Main Line On Line

Extra steam this weekend 23rd/24th September

Andrew Morley : September 21, 2017 5:40 am : Main Line, Main Line Xtra, News Banner

Over the weekend of 23rd and 24th September there are extra opportunities to travel behind a steam locomotive…

Two extra services, the 9:30am and 11:00am departures from Loughborough (usually worked by a diesel locomotive) will be steam-hauled this weekend.


Locomotives (expected line-up):

6990 Witherslack Hall 9F 92214 Leicester City
6990 “Witherslack Hall” 9F 92214 “Leicester City”
Class 25 D5185 (14:30 service from Loughborough on Saturday and Sunday)  


Our normal fares apply this weekend.

Our best value “off peak” day fares from Loughborough Central are shown below. Similar fares are applicable from our other stations.

£ Adult Child Senior
Day runabout (see Notes 1 & 2) £16.00 £9.00 £14.00
Day return Quorn £6.00 £3.00
.. .. Rothley £10.00 £6.00
.. .. Leicester (see Notes 1 & 2) £13.00 £7.00
Single Quorn £3.00 £2.00
.. Rothley £6.00 £3.00
.. Leicester £9.00 £5.00
Family runabout (1A + 3C) (see Notes 1 & 2) £25.00
Family runabout (2A + 3C) (see Notes 1 & 2) £35.00


1. Day returns to Leicester at £13 adults (no senior concession) and children £7 are available after 2.30 pm. These tickets can be used as runabouts, without restriction.

2. Registered disabled visitors are charged at the concessionary senior fare; an accompanying registered carer is offered a free complimentary fare.

3. Friends of Great Central Main Line members are entitled (upon production of current valid membership card) to reduced Privilege runabout fares of £9 (£5 child).

4. The above fares structure may be suspended for special events.

5. Children’s fares apply to those aged between 5-15; children under age 5 travel free (except at certain special events).

7. Senior fares apply to visitors who are age 65 or over.

8. Dogs, cycles and large items of luggage are a flat fare of £2.

9. Students (on production of a valid NUS card) may claim any concessionary fare applicable to seniors.

10. For visitors with Heritage Railway Association passes, Privilege rate fares apply as per Note 3. above (on production of a valid membership card); this concession will NOT apply for certain special event days.

11. Our standard adult runabout fare (valid on all advertised services with standard class accommodation, except reservation only services (including Santa trains)) is £36 – this is valid for use on one day only during the 31 days from date of issue.

For fares for Group Bookings please contact the Booking Office on 01509 632 323

For a full list of our conditions of carriage, click here

While every effort will be made to maintain services, we do not guarantee that trains will arrive/ depart at the times stated. We reserve the right to alter or suspend any train or attraction without notice. No liability for any loss, inconvenience or delay can be accepted.
All railway locomotives release, on occasions, oily deposits into the atmosphere, including cinders from steam locos. We regret that we cannot take responsibility for damage to visitors’ clothing, vehicles or other personal belongings caused by these occurrences.

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Flying Scotsman steams through Loughborough

Andrew Morley : September 15, 2017 3:32 pm : Main Line, Main Line Xtra

World-famous steam locomotive Flying Scotsman hauled a main line railtour “The Cathedrals Express” through Loughborough early this afternoon, passing under the GCR’s new bridge.

60103 has passed the site recently during the construction of the abutments and a small crowd gathered on the A60 road bridge to witness the recently restored loco pass by.

The charter had left London Victoria at 08:43 on route to York with a booked arrival time of 15:52.

We look forward in years to come to GCR trains passing over the completed bridge which will eventually provide us with a connection to the national network.

The bridge over the Midland Main Line is the first major milestone in achieving our long term goal of an 18-mile heritage railway. See for more details on the project.


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Bridge installation takes place!

Andrew Morley : September 3, 2017 7:13 am : Main Line, Main Line Xtra

With a crowd looking on, the GCR’s new bridge across the Midland Main Line has taken a major step forward with the two main beams being successfully lowered into place in the early hours of Sunday 3rd September 2017.

A more detailed account of events is available at

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Weekend Shed Tours Saturday 9 & Sunday 10 September

Richard Patching : September 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, 9 and Sunday, 10 September

Tour times are at: 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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Bridging the Gap – Press Release

GCR Admin : August 28, 2017 10:00 am : Main Line, Main Line Xtra

Great Central Railway ‘Bridging the Gap’

Bridge Installation

Saturday 2nd Sept 2017

Overnight – From 23.00 hrs – 07.00 hrs

Update: The timings for the first lift are subject to change but currently expected to be around 00:30.


Press Release 

It will be a night to remember! The Great Central Railway’s long held ambition to reunite two halves of the line will take a huge step forward with the installation of a key bridge in Loughborough. On the night of Saturday 2nd September, in a moment rail enthusiasts have campaigned decades to see, a 1000 tonne crane will install the new steel bridge deck across two concrete abutments.

The new bridge will one day carry Great Central Railway heritage trains over the tracks of the Midland Main Line below. As one of the most ambitious civil engineering projects undertaken by a heritage railway, ‘Bridging the Gap’ will reinstate approximately 500 metres of missing embankment, track and bridges – all of which were removed after the Great Central Railway was closed as part of a major rationalisation of the railway network by the Government of the day.

When the whole project is complete it will create an eighteen mile heritage railway stretching across the East Midlands which will create jobs and drive regeneration through tourism.

GCR’s CEO, Richard Patching stated ‘This is an exciting night for the Great Central Railway. For over 40 years, our supporters and friends have dreamt of work starting on the reunification of the line.  We hope to continue raising funds to complete the project and finally join the two railways.  We would like to thank our many supporters who have enabled us to get to this stage’.  Phil Stanway, Director of GCRN added’ As this first phase of the reunification project reaches an exciting climax, what was once deemed nothing more than a dream moves one step closer.  The bridge installation is testimony to all who have contributed so far’.

The operation to lower the bridge deck into place will start as soon as possession of the Midland Main Line is granted by Network Rail at approximately 23.00 hrs and work will continue throughout the night to be completed by 07.00 hrs when the trains start operating again on the Midland Mainline.

The project is managed by FJD Construction on behalf of GCR and work has taken place in collaboration with Network Rail who have supported the project and monitored the work to ensure there is no disruption to the main line operation. Contractors MPB have been on site since February 2017 constructing the abutments and preparing the site for this historic event.

Meanwhile Moore Steel of Peterborough have manufactured the bridge deck and will deliver the sections to site shortly before the installation work starts.

The crane arrived on site on 24th August, transported in sections and assembled on site in preparation for the bridge installation.

Rob McIntosh Route Director of Network Rail said ‘We are delighted to be supporting GCR with this exciting and ambitious project which will provide a real boost to tourism for the region.”

At a cost of £2.5m, this element of the ‘Bridging the Gap’ project is the most complex and has taken a number of years to complete, with funding provided through a combination of donations from GCR and GCRN supporters, a £1m grant from the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership and £250,000 worth of shares purchased by Leicestershire County Council. Nick Pulley, Chair of the LLEP said, ‘The LLEP Growth Deal has been extremely successful for the Leicester and Leicestershire area and we are really excited by this unique project which supports the creation of an 18 mile mainline railway from Leicester to Ruddington (Nottingham South).  The GCR project will open up significant commercial and tourism opportunities to increase visitors by 60,000 per year.  In fact, this is the biggest investment in a heritage railway in the UK’.


Supporters who are intending to view the installation works should please view our Bridge Installation Safety Notes.


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Bridge to the Future – Crane assembly begins

Andrew Morley : August 25, 2017 2:13 pm : Main Line, Main Line Xtra

The 1,000 Tonne crane which will be used to lift the deck of our new bridge across the Midland Main Line into place is now arriving at the construction site in sections.

The bridge deck is being fabricated off-site and is expected to be lifted into place when the Midland Main Line is closed to traffic.

For the latest updates see

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Class 26 Driving Experience

Andrew Morley : August 21, 2017 6:20 pm : Main Line

Make a childhood dream come true!

Visiting Class 26 D5343 is available for Driver Experience on Monday 11th and Tuesday 12th September 2017.

Take control of D5343, visiting GCR courtesy of the Cotswold Mainline Diesel Group for a total of 32 miles with a rake of carriages on our double track railway.

For just £475, this is a unique opportunity to drive a visiting locomotive saving almost 15% off the standard Notch 2 price is too good to miss.

With only 4 places available, book now to avoid disappointment!






Class 26 Driving Experience £475 – September 2017


  • Welcome Briefing, including free tea/coffee for guests
  • Introductory DVD
  • Two return trips both with carriages, driving a main line diesel loco.
  • Lunch for the Driver
  • Guided tour of Loco works
  • Visit to signal box
  • Free train ticket for 2 guests
  • Presentation Certificate
  • 12 months free membership of Friends of the Great Central Mainline
  • Free “Through the Window” guide



Please call 01509 632323 (9am to 5pm) to make your booking.


Diesel Gala:

Class 26 D5343 is visiting GCR for our Diesel Gala on 9th/10th September. Click here for details.



“Locomotive Driving” – Booking Conditions 

Following receipt of the voucher, the holder should contact the Booking Office on 01509 632323 for a range of dates upon which the chosen package may be booked; once the date has been agreed, this is treated as a firm booking.

  • All bookings are made in accordance with the Company’s Conditions of Carriage and the special condition that the Company reserves the right to cancel, amend or alter any service offered and that no refunds will be provided where an alternative or amended service has been offered.
  • Participants must be over 18 years of age and be physically and mentally fit with reasonable hearing and vision. In particular participants must be capable of climbing up and descending the vertical steps between the footplate of the locomotive and ground level (approximately 6’).
  • The Company reserves the right to refuse access onto locomotives to anyone who appears to be unfit to operate them. This includes anyone who appears to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Applicants need not have any previous locomotive driving experience.
  • All bookings should be accompanied by full payment or credit / debit card details.
  • If you are unsure whether the person for whom the booking is intended can meet all of these conditions please call our booking office for advice before purchasing an experience.
  • Please make all cheques payable to Great Central Railway PLC.


A full refund will only be offered up to 14 days from the date of purchase subject to a £20.00 administration fee. Thereafter refunds will only be considered in exceptional and unforeseen cases where, for instance, the recipient has suffered serious injury or illness within the unexpired term of the voucher and in the opinion of the Company would be unable to undertake the experience.


The following fee will be payable upon change of date or cancellation:-

  • Within 2 weeks of booked date 20% of purchase price
  • Between 2 weeks and 6 weeks 10% of purchase price
  • Failure to turn up on the day without prior notification will result in the voucher being considered redeemed.


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Annual General Meeting, Saturday, 29th July

Richard Patching : July 3, 2017 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 29th July 2017 at 10.30am (doors open from 10am).

This will be followed at approximately midday by the annual general meeting of Friends of Great Central Main Line.

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Our next running day

This Weekend
Two steam locomotives and one diesel loco in service this weekend.

9F 92214 "Leicester City" 6990 "Witherslack Hall"
Sulzer Type 2 D5185

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