Main Line On Line

Buy a GCR Book-a-zine for Bridge to the Future appeal

Tom Ingall : January 23, 2015 12:19 pm : Main Line

þÿAvailable now: The Great Central Railway is featured in a brand new book-a-zine, just published by Mortons Media and written by the editor of Heritage Railway, Robin Jones.

The book-a-zine looks at the formation of the original Great Central Railway, the takeover of the Great Central by the London & North Eastern Railway and its subsequent rundown by British Railways and closure by Beeching.

 The main focus of the book-a-zine is GCR north and south making use of a stupendous collection of photographs. There is a a look at the Mountsorrel branch line and finally, there is a visit to a private site near Oxford where part of the Great Central had been re-laid in secret!

If costs just £6.99 (plus £2.50 for postage and packing) and can be ordered by emailing  It is not currently available in GCR shops. When you order the book-a-zine this way, at least £2.70 will go to our Bridge to the Future appeal.

Read all about the GCR and help the railway develop.

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GCR collaborators launch 16p mer mile Friday ‘Crompton’ bash

Kate Tilley : January 22, 2015 3:34 pm : Main Line

5305 Locomotive Association (’5305LA’) is joining forces with its ‘home base’, Great Central Railway, to stage a new format Friday afternoon ”Crompton’ bash’ featuring National Railway Museum ‘Class 33′ D6535 (33116) and 5305LA’s ‘Peak’ D123 (45125), on 27 February 2015.

D6535 - Matt Spencer

For a rover fare of just £15, the event offers ‘Crompton’ fans up to six round trips between Loughborough Central and Leicester North – that’s just 16 pence per mile!

D6535 will take solo charge of three trips, the first departing Loughborough at 1230, and then will ‘top and tail’ three more trips with D123, with the last train returning to Loughborough at 2036.

D123 - At Swithland Sidings - Paul Biggs

Refreshments and food will be available on the train, which will be steam heated by GCR’s former Irish Railway’s steam heat van.

Event proceeds will be split between GCR and 5305LA’s fund for bodywork repairs to D6535.

More information will be available on GCR’s website soon – check out our special events in the next week or so.  Advance tickets will be available to book at a discounted rate from 1st February.

Check out @D6535 on Twitter for updates

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Kate Tilley : January 15, 2015 11:52 am : Main Line

LMS Ivatt Class 4 loco, No.43106, fondly known as the Flying Pig, will headline the giant model rail expo which is set to have over 120 exhibits this year!

43106 Bridgnorth MPD 22 Aug 2013. Ex-Paintshop.
Photo courtesy of Bob Sweet

Friday 19th, Saturday 20th & Sunday 21st June

The event, first staged last year, already promises to be of exceptional quality with over 60 of the country’s best layouts confirmed alongside over 40 of the industry’s leading suppliers.  A major coup for the event is the announcement of a special, first time, visiting loco to the railway, No.43106, care of the Ivatt Class 4 Group & Severn Valley Railway, a model of which is manufactured by Bachmann Europe Plc.

Over 60 layouts have been secured as well as 15 demonstration layouts. These include: Dore Hill St Stevens, North of England Mainline, 82G, Templecombe Road, Great Train Robbery, Waterloo Street, Newcastle by the Water and Woodhead.

Visitors are invited to examine the very best models, ride behind their giant counterparts and buy merchandise for their hobby.  The main event arena, at Quorn & Woodhouse station, is a 35,000sqft exhibition hall where suppliers such as Bachmann, BRM, Cheltenham, Kernow, Hornby Magazine, Book Law and Cromwell Tools will be in attendance alongside many others.

Other stations will specialise in different areas of the hobby.  At Loughborough expect to see 16mm live steam, G gauge and Railwayana traders, at Rothley there will be model engineering, gauge 1, gauge 3 and GCR’s resident garden railway.

Kate Tilley, GCR’s Marketing Manager said ‘Normal fares apply for this event with tickets costing just £15, including all day travel and entrance to all venues.  This is genuinely an event people can spend all day at indulging in every aspect of their hobby.  Travel between our stations, change trains to inspect layouts and their giant counterparts and visit traders – we’ve pulled out all the stops’

To find out more and to book your ticket visit

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Winter Steam Gala – Fri 30th Jan to Sun 1st Feb

Andrew Morley : December 29, 2014 4:42 pm : Main Line, News Banner


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Villains & Superheroes – Half term Frozen spectacular!

Kate Tilley : December 28, 2014 1:03 pm : Main Line, News Banner

Join us this half term and meet everyone’s favourite villain or superhero.  This year, we have a Frozen twist, meet Elsa, Olaf and princess Anna…

Just £25 for a family of 5!  For more information, visit the event page


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Autumn Gala DVD now available at the emporium

Tom Ingall : December 14, 2014 7:48 am : Main Line

Our spectacular Autumn Gala highlights DVD is now available from Loughborough Central station emporium.

The DVD costs just £20, with every penny going to the Bridge to the Future appeal.

Copies of the 2013 Swithland Gala DVD are also available at the emporium which is open at weekends.


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Bridge to the Future latest

Tom Ingall : December 3, 2014 4:39 pm : Main Line


The Great Central Railway’s long held ambition to become an eighteen mile railway will take a huge step forward next year, as contractors move onto site to build a bridge over the Midland Main Line.

The bridge is the key component in a string of new infrastructure which will allow two halves of theline to reunite, creating an eighteen mile heritage line. Working in full partnership with Network Rail, this first structure is expected to be completed towards the Autumn of next year.

The railway’s one million pound ‘Bridge to the Future’ appeal to raise the funds to build the bridge has now reached seven hundred and five thousand pounds.

A new design solution for the bridge has been agreed which will see an entirely new thirty metre bridge deck being built. This will eliminate the costs and risks involved with building a central pier, which would have originally been needed to support two previously recovered bridge decks. It will also reduce long term maintenance requirements. Meanwhile the two recovered decks will be used elsewhere in the reunification project speeding up the project and reducing costs.

Initial work on site will focus on establishing a contractors compound and enabling the major construction work which is likely to follow in Spring.

To complete the reunification project another new bridge is required over Railway Terrace in Loughborough and three hundred metres of embankment needs to be reinstated. Trains could be running across the entire completed link before the end of the decade providing funds for the rest of the work can be found.

The first £500k from allocated by the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership from the Governments Local Growth Fund will be used to get key work underway ahead of an application for planning permission for the rest of the scheme.

The Great Central Railway and the Great Central Railway Nottingham would like to acknowledge and thank, Network Rail, FJD Consulting, XEIAD, Murphys, Carillion, AMCO and the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership for their support for the reunification scheme, plus the many thousands of people who have donated to the appeal.


Head to and click ‘DONATE’

Alternatively, download an appeal form (from the same page), fill it in and send it with a cheque made payable to the David Clarke Railway Trust to “Bridge Appeal, Lovatt House, 3 Wharncliffe Road, Loughborough, Leics, LE11 1SL

You can also buy an Autumn Gala DVD

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Butler Henderson Happy Hour, Weekdays From 14.30

Jules Ford : December 3, 2014 2:22 pm : Main Line


December sees Butler Henderson Café in Quorn immersing itself into the spirit of Christmas.  They are offering Happy Hour specials, from 14.30 – 15.30 every day, Monday to Friday.   Beat the chills whilst cutting the bills and see for yourself with these 3 warming options…


  1. Tea or Coffee + a Slice of Cake £2.90

  2. Gingerbread Latte + a Mince Pie £2.50

  3. Tea or Coffee + Mince Pie £1.80


If you want to have us bake your Christmas cake, we are taking orders now.  So if you pop down mid-week, you could warm up, eat up and order a delicious cake to enjoy over the festive season.  Go on, we won’t tell if you don’t!

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