Main Line On Line

Renaissance Railcars Appeal

Andrew Morley : March 16, 2017 12:00 am : Main Line, Main Line Xtra, News Banner

Renaissance Railcars DMUs

Work is underway on Renaissance Railcars next restoration project after a successful start to their recent appeal. The group need to raise around £6000 to get number 50203 back into service. The vehicle, which is the oldest member of Renaissance’s fleet, turns sixty next month. It arrived at the GCR back in 2003 and was stored awaiting its turn in the restoration queue. Not only does it require body work, but control gear reinstalling and rewiring.

Hundred of pounds have been raised so far after a flyer was sent out with the last Main Line. “We’d like to thank everyone who has donated so far,” said Tom Ingall of the group. “This is an appeal where small amounts really do make a difference. With hundreds raised to celebrate the significant birthday of number 50203 we look forward to pushing the work forward. If you haven’t donated yet but would like to do so, we’d really welcome your contribution.”

The aim is to have a second DMU set available for traffic on the GCR as soon as possible. This will allow the railway to develop services. It is expected that 50203 will be painted in the mid 1960s livery of all over rail blue and partnered with vehicle number 50266 which will also be repainted from its current unlined green livery.

To donate to the appeal please send a cheque made payable to the DAVID CLARKE RAILWAY TRUST to “DCRT, Lovatt House, 3 Wharncliffe Road, Loughborough, Leics, LE11 1SL” If you have a copy of the appeal flyer, please use it to make a gift aid declaration. Alternatively download the flyer here.

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37714 to appear in new livery

Andrew Morley : March 11, 2017 8:07 am : Main Line

Class 37 37714 returned to GCR on 10th March freshly repainted into the British Rail Trainload Freight (Metals) livery. 37714 will appear in this livery for the first time in passenger service at our Spring Diesel Gala on 18th and 19th March 2017.

37714 newly repainted in BR Trainload Freight (Metals) livery.

The loco, previously seen at GCR in the blue livery of Direct Rail Services is in the care of the Heavy Tractor Group.

More details on our Spring Diesel Gala can be found here.

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Weekend Shed Tours 11 & 12 March

Richard Patching : March 2, 2017 7:00 am : Main Line

Volunteer members of the Boscastle team will be offering informative tours of the Loughborough Locomotive Shed (not normally open to visitors) on Saturday, 11th and Sunday 12th  March.

Tour times are at: Saturday & Sunday: 10 30, 11 00, 11 30 am; 12 00, 12 30, 1 45, 2 15, 2 45, 3 15 and 4 00pm.

Party size is limited to 12, with only one group in the shed at any one time.

Please assemble outside the loco shed door and await guide.

Tour lasts half an hour; please allow 10 mins. to walk to the shed prior to the tour and 10 mins. to walk back again.

Loco Shed Scene - Dennis Wilcock


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.

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Q class 30541

Andrew Morley : February 3, 2017 4:00 pm : Main Line

Q class returns home.

On 4th & 5th February visiting Q class 30541 hauled its final trains at GCR before returning home to the Bluebell Railway.

We have two locos in steam at weekends throughout February. Our regular timetable is available here.



30541 appeared courtesy of the Bluebell Railway. Photograph of 30541 double-heading with 777 by Joe Connell.

All locomotives and attractions appear subject to availability.

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HRH The Prince of Wales visits Mountsorrel

Andrew Morley : January 26, 2017 11:36 am : Main Line, Main Line Xtra

H.R.H. The Prince of Wales visited the Mountsorrel Branch on Wednesday 25th January.

3F 47406 awaits the arrival of The Prince of Wales at Mountsorrel Station

3F 47406 awaits the arrival of The Prince of Wales at Mountsorrel Station

The Prince was visiting the Mountsorrel & Rothley Community Heritage Centre, and during his visit travelled on the footplate of 47406 from Mountsorrel to Nunckley Hill before taking a tour of the Heritage Centre and nature trail. Finally, Prince Charles unveiled a plaque to mark the work of volunteers who have restored the branch. Centre director Steve Cramp said the visit was a “marvellous advert for the volunteers efforts.

A more detailed report of the Royal visit will be published in the near future.

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08907 joins the GCR loco fleet

Andrew Morley : November 28, 2016 10:24 pm : Main Line, Main Line Xtra

08907 arrives at Quorn & Woodhouse

Class 08 diesel shunter 08907 arrives by road at Quorn & Woodhouse from Bescot TMD on 28th November 2016. Photo: GCR.

A new addition to the GCR locomotive fleet arrived at Quorn & Woodhouse on Monday 28th November.

Class 08 diesel shunter 08907 has been purchased by the railway from major freight operator DB Cargo after a number of the class were offered for sale after serving in significant numbers on the national network since the 1960s.

Built in 1962 at Horwich Works and originally numbered D4137, the loco saw service in various yards around the country including spells at Burton, Leicester Midland, and Holyhead.

Renumbered 08907 in the 1970s, the locomotive was in service until recently at Bescot TMD in the West Midlands. Having now arrived at GCR the loco will receive some work to re-commission its vacuum braking system which was isolated some years ago and will then enter regular service based at Loughborough.

Shunting operations are vital to the flexibility of the railway in providing a much varied range of services from day to day.

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Museum – Winning Design Revealed!

GCR Admin : October 27, 2016 7:51 am : Main Line, Main Line Xtra


Model of the winning design from Wilkinson Eyre - Click the image to enlarge.

Model of the winning design from WilkinsonEyre – Click the image to enlarge.

WilkinsonEyre design will host unique collection of locomotives at the Great Central Railway

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) supported project to develop a brand new railway museum in Leicester has taken a leap forward with the announcement of the winning architects design.

WilkinsonEyre’s striking design was chosen from a shortlist of six candidates following extensive public consultation in early October 2016.

The exciting new museum, made possible thanks to National Lottery players, is a partnership between the award winning Great Central Railway, Leicester City Council and the York based National Railway Museum. It will house significant locomotives from the national collection, bringing them closer to the heart of the country than ever before. They will sit right alongside the heritage railways terminus at Leicester North station.

Andy Munro the Chief Executive of the Great Central Railway said, “This will be a museum for the whole of the city and the county and it was vital we consulted as widely as possible before choosing the winning design. There were several key factors to consider; would the new building be the right environment for the intended displays, was it iconic enough considering where it will sit on the city skyline and of course, does it fit with the projects budget? The museum team were set a hard task by such a high standard of shortlisted schemes, but we’re confident we have chosen the right one.

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

The WilkinsonEyre design will see three two storey exhibition halls constructed alongside Leicester North station. A glass wall will allow visitors arriving by train to see into the museum and vice versa. The choice of this design also allows the Great Central to retain the existing railway station building and platform, which volunteers had campaigned for, while allowing for future expansion. It will also mean the project budget can be concentrated on the exhibitions and their educational benefits, rather than remodelling the station area.

Paul Kirkman, Director of the National Railway Museum commented “We have a number of irreplaceable locomotives which will go on display within the museum. Famous names like ‘Green Arrow’ and ‘Butler Henderson’ deserve to be shown off in a building that is just as iconic, but crucially has to be able to protect the exhibits too. The Wilkinson Eyre design provides the optimum conditions to display these important items from the National Collection within a building of stunning visual presence.

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

Aerial view of the winning design – Click on image to enlarge

Chris Wilkinson of Wilkinson Eyre said “We are delighted to have won this project in such a strong competition and we are looking forward to progressing the design which will be a great asset for Leicester.

Andy Munro concluded “We are looking forward to working with Wilkinson Eyre and our partners to help realise our vision for the museum.  This is an important project for the Great Central Railway and represents a new chapter in the 50 year life of the railway.  It will help us to further the preservation of the heritage of the GCR whilst at the same time create a new tourist attraction in Leicester, contributing to the on-going regeneration of the City.  It is also a tribute to the Heritage Lottery Fund who have worked with us and helped us get to this significant milestone.

In 2015, the Great Central Railway secured a first round pass from the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of a £10m grant allocation to build a museum which will house locomotives, carriages and other significant items from the National 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.

Plan of the museum layout in the winning design showing both stories - Click image to enlarge

Plan of the museum layout in the winning design showing both storeys (this image goes not show a second platform)- Click image to enlarge

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Annual General Meeting, 25th June

Richard Patching : May 3, 2016 11:34 am : Main Line

The Great Central Railway PLC’s annual general meeting will be held at Lovatt House, 3 Wharncliffe Road, Loughborough, Leics., LE11 1SL on Saturday 25th June 2016 at 10.30am (doors open from 10am)

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