Main Line On Line

Last call for Christmas orders for Autumn Gala DVD

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

Our spectacular Autumn Gala highlights DVD is flying off the shelves. 200 have already been sold – if you’ve ordered your copy via the flyer in the December 1st edition of Main Line, then all orders received before 11th December have already been processed and should be with you by the middle of next week.

The DVD costs just £20, with every penny going to the Bridge to the Future appeal. If you’re still hoping for a copy before Christmas drop an email to immediately.


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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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Book now for our award winning Santa Express

Kate Tilley : December 1, 2014 9:07 am : Main Line, News Banner


It’s pure festive magic!  Yule love a trip on our award winning Santa trains.  Meet Santa on a steam train as he hands out presents to the children and the adults aren’t left out too – there’s festive refreshments for them.  Don’t miss a wonderful start to the season.  For more information and to book your seats, visit the event page

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GCR Volunteer Coordinator – Vacancy

Andrew Morley : November 28, 2014 2:51 pm : Main Line

The GCR is advertising the position of Volunteer Coordinator.

Please click here for the job advertisement.

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Tom Ingall : November 28, 2014 10:46 am : Main Line, News Banner


Success would kick start a development with an estimated worth to the local economy of £43m Night view of proposed rail museum (c) Purcell

The Great Central Railway has resubmitted a bid for ten million pounds to the Heritage Lottery Fund to create a world class museum in Leicester. Working in partnership with Leicester City Council and the National Railway Museum in York, the railway plans to open the new attraction at its terminus at Leicester North in 2019.

The new museum will be filled with priceless locomotives and hundreds of artefacts from the national collection, illustrating the story of how railways helped Leicester thrive and changed the lives of the people who call it home. Managing Director of the Great Central Railway Bill Ford said, “We had some really constructive feedback from the Heritage Lottery Fund Trustees following our last bid and we are confident we have made this visionary project even better! Not only will the museum help people reconnect with their railway story, sitting right alongside our thriving heritage line it will be a unique attraction. We’re confident tens of thousands of people will visit every year.”

Work is already underway with local schools and community groups to ensure the project engages with everyone across the city and captures railway memories that might otherwise be lost.

300 short-term construction jobs will be created while the museum is built and 9 full-time posts once open. As part of the bid process an economic impact study has been carried out which demonstrates the museum and railway will be worth

£43million for the local economy over five years. In turn this additional spending could create more than 900 jobs in the area.

Annual visitor figures for the railway and museum combined are expected to reach around 230,000. The total cost of the project is expected to be around £16 million. £6 million of match funding would be required alongside the lottery grant.

City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said: “This is a really exciting opportunity to create a railway experience of national standing in Leicester. The museum will house items which are of both national importance and local interest, complementing the nearby National Space Centre and Abbey Pumping Station and helping to enhance the city’s reputation as an important visitor destination.

It will also create hundreds of new jobs, both during construction and on opening, while providing training opportunities in the rail industry for dozens of young people. We’re fully committed to this project and will be working with the Great Central Railway to help them deliver this ambitious scheme.”

A striking building is planned to sit right alongside the Great Central Railway’s Leicester North station, close to the Greenacres centre. Uniquely, steam hauled passenger trains will arrive right alongside the exhibition halls giving the displays a vibrant context. With the completion of the separate GCR reunification project, it will be easily accessible from the national railway network.

The museum will be connected to the running lines to allow displays to be changed, locomotives and carriages moved and even operated over the tracks of the Great Central. Star exhibits will include V2 class steam locomotive ‘Green Arrow’ and the sole surviving GCR passenger engine “Butler Henderson” A stylish wooden carriage which is more than a century old will be actively restored in front of visitors demonstrating the craft skills necessary to keep Britain’s railway heritage alive.

The Director of the National Railway Museum is Paul Kirkman. “We’re delighted to be part of this project. Leicester had one of the world’s earliest railways,” he said. “It was also a hub of the Midland line. When the GCR opened in 1899 it was a key calling point on the high speed railway of the time. We want to put key parts of the national collection on display at the heart of the country for the first time, but just as important we hope to inspire a new generation to get involved in our nations railway story.”

As part of the bid a full programme of educational activities has been devised. “We already welcome visitors from around the county and country but the museum will help us achieve so much more for Leicestershire. It will be a living experience telling relevant stories, which are interpreted in the ultimate way, with a ride on a steam train! We hope the whole city will get behind the bid.”

Green Arrow on display (c) Event communication Ltd copy

The project partners will learn if they’ve been successful in Spring 2015. Initially a small grant will be released allowing the plans to be developed further. A successful second round application would see the full grant unlocked with the museum expected to be open around Summer 2019.


Museum project questions and answers Dec 2014

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Kate Tilley : November 21, 2014 11:55 am : Main Line

Please note; our Santa trains are fully booked on the first weekend – 29th & 30th November.  Therefore, there will be no tickets available on the day

To view our other available services, please follow the link:


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Layouts & traders announced for GCR’s Model Event

Kate Tilley : November 18, 2014 12:40 pm : Main Line, News Banner

Over 55 layouts and over 25 traders have now been announced for GCR’s 2015 Model Event


Exhibitors and traders will be in the main event arena – the 37,000 sq ft exhibition hall at Quorn & Woodhouse station, which will house some of the best layouts the hobby has to offer, as well as the industry’s premier suppliers.

To find out more about the event, just follow the link: THE MODEL EVENT

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