Autumn Steam Gala – Thurs 3rd to Sun 6th October 2019

Our Autumn Steam Gala takes place from 3rd to 6th October 2019, with a busy passenger service on Thursday, stepping up a gear on Friday with the addition of freight trains, and on Saturday and Sunday a very intensive timetable indeed, including a very frequent passenger service with goods trains and Travelling Post Office demonstrations. An event not to missed!

Up to 9 locomotives in steam!

Click here to buy tickets online


Special guest locomotives

We're delighted to be bringing two guest locomotives to GCR as we present a gala with a Southern flavour.

Unique LSWR T9 30120 and SR Schools Class number 926 "Repton" are our two star guests, appearing alongside up to eight home fleet locomotives.

T9 30120 appears in British Railways lined black livery.

Appearing courtesy of the National Railway Museum and Swanage Railway.

Photo © Lewis Maddox

926 "Repton" appears in Southern Railway green.

Appearing courtesy of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.

Photograph © Tom Noble

Major Attractions

The gala will feature an intensive timetable with a large number of train movements only possible on the GCR's double track, with the most frequent train service on Saturday and Sunday.

The main highlights of the gala are due to include:

  • Intensive timetable - Possibility for over 90 movements at Loughborough on Saturday & Sunday.
  • Up to 9 steam locos in service on Saturday and Sunday, up to 5 on Friday, and 3 on Thursday.
  • Recreating a main line experience: Trains passing throughout the day on our double track.
  • TPO demonstrations. Travelling Post Office trains pass at higher speed on Saturday & Sunday.
  • Goods trains. See the railway at work with passing goods trains (Fri/Sat/Sun) including mineral wagons, and our recently restored box van train.
  • Twilight running on Saturday evening (see timetable for details).
  • Photo display 50 years at Loughborough Central  This will be held in the General waiting Room and feature over 200 photographs.





Home Fleet Locos

In addition to our two guests locomotives we're expecting to have up to eight locos from the home fleet selected from:

6990 "Witherslack Hall" BR Standard 5 73156
9F 92214 Leicester City
9F 92214 "Leicester City" Stanier 8F 48305
Ivatt Class 2 46521 BR Standard 2 78018
Fowler 3F 47406
(Final Autumn gala appearance before overhaul)


Passenger Timetables

The full Working Timetable is included in the event programme which is available free of charge to holders of travel tickets for the event (or £3 otherwise) from all our Booking Offices at the event while stocks last. Holders of tickets purchased online - please present your ticket at any Booking Office window to receive your complimentary programme.

Passenger train timetables are available for download here (last updated 30th September 2019):





No booking fees!  We do not charge booking fees for our tickets. The prices below are the prices you pay.

The fare table below is for a "runabout" ticket which offers unlimited travel on our passenger trains on the day.

£ Thursday Friday Sat or Sun Any 2 days Any 3 days All 4 days
Adult 20 23 29 47 60 70
Child 11 12 15 24 32 36
Privilege/Friend (Adult) 13 16 22 33 41 50
Privilege/Friend (Child) 7 8 11 17 22 25
Family 1A + 3C 31 35 45 75 95 110
Family 2A + 3C 50 55 70 105 120 140


Book Tickets OnlineTickets may be booked online here, or purchased on arrival at the event at any of our Booking Offices.


Return, single and short hop tickets will not be available. Return tickets may be purchased after 3.30 pm (Saturday & Sunday), or 3.00pm (Thursday & Friday), at the prices applicable on a normal operating weekend (£18 for adults, £9 children, etc.)

  1. Members of Friends of the GCML are entitled to Privilege fares upon production of membership card. (These are available from Booking Offices; unfortunately we are unable currently to sell these online).
  2. Heritage Railway Association passes will not be valid for this event.
  3. GCR shareholders' discount vouchers will be valid for this event.
  4. Working members of other heritage railways with whom GCR has reciprocal arrangements for reduced fares will be eligible for Privilege fares upon production of valid membership cards and work permits.
  5. Same arrangements apply as in point 1. above for holders of ex British Rail and Train Operating Company passes.
  6. Platform tickets at Loughborough and Quorn (including Quorn car park and yard) are priced at £7 on Saturday Sunday and £5 on Thursday and Friday – these can be offset against runabout tickets purchased for the Gala.

NOTE: A complimentary copy of the Gala programme is included in the above travel ticket prices (whilst stocks last) and includes full working timetable. Normal programme price is £3.


Free Heritage Bus shuttle service (Friday and Saturday only).

A Free Heritage Bus service will be operating between Loughborough Midland station (East Midlands Railway) and Loughborough Central Station on Friday 4th and Saturday 5th October only, provided by the Leicester Transport Heritage Trust.

Further details and the bus timetable is available for download:
Heritage Bus shuttle service - Timetable for Friday 4th and Saturday 5th October 2019.

Please note that timings are subject to amendment.



Travelling Post Office demonstrations.

See our famous postal demonstrations at Quorn & Woodhouse during Saturday and Sunday at 11:55 and 15:55, and on Saturday only at 18:05.
You can watch from the platform or the viewing area adjacent to the signal box as mail is unloaded on the move, with the train passing by at increased speed.

For visitors not travelling, access to the platform and viewing area is by Platform Ticket.




* Buffet - serving real ale, hot and cold drinks and a comprehensive menu.
* Photographic displays - 50 years of preservation at Loughborough Central, and a 50 year celebration of the Belgrave and Birstall Action Group.
* Shed apron open for a browse (subject to operational requirements). A roped area in front of the signal box will provide a viewing opportunity for activities taking place in the shed area. Please note that the locomotive shed itself is not expected to be open during the gala.
* Award winning GCR museum
* Well stocked retail shop
* Emporium - railway 'Olde Curiositie Shoppe' full of books, CDs, DVDs oddities etc
* Barbecue stand.

Quorn & Woodhouse
* Real Ale: Over the weekend, we'll have a range of cask beers from Nottingham Brewery on offer, plus cask ciders. These will be served at the recently restored Tin Shed in the yard. Open: 11 am until late daily.
* Butler-Henderson café - fully licensed and serving delicious home made sandwiches and cakes. Great photo opportunities from the garden viewing area.
* NAAFI-style café - 1940s style tea room, under the railway arches.

* Ellis's tea room - fully licensed and serving delicious home made sandwiches and cakes.
* A great place to watch the trains go by within the sheltered cuttings (platform ticket required if not travelling).
* Station tea room serving delicious homemade cakes.

Leicester North
* Tail Lamp Tea Room for hot and cold drinks and snacks.

Car parking
Loughborough: LE11 1RW. On street parking is available but the surrounding roads will be busy. Many double yellow lines have been added to roads in the area, so parking is increasingly scarce; you may need to park some distance from the station and neighbouring residents don't necessarily welcome you doing this!
Quorn: LE12 8AG.This is GCR's main car parking area. Thursday & Friday: the station yard car park will be available free of charge. Saturday & Sunday: a charge of £3 per car per day will apply (no exceptions) for parking in the neighbouring field. If approaching the station from the A6 or Quorn village, the field is immediately on the left hand side after crossing the bridge over the GCR line; the walk back to the station is some 200 yards. For these two days, the only parking in Quorn station yard will be for holders of registered disabled passes (free - see below).
On-street parking in the immediate vicinity of Quorn station is subject to Council operated parking restrictions.
Rothley: LE7 7LD. There is very limited car parking in the station yard. Also, on-street parking in the immediate vicinity of Rothley station is very limited with Council operated parking restrictions.
Leicester North: LE4 3BR. There is limited car parking on the immediate approach to the station.

DISABLED PARKING: The station yard at Quorn will be available for blue badge holders and our less able-bodied visitors who do not have a blue badge. To reserve your space, please email with your name and vehicle registration details.

LOOKING TO STAY A LITTLE LONGER? There are some accommodation providers in the area and here are some options

All locomotives and attractions appear subject to availability, GCR reserve the right to cancel or amend any service.

Passengers are conveyed by the Company's trains in accordance with the Company's "Conditions of Carriage" (as shown on this website).

Our next running day

Santa Steam Trains

Winter Wonderlights

Our festive season trains are running from 23rd November to 24th December (selected dates).

Pre-booking is essential for both Santa Steam Trains, and Winter Wonderlights

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