Main Line

Weekend Shed Tours Saturday 11th & Sunday 12th August

Volunteer members of the Boscastle team will be offering informative tours of the Loughborough Locomotive Shed on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th August.

The tours will begin at 10 30 and then, as guides are available, up to 16 15.

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.

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.

Annual General Meetings, Saturday, 30th June

The Great Central Railway PLC's annual general meeting will be held at Eadon Hall, Loughborough Grammar School LE11 2DU on Saturday 30th June at 10.30 am (doors open from 10 am).

As usual, this meeting will be followed at 12.15 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.

 

73156 draws close to completion

We are looking forward to BR Standard Class 5 73156 entering regular service at GCR following the completion of restoration from scrapyard condition.


The loco made a brief appearance at the 2017 Autumn Steam Gala, and considerable work has been undertaken since this event to prepare for regular service.

In recent weeks the driving wheelsets have received attention with the crank pins being skimmed and general geometry checks performed.

The locomotive was re-wheeled on 18th April and work has been swift to ready 73156 for a starring role at the forthcoming Goods Galore Gala on 12th and 13th May 2018.

The team at our Loughborough Locomotive Works have been busy preparing the connecting rods for fitting as the motion is reassembled, and photographs from Wednesday 25th April show the work in progress in the machine shop, and the subsequent fitting on Thursday 26th April.

Machining taking place to prepare the connecting rod.

We're expecting 73156 to be a very popular addition to the already strong fleet of steam locomotives at GCR. The class saw regular service on the line in British Railways days and were known for an impressive turn of speed in their day.

73156 was built in 1956 and is one of only five BR Standard Class 5 locos to survive into preservation, and is also the only surviving member of the class that was constructed Doncaster Works. For much of her brief life in British Railways service, 73156 was allocated to ex Great Central depots, beginning with Neasden in December 1956. She graduated to the North West later on via several ex G.W.R. sheds in the West Midlands until finally being withdrawn from service whilst at Bolton MPD in November 1967 with an accumulated mileage of approximately 325,000.

Before: 73156 driving wheels on 25th April prior to receiving connecting rods.

After: Connecting rods in the process of fitting on 26th April 2018.

 

First published on GCR Main Line Xtra 26th April 2018.  Published on main GCR website 1st May 2018.


 

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.

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.

 

 

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 Andy.Fillingham@gcrailway.co.uk

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.

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 Weekend
Two steam locomotives and one diesel loco are in action this weekend.

BR Standard 5 73156 Stanier 8F 48624 (as 48476)
Class 33 D6535





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