,000 mark and donations continue to arrive as we make good progress towards the original £475,000 target of the appeal.

Further inspection of the canal bridge in recent times has revealed that the amount of work required is likely to require the bridge to be lifted out to allow the repairs to take place on "dry land". This will provide the opportunity to more easily inspect and if necessary make any repairs to the bridge abutments.

Chairman of Friends of the Great Central Main Line Andy Fillingham noted in Main Line that this work to the canal bridge would require the area to the west of, and behind the locomotive shed to be cleared, and that work to clear those areas must be completed by the end of August 2018. "Work has already commenced to identify the owners of everything (some of it long forgotten!) in those areas and arrange for it to be moved to an agreed place, removed from GCR, or disposed of. So if you own anything in these areas, please us know asap!"

Returning to the canal bridge, a national leaflet drop is taking place in the national heritage media asking enthusiasts to commit to donating to the appeal by monthly standing order. We're asking people to give £12 a month, or approximately £3 (the price of a fancy coffee) a week.

65,000 leaflets are being circulated.

For the latest news on the appeal, please see our dedicated Crossing the Canal web pages at www.gcrailway.co.uk/unify 

We're very grateful for the tremendous support received so far!

Museum at Leicester North – News Release

We regret to report that the Heritage Lottery Fund has informed Great Central Railway that it will not be supporting plans for a new railway museum at Leicester North.

The full News Release giving details can be downloaded here.

Theft of Christmas presents

We're very sorry to report that over 370 Christmas presents have been stolen from GCR. The presents were taken from a coach at Quorn & Woodhouse station.

The presents were intended for children between the age of 3 and 10, and all were wrapped and carried stickers showing the various age ranges.

These presents were left in stock from 2016 and were about to be donated to charity, including the Childrens Hospital at Leicester Royal Infirmary.

This theft will not affect our forthcoming Santa trains.

If anyone has any information on this incident, please contact Leicestershire Police on 101. The incident number is 161 from 26/10/17.

Bridging the Gap – Press Release

Great Central Railway ‘Bridging the Gap’

Bridge Installation

Saturday 2nd Sept 2017

Overnight – From 23.00 hrs – 07.00 hrs

Update: The timings for the first lift are subject to change but currently expected to be around 00:30.

 

Press Release 

It will be a night to remember! The Great Central Railway’s long held ambition to reunite two halves of the line will take a huge step forward with the installation of a key bridge in Loughborough. On the night of Saturday 2nd September, in a moment rail enthusiasts have campaigned decades to see, a 1000 tonne crane will install the new steel bridge deck across two concrete abutments.

The new bridge will one day carry Great Central Railway heritage trains over the tracks of the Midland Main Line below. As one of the most ambitious civil engineering projects undertaken by a heritage railway, ‘Bridging the Gap’ will reinstate approximately 500 metres of missing embankment, track and bridges – all of which were removed after the Great Central Railway was closed as part of a major rationalisation of the railway network by the Government of the day.

When the whole project is complete it will create an eighteen mile heritage railway stretching across the East Midlands which will create jobs and drive regeneration through tourism.

GCR’s CEO, Richard Patching stated ‘This is an exciting night for the Great Central Railway. For over 40 years, our supporters and friends have dreamt of work starting on the reunification of the line.  We hope to continue raising funds to complete the project and finally join the two railways.  We would like to thank our many supporters who have enabled us to get to this stage’.  Phil Stanway, Director of GCRN added’ As this first phase of the reunification project reaches an exciting climax, what was once deemed nothing more than a dream moves one step closer.  The bridge installation is testimony to all who have contributed so far’.

The operation to lower the bridge deck into place will start as soon as possession of the Midland Main Line is granted by Network Rail at approximately 23.00 hrs and work will continue throughout the night to be completed by 07.00 hrs when the trains start operating again on the Midland Mainline.

The project is managed by FJD Construction on behalf of GCR and work has taken place in collaboration with Network Rail who have supported the project and monitored the work to ensure there is no disruption to the main line operation. Contractors MPB have been on site since February 2017 constructing the abutments and preparing the site for this historic event.

Meanwhile Moore Steel of Peterborough have manufactured the bridge deck and will deliver the sections to site shortly before the installation work starts.

The crane arrived on site on 24th August, transported in sections and assembled on site in preparation for the bridge installation.

Rob McIntosh Route Director of Network Rail said ‘We are delighted to be supporting GCR with this exciting and ambitious project which will provide a real boost to tourism for the region.”

At a cost of £2.5m, this element of the ‘Bridging the Gap’ project is the most complex and has taken a number of years to complete, with funding provided through a combination of donations from GCR and GCRN supporters, a £1m grant from the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership and £250,000 worth of shares purchased by Leicestershire County Council. Nick Pulley, Chair of the LLEP said, ‘The LLEP Growth Deal has been extremely successful for the Leicester and Leicestershire area and we are really excited by this unique project which supports the creation of an 18 mile mainline railway from Leicester to Ruddington (Nottingham South).  The GCR project will open up significant commercial and tourism opportunities to increase visitors by 60,000 per year.  In fact, this is the biggest investment in a heritage railway in the UK’.

 


Supporters who are intending to view the installation works should please view our Bridge Installation Safety Notes.


 

Great Central Museum – Work progress

Announcement - 14th December 2017.

We regret to report that the Heritage Lottery Fund has informed Great Central Railway that it will not be supporting plans for a new railway museum at Leicester North.

The full News Release giving details can be downloaded here.

Media Interviews

Courtesy of the BBC.

BBC Radio Leicester - Interview with Sir Peter Soulsby, Leicester City Mayor - Friday 15th December 2017.

 

BBC Radio Leicester - Interview with Michael Gough, Managing Director of Great Central Railway - Tuesday 19th December 2017.

 

 


Previous updates up to 14th December 2017.

Planning is now well underway for the new museum at Leicester North, which will be part funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, and built next to the existing Great Central Railway station. The project is a partnership between the GCR, Leicester City Council and the National Railway Museum, and is planned to open to visitors in 2020/21.

 

In 2015, the GCR secured a first round pass from the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of a £10m grant allocation to build the museum which will house locomotives, carriages and other significant items, including from the NRM’s collection. The many exhibits will tell the story of how the GCR and other railways contributed to the social and economic history of Leicester and the County. The estimated cost of the museum is £18m with the HLF contributing £10m.

 

Architects WilkinsonEyre were selected last autumn with a winning outline design. Since then there has been continual refinement of the design details, involving discussion with the in-house track and signalling volunteers. They have produced a series of revised proposals including an alternative turntable position, a second (island) platform and buffer stops.

Drawing of the winning design looking south - Click image to enlarge

Drawing of the winning design looking south (this image does not show platform canopy extension or a second platform) - Click image to enlarge

Belgrave and Birstall looking south

The same view, during re-instatement of the track by volunteers in the late 1980s. The museum will be partly on the site of the former Belgrave and Birstall station – part of the old platform may be re-built.

 

"Iconic building" selected for new Leicester city railway museum - Click on image to enlarge

Aerial view of the winning design showing large external event space - Click on image to enlarge

 

Museum site plan concept - March 2017

Updated indicative site layout at Leicester North, March 2017 - Click to enlarge.

 

A museum project update and consultation meeting for volunteers and the public.

A museum project update and consultation meeting for volunteers and the public.

 

Leicester North will be a major new destination attracting visitors to the city from central England, nationally and from overseas.

Leicester North will be a major new destination attracting visitors to the city from central England, nationally and from overseas.

 

The railway is now recruiting a range of expert advisors to help with museum planning, as part of the HLF’s Development grant funding.  These essential members of the team include project managers, quantity surveyors (to pin down estimated costs), activity planners (to help consult with local communities) and a Business Development Manager (to help fund-raise for the project).
We are consulting with local schools, as learning will be a major feature of the new museum:

Message for teachers and tutors:

If you could please complete this survey, it will really help the plans. It should take about 5-10 minutes. All completed questionnaires will be entered into a draw to win one of two £50 Amazon vouchers. https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/GreatCentralRailway 

Visitor views survey.
Thank you to everyone who has taken part in our recent survey asking for views and ideas for the new museum.  These are being analysed for details, which will be incorporated in the Activity Plan for the museum.  There will be further announcements of opportunities to feed ideas into the museum creation process in the future.  The winner of the survey prize draw will be notified shortly.

About the Heritage Lottery Fund
Major Grants Programme applications are assessed in two rounds. A first-round pass is given when HLF has endorsed outline proposals and earmarked funding. A first-round pass may also include an immediate award to fund the development of the project. Detailed proposals are then considered by HLF at second-round and as long as plans have progressed satisfactorily and according to the original proposal, an award for the project is confirmed.
Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk @heritagelottery

Do you want to be part of our big project?
We are currently looking for volunteers to help with the following areas –
• Research on exhibition themes
• Assessing objects to the new museum
• Seeking and recording people’s memories
• Surveying the public and promoting the museum

If you can help with any of these, or would like more information, please get in touch at museum@gcrailway.co.uk or call 01509 633853.

Heritage Lottery Fund

Job Vacancy – Butler Henderson Cafe

Job Vacancy

Great Central Railways Butler Henderson Cafe at Quorn Station seek an experienced part time assistant cook.
You must be able to work either a Saturday or Sunday as part of your working week plus extra hours during busy periods.
Tasks include cooking fresh meals, breakfasts and baking cake's. Also pot washing, running, cleaning and helping out with general activities within the cafe.
If interested please drop in with your CV or email it to kathy.hayes@gcrailway.co.uk

Our next running day

This Weekend title=

Our Santa Steam Trains (pre-booking essential) are running this Weekend.

Make your Christmas extra special by joining us on our Santa Steam Trains which all depart from Loughborough Central Station.

Click here for more information



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