Main Line On Line

See Chase & Marshall from PAW Patrol – Tues 18 to Thurs 20 October

Kate Tilley : September 21, 2016 9:39 am : Main Line, News Banner


Come and see PAW Patrol favourites Chase & Marshall this half term!  The heroic pups will be making personal appearances at Loughborough. There’s lots of fun for all the family with steam train trips, fun fair rides and why not get your face painted.   There will be photo opportunities, so don’t forget to bring your camera!

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Press Release – William Ford

Kate Tilley : September 1, 2016 10:28 am : Main Line, Main Line Xtra

Contact: Andy Munro – 07899 902832

Date: 01 September 2016


Over the past forty years the GCR team led for much of that time by Bill Ford have steered the Great Central Railway through some difficult and challenging times and the railway today is unrecognisable from the organisation which Bill inherited. It is a wonderful testament to all of our friends and supporters that the railway is, at last, in a position to progress both the project to install the Bridge over the Midland Mainline as well as a new National Railway Museum at the GCR’s Leicester North station.

Over the past two years discussion has focused on how to strengthen the Board of Directors to ensure that we have a greater level of experience at this critical time of expansion of the railway, and we have recently appointed four new non-executive directors and a new Chief Executive Officer to the Board.

For some time Bill has recognised the impact of running the railway has had on his health, and that as a youthful 78 year old a slight reduction in workload may be a good idea. Bill has therefore chosen to retire as Managing Director at the end of September 2016. The Board will continue to benefit from Bill’s skills and experience as Bill will oversee the many special projects which Bill wants to see completed as Director-Special Projects.

Speaking about his time at the GCR, Bill Ford said:

“I am proud to have been at the GCR for so many years during which time we have seen the GCR grow into one of the finest heritage railways in the UK. The re-erection of the bridge over the main line has been an ambition for over twenty years and I am delighted that it has finally been secured and the money raised on my watch. I am also very proud that the GCR has been awarded the largest Heritage Lottery Fund grant in Leicestershire’s history to build a new museum: the bridge and the museum will help to bring further success to the GCR”

Commenting on Bill’s new challenge, Michael Gregory, GCR President, said:

“There is no doubt in the minds of all the GCR staff and volunteers that without Bill’s energies and efforts the GCR would not be here today, let alone as strong, efficient and successful as it is. All at the GCR owe a huge debt to Bill. I look forward to working more closely with him to see these special projects which we have talked about for too long become successful additions to the GCR’s facilities.” 



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Ellis Tea Rooms will be closed on Thursday 25th August from 12 noon.

Kate Tilley : August 17, 2016 10:06 am : Main Line

Due to a private booking with Thomas Cook:

Ellis Tea Rooms will be closed on Thursday 25th August from 12 noon.


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Auction of Bachmann Train Packs

Dennis Wilcock : July 13, 2016 8:00 am : Main Line, Main Line Xtra

The auction has now been concluded and the successful bidders informed.

At the recent GCR Model Event at Quorn & Woodhouse Bachmann Europe made a very generous donation of two of their excellent high quality train packs to support the Reunification Project.

Friends has decided that the best way to utilise this generous donation is to auction the two packs on this page and put the proceeds to the DCRT Grand Summer Draw which is in aid of the Restoration of Bridge 331 over the Grand Union Canal north of the Locomotive Shed at Loughborough.

To make a bid email with your bid and name. Each pack has a reserve price. The latest bid will be posted here. The auction will be concluded at the end of July, 2016.

The two packs are as follows:

372-400 Box ArtworkGraham Farish N Gauge Train Pack

Longmoor Military Railway

The pack contains WD Austerity No.400 “Sir Guy Williams” and three LMR suburban coaches all in Longmoor Military Railway livery.

Retail Price: £139.95

Reserve Price: £70.00

Latest Bid: £80.00


30-525 Box Artwork

Bachmann Branch-Line OO Gauge Train Pack

The Shakespeare Express

The pack contains GWR Hall Class No.4965 “Rood Ashton Hall”, three Chocolate and Cream Coaches and an EFE Stratford Upon Avon open top tour bus.

Retail Price: £219.95

Reserve Price: £110.00

Latest Bid: £120.00

A chance to gain a bargain at the same time helping to progress Reunification! Happy bidding.

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DCRT Draw for Bridge 331

Dennis Wilcock : July 1, 2016 7:30 pm : Main Line, News Banner

Raffle Ticket - 2016The Annual Draw of The David Clarke Railway Trust this year is in aid of the restoration of Bridge 331 over the Grand Union Canal, part of the Reunification of the two halves of the Great Central Railway. Members of Friends will have already received their tickets in the posting of Main Line No.167. A range of spectacular prizes is on offer.

In the first week over £1000 has already been raised.

If you still have your tickets please return them ASAP with your contribution. If you want more tickets, or are not a member of Friends and want a book of tickets please contact the
DCRT Draw Promoter, Lovatt House, 3 Wharncliffe Road, Loughborough, LE11 1SL

30-525 Box Artwork


Members will also know that through the generosity of Bachmann Europe two excellent train packs are available for auction.

Just go to the members’ sign in page at

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Investment Gives Boost to the GCR’s Projects

Dennis Wilcock : June 20, 2016 5:52 pm : Main Line, Main Line Xtra, News Banner

Leicestershire County Council has announced an investment of £250,000 in one million shares in GCR plc. This gives a major boost to the Reunification project part of which is to Bridge the Gap across the Midland Main Line and to the new museum to be built at Leicester North.

The Press Release from the Council reads:


(a)       That the County Council continues to work in collaboration with the Great Central Railway (GCR) and other partners on highways and supporting infrastructure in order to facilitate the expansion of the GCR and maximise the resultant benefits for the local economy;

(b)       That £250,000 be allocated from the Council’s Economic Development earmarked funds to purchase one million shares in the Great Central Railway Plc.;

(c)       That surplus track and lineside infrastructure from the site of the former Snibston Discovery Museum be donated to GCR for use in the Heritage Railway Museum.


Loughborough is identified as a priority Growth Area within Leicester and Leicestershire’s Strategic Economic Plan, and supporting its wider growth is therefore a priority for the Council.

The County Council is working in partnership with GCR, Charnwood Borough Council and Leicester City Council to overcome associated structural, land and highway issues which will ultimately unlock the expansion of the site. When delivered, this major infrastructure development could double the annual visitor numbers to the surrounding area, provide increased employment opportunities (direct and indirect) and help to initiate the wider regeneration of East Loughborough Industrial Heritage Quarter.

The purchase of shares in GCR will help secure the successful implementation of the expansion proposals, in particular the ‘Bridging the Gap’ project, reaffirming the site as one of Leicestershire’s unique and leading tourism attractions.  It will also position all three local authorities (the County, City and Borough Councils) as comparable shareholders in the site.

Bill Ford, the GCR’s Managing Director said “The news of the further support from LCC on both our museum and Gap projects is very exciting.  It now means that we have all 3 councils very much in support of our future growth allied to the bridging the gap and museum concepts. With a partnership of the NRM in York and the ongoing support of the Science museum in London, we are on course to produce one of the most spectacular railway preservation projects anywhere in the world.

The East Midlands is not generally associated with tourism, but with excellent motorway, rail and air connections our being centrally placed brings in huge advantages to a relatively underdeveloped part of the UK.

We have transformed the financial base of GCR Plc in the last 9 years and are achieving the goals set at that stage.”


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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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New Bridge to the Future Web Page Published

Dennis Wilcock : April 26, 2016 8:45 am : Main Line

The Bridge to the Future web page has now been updated. It will carry all the latest news in relation to the project to re-unify the two halves of the Great Central Railway to create a 18 mile intercity steam operated heritage railway between the outskirts of Leicester and the outskirts of Nottingham.

You can access the pages through the Bridge to the Future logo on the GCR home page

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