Main Line On Line

Quorn & Woodhouse Station – Biffa Award

Kate Tilley : October 7, 2015 10:44 am : Main Line

Contact: Lili Tabiner, GCR 07939484516 /

Date: 07 October 2015


Biffa Award Award!


The David Clarke Railway Trust team are celebrating after a key restoration project picked up a national award. Biffa Award funded the renovation and interpretation of the station yard at Quorn and Woodhouse station, and has now declared it the top ‘Cultural Facility’ project.

The Coventry Transport museum was the setting for this year’s Biffa Award ceremony. The Biffa Award team were joined by nearly 80 people to help celebrate the incredible work projects across the country have done in ‘Building communities. Transforming lives.’

More than 240 eligible projects were whittled down to a shortlist of just 20 across the five categories: Community Buildings, Recreation, Small Grants, Cultural Facilities and Rebuilding Biodiversity, as well as an overall winner.

The restoration project at the Great Central Railway’s Quorn & Woodhouse Station won the Cultural Facilities prize.

Thanks to the grant of £46,416 from Biffa Award, Quorn & Woodhouse Goods Yard has been transformed to include features which recreate some of the facilities which would have been found in the days when the GCR was a Main Railway running to London Marylebone.

The project aimed to enhance the visitor experience, particularly for the younger generations, many of whom would never have seen a working goods yard in a typical rural railway station. A timber goods platform has been built which incorporates a cattle dock, where animals would have been kept prior to transportation and coal staithes erected to show how coal would have been stored ready to be loaded onto the tenders behind the locomotives.

The station stairs and roof have been authentically repaired and refurbished to address structural problems. A corrugated tin clad building (The Tin Shed) which dates from the opening of the railway in 1899 has been rescued from its dilapidated state, re-clad and refurbished to create a community meeting room.

The project was managed by two of the Great Central Railway’s long serving volunteers, Brian Screaton and Tom Chaplin who attended the award ceremony at Coventry Transport Museum on Thursday 1st October. (see picture above)

Bill Ford, Chairman of the David Clarke Railway Trust said, “We are delighted with this award which is a fitting tribute to the hard work of everyone who took part in the project. From the grant application, to the design, to managing the contractors who undertook the work it has been a real team effort. As we continue to develop the railway, unlocking the secrets of how and why the railways were built and how they served communities is really important and we are thrilled Biffa Award have funded and now recognised the work.”

The Great Central Railway is planning to build a new heritage railway museum at its Leicester North terminus and was recently granted a first round pass by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The improved facilities at Quorn and Woodhouse station yard will contribute to the concept of a working museum; whereby the railway and its out stations will demonstrate the everyday activities of a typical Victorian Railway


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Weekend Shed Tours 10th & 11th October

Paul Taylor : October 7, 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 10th and Sunday 11th October.

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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Vulcan Flypast on Sunday

Kate Tilley : October 5, 2015 11:14 am : Main Line

Surprise in the skies over Leicestershire on Sunday as the last air-worthy Vulcan bomber – on its way to Warwickshire – paused its progress to take a couple of laps around Swithland Reservoir, giving visitors an unexpected and almost private airshow!  We were unable to announce the event unfortunately – in fact any leakage would have prevented the display from happening all together.

4-10-15 Impossible Pictures dot com ! GW Vulcan-46521

Photo courtesy of Graham Wignall

Check out the footage below:



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Kate Tilley : September 16, 2015 12:37 pm : Main Line, News Banner


Tuesday 20th to Thursday 22nd October.  Meet your favourite Villains & Superheroes this half term along with some special Frozen guests….
To find out more, visit the event page


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HALLOWEEN STEAM & SCREAM – Saturday 31st October

Kate Tilley : September 15, 2015 11:16 am : Main Line, News Banner

Dare you ride our after dark ghost trains? Who knows what ghastly or ghoulish creatures you’ll meet on board…

Trains depart from Loughborough & Rothley for a fun night out for all the family

Join us as we take a ride into the unknown, with our Ghost Trains that go shunt in the night! We want to see lots of little witches, ghosts & ghouls, so don your best costume and join us for a THRILLING ride!

Halloween at Great Central Railway, Loughborough pictured (back left) Colin Smith,  (centre) Hilary Cooper, (back right)  Alex Pakes

Halloween at Great Central Railway, Loughborough pictured (back left) Colin Smith, (centre) Hilary Cooper, (back right) Alex Pakes

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2016 Night Steam Calendar available at the emporium

Tom Ingall : September 12, 2015 10:08 am : Main Line

Hot off the press and straight into the Loughborough Central emporium. Last years GCR Night Steam Calendar sold out, raising thousands of pounds for the reunification appeal.

No surprise then- its back for 2016! A whole 12 months of evocative photography from the talented lens of Andrew Rapacz can be yours for just £10.

Once again thanks to the generous sponsorship of the Friends of the Greta Central Main Line, every penny will go to the reunification appeal. So get Christmas sorted today, support the appeal and get down to the emporium to grab your copy before they all go!

AND STOP PRESS – a handful of 2014 Autumn Steam Gala DVDs have been found and are now on sale at the emporium too. Previously thought to have sold out, this incredibly popular 2 hour film can be yours for just £10. Another great Christmas present, but again very limited stock!

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DMU service – Saturday 12th September

Andrew Morley : September 11, 2015 12:29 pm : Main Line

The DMU leaves the Mountsorrel branch and heads for the Up Loop 30 May 2012 © Steve TaylorWe regret that the 09:40 DMU service from Loughborough and 10:10 return journey from Leicester North on Saturday 12th Sept have been cancelled. We apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause.

The first departure from Loughborough is a steam-hauled service at 10am.

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BRIDGE NEWS – ‘pause’ of the electrification programme

Kate Tilley : August 17, 2015 2:21 pm : Main Line

GCR plc Website Statement 17 August 2015

GCR plc met with Network Rail on Friday 14th August to discuss the implication of the Government’s ‘pause’ of the electrification programme.

Currently Network Rail are examining the impact of the Government’s recent announcement and a nationwide review is underway. This is expected to report in September.

Meanwhile GCR plc is considering its options to ensure that the project stays on target. Furthermore Network Rail confirmed that they remain fully supportive of the Bridging the Gap project and are doing all in their power to ensure that the current pause on the electrification programme does not interfere with GCR plc’s original plans.

Part of Network Rail’s assessment will involve looking at which elements of their upgrade programme will still go ahead – such as bridge reconditioning work. However a timescale for this is not yet known.

Currently, GCR plc has been working hard with its Project Managers FJD to complete the preliminary surveys and studies on the rest of the 500 metre ‘Gap’ and if there are further delays on the MML bridge project, other elements of the scheme can be quickly brought forward. These include constructing the new embankment, refurbishing the Canal Bridge, building new abutments and installing one of our existing bridge decks over Railway Terrace.



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