Main Line On Line

1940s WARTIME WEEKEND – Fri 3rd to Sun 5th June

Kate Tilley : May 3, 2016 3:03 pm : Main Line, News Banner

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The 1940s are brought back life this June with an evocative commemoration of life in wartime Britain.

There’s Hurricane flypasts, a Spitfire aerial display and a remembrance poppy drop. Thrill to mock battles, live music and theatre- there’s more activities than ever before! Dance to the music of time gone by with live acts to entertain you throughout the weekend and join us for our Saturday Evening Dance.


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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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Bridge to the Future – Work begins on site!

Andrew Morley : February 12, 2016 6:00 pm : Main Line, News Banner

Bridge to the Future - Turf Cutting

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Great Central & More – Steam, Rail & Ale – Rail Holiday

Kate Tilley : February 3, 2016 1:21 pm : Main Line, Main Line Xtra

Our rail holiday partner, Railtrail Tours, have recently been awarded the 2015 British Travel Awards silver award in the category ‘Best Rail Holidays Company’

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Amongst their extensive programme of escorted rail holidays of the UK and Europe this one may be of particular interest to you as it includes our Model Railway event in June and much more! When booking any Railtrail Tour please state you saw the tour advertised at the Great Central Railway as the ‘Bridge Fund’ receives a welcome donation boost.

Thursday 16th June 2016 – 5 days – Fares from £499

A brilliant Steam, Rail & Ale tour timed to coincide with the huge Great Central Model Railway event plus steam on the Great Central North. Add in a private steam passenger and photo freight charter on the Foxfield Railway plus Marston’s Heritage brewery, the much loved Titanic brewery and a visit to England’s oldest inn, dating from 1189!


  • Great Central Day Rover pass
  • Admission to the GCR Model event at Quorn
  • Steam on GCR – Nottingham
  • Heritage bus rides
  • Tour of Marston’s brewery
  • Private passenger steam charter Foxfield Railway
  • Private photo steam charter of mineral train
  • Visit to Titanic brewery and taster
  • Farewell drink at ‘Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem’

The tour is based at the former Midland Railway Hotel in Derby and includes Half Board, rail travel from any station in the UK, and all excursions

The full tour programme can be viewed at

Copies of the 2016 Classic UK & European tours brochure are available at all stations. Whilst the Steam, Rail & Ale tours can be viewed on their website


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Reunification – latest Bridge Statement

Richard Patching : December 4, 2015 4:39 pm : Main Line, Main Line Xtra

Contact: Bill Ford – 07515 598329

Date:  Wednesday, 2nd December 2015



The recent delay and revised timescale of the electrification of the Midland Mainline has had an inevitable impact on the Bridging the Gap project in that the efficiency savings, which were originally anticipated as a result of contractors combining work on both projects, are now lost.

Following meetings with Network Rail in both Derby and London, GCR plc has decided, with the full cooperation of Network Rail, to take over the management of the total project to reunify the two sections of the GCR north and south of the Midland Mainline ‘gap’ at Loughborough. This includes replacing the missing bridge over the Midland Mainline.

GCR’s project managers, FJD, have now taken over the management of the entire project on GCR’S behalf and will continue to liaise with Network Rail to secure the required consents and collaboration.  The ‘pause’ has also given GCR the opportunity to review the MML bridge design and look at combining it with a new bridge over Railway Terrace together with the section crossing Preci Spark car park.  The two Reading bridge decks will be incorporated into this structure to save costs.

It is now anticipated that work on other sections of the Gap project will start in the spring with the restoration of the Canal bridge and preparation work on rebuilding the embankments.

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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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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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