Richard Patching

Rothley Station car park works

The car park at Rothley Station has now been completed and all parking restrictions lifted.

Annual General Meetings, Saturday, 6th July

The Great Central Railway PLC's annual general meeting will be held at the Pre-Prep Hall, Loughborough Grammar School LE11 2DU on Saturday 6th July 2019 at 10.30 am (doors open from 10 am).

As usual, this meeting will be followed at 12.30 pm, or shortly afterwards, by the annual general meeting of Friends of Great Central Main Line.

Car parking is available on-site, including disabled parking closest to the building entrance.

A map to the venue is available for download here.

 

A reunion from 1969 – the early days

A group led by John Clayton will be holding a nostalgic reunion on 18th August of the 1969 Belgrave & Birstall Action Group and Leicester Industrial Locomotive Group who celebrate their 50th anniversary this year, as does Main Line Preservation Group (MLPG).

They have traced most members and friends from 1969 but still have a few elusive contacts which they are trying to find.

If you were involved in, or have memories of the Belgrave & Birstall Action Group or with Lamport No3  from 1969, or at the inception of MLPG, please e-mail  Belgravebirstall@virginmedia.com in order to find out more and to share in the 50th anniversary reunion at GCR in August’.

Further information can be found by clicking here with images from the early days

Steam Dreams Discount for Friends Members

Steam Dreams, the mainline steam train tours company, is kindly offering a 10% discount on their day trips for all members of Friends of Great Central Main Line (FoGCML).

The discount is offered to members with up to three accompanying guests.

If you're not already a FoGCML member, this may be another good reason for you to join us!  Here's a link to more details and how to join

 

All bookings must be made by phone by calling 01483 209888, quoting discount code GCR10 and your membership number.

Details of trips can be obtained by visiting the Steam Dreams website

NB.

FoGCML membership must be valid at the time of booking and also on the day of travel.

Failure to show a valid membership card on the day of travel will result in the discount being cancelled and full payment will be required before being allowed to travel, similar to how the National Rail Card system is operated.

Unfortunately trains hauled by the "Flying Scotsman" and multi-day holidays are not included.

Loughborough Station improvements – update on Refreshment Room

Over the coming weeks, a programme of improvements will begin at our Loughborough Central station.

Initially, remedial work will be carried out on the guttering around the platform canopy to be followed by:

  • an extensive refitting of the Refreshment Room kitchen
  • repainting of the canopy itself (including the one at street level on Great Central Road).
  • interior painting of the Booking Office and the Retail Shop
  • repainting of the water tower at the north end of the platform.

It is not intended that these works will affect the Railway's public operation but further details can be expected with more precise dates and timescales as the project proceeds.

The Refreshment Room kitchen work has now been completed and the facility has re-opened fully.

 

Loughborough Loco Shed Temporary Pathway Closure

We are glad to say that the pathway leading to the Loco shed from the pedestrian crossing at the north end of Loughborough station platform will be reopened on Thursday, 4th October.

It had been closed for the installation of an underground oil/water separator, oil tanks and pump station, plus the exchange of the existing Reverse Osmosis plant for an updated one. This was, of course, a major and much needed improvement in the Railway's infrastructure.

Inspector Vignoles – the new book and a film

The eagerly awaited 9th Inspector Vignoles Mystery ‘Cold Steel Rail’ by Stephen Done is now available to purchase from our Gift Shop at Loughborough priced at £8.99.

Set in December 1954, romantic notions of a cosy white Christmas are dashed for the tight knit community along a secluded branch line by the actions of a satanic Santa whose deathly season’s greetings send a tragic shockwave to the wider world. Inspector Charles Vignoles along with Sergeant Trinder are left to unravel a complicated murder mystery as the action speeds along the former Great Central line from rural Leicestershire to London, Liverpool & Manchester.

What is more, plans are now afoot to take Inspector Vignoles onto the small screen. Last week we issued our Inspector Vignoles press release and this is now receiving considerable interest from both the media - just please click on the above link to read more.

Bonfire Night

The Railway's Bonfire & Fireworks event at Quorn on Friday night attracted a record attendance and it was a highly successful night.

Priority for entry needed to be given to visitors who had booked in advance. Unfortunately the event's popularity was such that the Railway needed to close the entrance gate into Quorn last night - this decision was made for crowd safety reasons and to avoid exceeding the capacity agreed with the authorities. We would like to apologise for the disappointment this would have caused to visitors without tickets arriving shortly before the event began.

 

 

Platform Café at Greenacres, Leicester

A press release was issued on 18 October re the intended closure of the Café with effect from 1st November 2017. Further details are given on the link below.

Closure of Platform Cafe

Bridging the Gap – press release re Canal Bridge

GREAT CENTRAL SETS SIGHTS ON CANAL BRIDGE AS ‘NEXT STEP’ FOR REUNIFICATION  

Contact Lili Tabiner 07939 484516
Date: 05/10/2017 

WORK LIKELY TO TAKE PLACE IN AUTUMN 2018 

Great Central Railway is preparing to renovate a historic bridge over the Grand Union Canal as part of its project to create an eighteen mile heritage railway. The bridge is a late Victorian structure which crosses the canal in Loughborough, just to the north of the Railway’s engine sheds.  

In September, long held ambitions to build a new bridge over the four track Midland main line were realised by enthusiasts who want to reconnect two halves of the Great Central Railway. This bridge was the first part of a chain of infrastructure that needs to be rebuilt to create an eighteen mile heritage line running almost between Leicester and Nottingham. 

Michael Gough, the Railway’s General Manager said, “As the final touches are applied to the new bridge, the question now being asked is ‘What next?’  The most obvious section to tackle next is renovating the bridge over the Grand Union Canal. Undertaking this work does not require planning permission and access to the site is relatively easy from both the rear of the engine shed and from the canal towpath beneath.”

A full survey was carried out on the bridge in 2014 which allowed contractors to establish what work is needed to repair it. It last carried trains in 1969 before the original Great Central Railway was shut by British Railways. Michael adds: “We have obtained three quotes for the work and expect it to cost in the region of £400,000. We believe we can raise the funds for the work over the next 12 months.”

To avoid disruption to canal boat traffic which is at its busiest in the summer months, the railway is looking to carry out the work in Autumn 2018.

The overall reunification project remains close to the hearts of the Railway’s thousands of supporters who have wanted to see the Great Central Railway PLC based in Leicestershire and the Great Central Railway (Nottingham) reconnected.

Over the past four years, there has been a concerted effort to finally achieve this ambition, and a major fund raising drive was launched in 2013 to take the project forward. Thanks to the generosity of supporters, and a £1m grant from the Leicester and Leicestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, close to £3m has been raised with £2.5m spent on erecting the bridge over the main line. The remainder has been spent on designs and plans for the remaining sections.

The project is a complex one with many challenges to overcome, not least the need to meet modern environmental standards. Furthermore, in recent years, building work has encroached onto the original embankment; also the newly built bridge spanning the main line railway, and an access road to a recycling centre, require additional clearance.  To overcome these constraints, a new alignment has been designed to ensure the line can be successfully installed with modern materials and techniques being employed to comply with 21st century regulations.

The Railway’s supporting organisation, Friends of Great Central Main Line is committed to maintaining the present momentum from building the bridge over the Midland main line. The Friends are therefore aiming to kick start the Canal Bridge project with an initial grant of £10,000. A strategy is to be developed by the Railway with Friends, and other major stakeholders, to agree the way forward for further successful fundraising.

To learn more about the project and to offer support via a donation, please visit: www.gcrailway.co.uk/unify

Bridge To The Future - Great Central Railway

www.gcrailway.co.uk

 

Our next running day

This Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday
Two steam locomotives are in service on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

Stanier 8F 48305. Fowler 3F 47406.

Click here for more information





Subscribe to our newsletter

Make a donation

To make a donation to our supporting charity click the Donate button below

Donate to the Charity

Main Line Xtra

If you are a Friend of the Great Central Railway, you can access Main Line Xtra which provides additional news, special offers and features. To access Main Line Xtra click here

Want to become a Friend? Join now by clicking here

Special Events

This is a selection of our special events, to see the full list, click here

Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence 2016

Visit England Quality Assured Attraction