Main Line

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.

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.

Crossing the Canal – Appeal total passes £250,000

We're delighted to announce that the Crossing the Canal appeal to raise funds to repair the canal bridge north of our locomotive works at Loughborough has passed the £250,000 mark.

Your support for the project continues to be tremendous, and we are making major strides towards commencing work before too long.

For the very latest news on the Crossing the Canal appeal, please visit the appeal website at www.gcrailway.co.uk/unify

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.

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.

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.

 

 

Our next running day

This Weekend
Two steam locomotives, and visiting Deltic 55019 "Royal Highland Fusilier" are in service this weekend.

We are also running a diesel railcar service on the Mountsorrel Branch Line this weekend.

6990 "Witherslack Hall" Steam locomotive roster to be confirmed
Deltic 55019 "Royal Highland Fusilier" Metro Cammell diesel railcar (Mountsorrel Branch)





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