Main Line On Line

Swapmeet Switch!

Kate Tilley : April 14, 2015 12:28 pm : Main Line

But historic Railway-ana event remains at Quorn 

The Great Central Railway are pleased to announce that as from 2016 they will take over the running of the ever popular Quorn Railwayana swapmeet.  The event, which has been running continuously for the last 30 years, is the oldest event in the railwayana calendar. 

Bob Withers, event organiser said ‘I have run the event for the last 30 years and I now feel the time is right to hand over to the GCR. I’ve loved working with the railway, but times have changed since losing my wife two years ago.  It’s time for me to hand the event over – it’s never been quite the same since Dilys passed away but I have every confidence GCR will live up to everyone’s expectations.’

The success of the event with its central location and live steam as a backdrop has been built on its simplicity; everybody attending pays a flat rate whether they are buying, selling or just looking.  Great Central Railway have agreed with Bob that they will not make any changes to the event’s successful format in the immediate future.

Michael Stokes from the GCR’s Event Department, who is taking over the event said ‘The swapmeet will complement the many other events arranged for the railway enthusiasts, we are very much looking forward to taking over from Bob, but we realise we’ve a hard act to follow!  Bob is very well respected within the railway and the hobby, but we’re positive we’ll still see him browsing the stalls’

September this year will be the last event under Bob’s stewardship ‘I hope to see many old friends and faces from the last 30 years’ Bob said. ‘It’s ironic that being a collector of Leicestershire totems I have virtually a complete set apart from Quorn and Woodhouse which is my Holy Grail’ he concluded.

If you are not familiar with the event, it is run on a car boot style and takes place at Quorn & Woodhouse station yard three times a year. The next event takes place on Sunday 31st May.



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Week-end Shed Tours 11th & 12th April

Paul Taylor : April 9, 2015 9:00 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 April.

Tour times are at 10 30, 11 00, 11 30,  12 00, 12 30;    13 30,14 00, 14 30, 15 00, 15 30, 16.00 (Sat only), 16.30 (Sat only).

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

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.   Illustrated Shed Guidebook available for £3, only from your Guide – a unique ‘Boscastle’ publication.

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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‘Evening Star’ takes to the rails again alongside 6960

Kate Tilley : April 7, 2015 8:22 am : Main Line, News Banner

‘Railways at Work’ weekend sees 9F locomotive, No.92214 swapping identities to bring a national treasure to life and will be the star at our brand new event!  Joining the two day gala are 6 further locos!  Special visiting loco 6960 Raveningham Hall, 78019 on a last gala outing before her boiler ticket expires, 48624 in new black livery, Black 5 45305, 47406 & 46521.

92220_EVENING_STAR_at_Bolton_Percy (3)

For more information, visit the event page

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Real Ale Train – Sat 16th May

Kate Tilley : April 6, 2015 6:36 pm : Main Line, News Banner

ALEWAY web banner

Real Ale on the Move! Enjoy ale on the rails as a steam loco does two return trips along the line.  We will be serving at least 6 different beers from local breweries…Nottingham Brewery, Milestone Brewery and The Naked Brewer. The train will be departing at 18.15

To find out more, visit the event page

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Grand Spring Raffle 2015 – dozens of great prizes!

Dennis Wilcock : April 5, 2015 6:50 pm : Main Line, News Banner

The David Clarke Railway Trust annual Grand Spring Draw administered by Friends of the Great Central Main Line will this year support the Bridge to the Future Appeal and the restoration of Southern Railway West Country Pacific No.34039 “Boscastle”. By early April £5000 has been raised.34039-300x236

Both are projects of great importance to the Great Central Railway. Wouldn’t it be ideal if the first locomotive to cross the new bridge over the Midland Main Line was none other than No.34039 the first main line steam locomotive to arrive on the preserved GCR way back in January, 1973.

Members of Friends will have received their raffle tickets with the posting of Main Line No.162. All members are urged to support the raffle that will benefit two such deserving causes. The draw will take place on Loughborough Central station at 4pm on Sunday 14th June.

Send your sold stubs by 10th June to Andy Fillingham, Spinney Close, Main Street, Kibworth Harcourt, Leicester LE8 0NQ. If you’d like to buy some more please contact Andy at the same address.

  • There are a large number of prizes as follows:
  • An East Midlands Trains Cab Ride along the Midland Main Line to London
    Two First Class Tickets for any Railway Touring Company of Great Britain Rail Tour
    Complimentary overnight stay including breakfast and a bottle of wine at The Sheffield Metropolitan Hotel
    Pair of East Midlands Trains First Class tickets on a route of your choice
    A GCR Bronze Footplate experience
    Two pairs of Lunch for Two on a GCR Dining Service including a bottle of wine
    A footplate ride on a GCR locomotive between Loughborough Central and Leicester North
    Visit to Taylor’s Bell Foundry for a family of four
    Eight individual prizes of a bottle of whiskey including Bushmills, Glenlivet and Black Label
    A Boscastle one pint Tankard
    One 1000 piece jigsaw of Kings of the Road depicting a painting by Malcolm Root, Fellow of the Guild of Railway Artists
    One framed print of 9F No.92212
    Bottle of Champagne and a box of chocolates
    One Amazon Gift Card for £25
    One Waterstones Gift Voucher for £20
    One Boots Gift Voucher for £25
    One GCR Gift Token for £30
    One supermarket Gift Voucher for £25
    Various Railway Books

The draw will take place at Loughborough Central at 4pm on Sunday 14th June, 2015

The raffle tickets have been included in the posting of Main Line No.162

Ticket stubs should be sent to and more tickets obtained from
Draw Promoter: Andy Fillingham, Spinney Close, Main Street, Kibworth Harcourt, Leicester, LE8 0NQ

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Money Match March – THANK YOU

Tom Ingall : April 4, 2015 9:46 am : Main Line

Thermometer copy

Our Money Match March promotion for the Bridge to the Future Appeal concluded on Good Friday, 3rd April 2015.

Quite simply, your response was incredible and humbling. Between March 1st and April 3rd, you gave £55,000. This exceeded the initial £50,000 match offer. However, we were able to keep matching the funds coming in pound for pound. In other words, in a relatively short period of time we added £55,000 plus £55,000 to our appeal total. It now stands at £860,000! 

With money from Friends Raffle Tickets also arriving daily, plus sales of Autumn Gala DVDs the total continues to move up. Also, some gift aid will be claimable from the government on the recently donated funds and the match money, so the actual picture is even better! We’ll add the gift aid onto our total when it has been safely banked.

Once again, thank you for your response, which came from all over the country. We have tried to contact as many donors as possible individually but with the number of letters and online gifts made being overwhelming we haven’t been able to reach everybody. Please accept our gratitude.

We really are closing in on the one million pound appeal target and the next totaliser update will be published in the June 1st 2015 Main Line

Read about the latest progress with the reunification project

More about the programme involving local schools with the project



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Last few copies of Autumn Gala DVD now at the emporium

Tom Ingall : March 28, 2015 7:48 am : Main Line

Updated 28th March 2015

There are very few copies of the 2014 Autumn Gala DVD still available. The two hour film centred on Quorn and Woodhouse, has proved so popular we had to order more – and these have been quickly snapped up too.

It’s back in stock at the Loughborough Central station emporium (open at weekends and other main running days).

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


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Great Central Railway Launches ‘Raleway Ale’

Kate Tilley : March 25, 2015 3:26 pm : Main Line


There has been a plan brewing at Great Central Railway during the past few weeks. The busy little bees at Nottingham Brewery, with equal measures of cask-conditioned passion for real ale and years of brewing expertise, have been a hive of activity, producing an amber-nectar especially for GCR. If all goes to plan with the up-coming sampling, the ‘Raleway Ale’ will be available to purchase by all those who are over 18 in the Tin Shed bar at Quorn over the Easter Vintage Festival weekend. Special thanks also to Leigh Spencer for his design work on the pump clip. Cin Cin!

Keg Cam’ manages to get a prime shot of Mr Landon relaxing in his natural habitat. Not in the least a rare sight, but one of comforting familiarity for those who know Paul.

Keg Cam’ manages to get a prime shot of Mr Landon relaxing in his natural habitat. Not in the least a rare sight, but one of comforting familiarity for those who know Paul.

Friday 3rd April, the Tin Shed will be open from 12 noon until 11pm. The Roosters will be playing in the evening to serenade you through your first taste of the final draft of the Raleway Ale. The bar will open again on Saturday 4th, Sunday 5th and Monday 6th April. Plenty of time to make up your mind about the new brew.

Tasting note, for all you real ale fans…

“Pale amber in colour, with an exceptional hop/malt balance, giving an easy-drinking, refreshing pint.” 4.3% ABV

Still need convincing? With 10p from every pint sold going towards the bridge fund, you can enhance your loyalty to GCR whilst supping in the bar!

‘Raleway Ale’ will be available after GCR’s Easter Vintage Festival at all quality real ale houses across Nottingham & Leicester for 6 weeks or so after Easter.

Cheers to all…’ll be hopping mad if you miss it….


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