Main Line On Line

Pirates & Princesses – Sat 27th & Sun 28th Sept

Kate Tilley : September 22, 2014 9:12 am : Main Line, News Banner

web banner

Meet Great Central Railway’s pirates and princesses and why not dress up as your favourite pirate or princess!  For more information and to book on line, please visit our event page

Comments are closed

Real Ale Train – Sat 18th October

Kate Tilley : September 22, 2014 9:00 am : Main Line, News Banner

ALEWAY web banner

Back by popular demand!  The Great Central Raleway’s real ale train returns on Saturday 18th October.  Enjoy a beer on the move, to find out more, visit the event page

Comments are closed

Griddle car changes this weekend

Andrew Morley : September 17, 2014 8:35 am : Main Line

Unfortunately due to essential repairs, our Griddle Car will not be operating this weekend 19th-21st September, Wednesday 24th  September, or on Saturday and Sunday 27th-28th September.

Consequently our all-day breakfast and other refreshments will not be available on-board trains during this period, but instead why not dine at one of our cafes along the line?

A comprehensive menu is available at the Loughborough Refreshment Room, Butler Henderson at Quorn, Ellis Tearoom at Rothley, and the Platform Café at Leicester North.

We apologise for any inconvenience that this temporary change may cause.

Comments are closed

Reunification: Canal bridge survey takes place

Tom Ingall : September 1, 2014 12:05 pm : Main Line, News Banner

George Probert of the Exeter office of XEIAD measures the central deck divider on the canal bridge 080714 (c) Tom Ingall




Survey work has taken place on a disused Victorian bridge over the Grand Union canal in Loughborough as the Great Central Railway steps up its reunification project. XEIAD, a specialist civil engineering consultancy examined the bridge, which dates from the late 1890s, to determine how much work will be required before it can carry steam trains again.

The Great Central Railway is planning to reunite two sections of the former Main Line to create an eighteen mile heritage line between Nottingham and Leicester. Already the two halves of the railway are working in partnership with Network Rail to build a new bridge across the Midland Main Line, which is the key component of the missing 500 metres of track that needs to be rebuilt.


With the recent announcement of two grants of half a million pounds from the Government’s Local Growth Fund, the GCR is now accelerating its plans to reunify the railways. Attention is now turning to other parts of the project including the repairs to the canal bridge. Unlike the bridge over the Midland Line it wasn’t demolished after the closure of the railway but it is in a state of disrepair. XEIAD sponsored the survey providing two its of trained engineers for two days, work which would have otherwise cost tens of thousands of pounds. Besides measuring and photographing the structure they were also able to use a pontoon on the canal to examine the underside of the bridge decks in detail.

Bill Ford, the Managing Director of the Great Central Railway said, “We are extremely grateful to XEIAD. Their professional team have kick started the next phase of our exciting reunification project. The report they produce will help us draw up detailed plans to repair the bridge which in turn will allow us to cost the work and most importantly, get it underway! In years to come our heritage trains will make a fine site crossing the bridge.”

Olivier Garrigue, Chief Executive Officer of XEIAD said XEIAD are delighted to be among the many partners who actively support the redevelopment of the Great Central Railway project. We recently had the opportunity to inspect and assess the condition of the Canal Bridge and will continue to contribute in all ways we can. We found that the elements of the structure we inspected ranged from a fair condition to some requiring repairs but nothing that cannot be achieved if we all pull together.”

 The reunification project is expected to cost six and a half million pounds. Besides the award from the Local Growth Fund, the GCR is currently raising one million pounds to build the new bridge across the Midland Main Line with Network Rail. The work must be completed before the Midland line is electrified. Five hundred and ninety thousand pounds has now been raised.

Bill continued, “The reunification project is really gathering pace. We must now raise the remaining money to complete the construction of the Main Line bridge. Our Local Growth Fund grant can’t be spent on that part of the project. Thankfully railway enthusiasts across the country and the local community has been very generous and we hope that will continue. Then we look forward to making rapid progress on the rest of the infrastructure required for the project.”

Trains could be running over the new link along the full length of the 18 mile railway within a few years subject to finance being available.

 To donate to the GCR Bridge appeal;

Send a cheque made payable to the David Clarke Railway Trust and marked ‘Bridge Appeal’ to Lovatt House, 3 Wharncliffe Road, Loughborough, Leics, LE11 1SL

Or donate on line using a credit or debit card at

More information:

XEIAD, formerly Bridgezone Limited, is a civil engineering consultancy specialising in difficult access. We are engineers with extensive experience in rope access, diving and confined spaces. We are also developing the use of Remotely Operated Aerial Vehicles (ROAVs) to complement our inspection procedures. We undertake a wide range of Inspections, Assessments, Surveys, Non-Destructive Testing & Intrusive Investigations, Design and Project Management. Our teams have a unique experience inspecting structures such as bridges, culverts, retaining walls, tunnels and shafts working across a wide range of industry sectors: We help asset owners and managers keep critical infrastructure safe, reduce risk and maintenance costs as well as extend asset life.

Comments are closed


Tom Ingall : August 30, 2014 12:34 pm : Main Line, News Banner

A stunning new calendar featuring 12 beautifully reproduced ‘Night Steam’ images from the GCR has just gone on sale. The photographs are incredible – the work of talented photographer Andrew Rapacz. It’s a whole new way to see the GCR – a splendid recreation of a Main Line at night. The front cover and image of GWR King, No 6023 King Edward II here are just examples, and can only hint at the high quality of the calendar.

Andrew has donated his time to compile the calendar himself. Friends of the Great Central Main Line have sponsored the printing costs. This collection can give you a whole year of pleasure for just £10. Even better, ALL the proceeds go directly to our Bridge to the Future appeal. Haven’t made a donation to our Bridge appeal yet? Or do you want to get your Christmas shopping started early? Head down to Loughborough station Emporium today. There is a strictly limited stock and once they are gone, they are gone. Don’t miss out on the talking point of your wall space for the next year!

The calendars are also available via mail order with an additional £4 payable for postage and packaging. Please email for details.

King imageFront cover

Comments are closed

66753 joins GCR instead of 66755

Kate Tilley : August 29, 2014 4:04 pm : Main Line

66753 replaces 66755 at our DIESEL GALA this weekend due to availability. This will be the loco’s first passenger workings!

Comments are closed

Online booking is now available for our Autumn gala – get discounted tickets!

Kate Tilley : August 29, 2014 8:27 am : Main Line

You can now get your tickets for our Autumn Steam Gala, 2nd – 5th October.  Get 10% off if you book before 20th September!

Topping the bill is D49 62712 “Morayshire” and BR Standard 4 76084 alongside seven of GCR’s home fleet.  For more information and to book, visit the event page

Comments are closed

Week-end Shed Tours 13th & 14th September

Paul Taylor : August 28, 2014 2:48 pm : 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 13th and Sunday 14th September.

Tour times are on the half-hour and on the hour from 10.30 am to 4.30 pm – except 1.00 pm (guides’ lunch break).   Party size is limited to 12, with only one group in the shed at any one time:  best chances are on the hour.

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.   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.

Comments are closed
« Page 1, 2, 3 ... 29 »



Main Line Xtra

If you are a Friend of the Great Central Railway, you can access Main Line Xtra which provides additional news, special offers and features. To access Main Line Xtra click here

Want to become a Friend? Join now by clicking here

Special Events

This is a selection of our special events, to see the full list, click here

Loco Roster

Services for Monday, 22nd September

No locomotives have been listed for today


Locomotive allocation subject to change at any time.
Last updated: 19th September 1:33PM

Donate to our charity

To donate to our charity, click the Donate button below

Donate to the Charity