GCR Admin

Weekend Shed Tours Saturday 14 & Sunday 15 March

Volunteer members of the Boscastle team will be offering informative tours of the Loughborough Locomotive Shed on Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 March.

The tours will be at:

  11 00, 11 45, 12 45, 13 30, 14 15, 15 30 and 16 15.

Party size is limited at the discretion of the guide.

Please assemble outside the loco shed door and await guide.

Tours last approximately half an hour; please allow 10 minutes to walk to the shed prior to the tour and 10 minutes to walk back again.

 

Loco Shed Scene - Dennis Wilcock

YOUR CHANCE TO SEE RESTORATION, OVERHAUL AND REPAIR WORK IN PROGRESS AND HEAR ABOUT THE PLACE OF 'BOSCASTLE' IN THE STORY OF THE GREAT CENTRAL RAILWAY.

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 - especially in view of the major work needed on the firebox.

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.

All locomotives and attractions appear subject to availability. Great Central Railway reserves the right to amend or cancel any service.

7027 “Thornbury Castle” coming to GCR

GWR ‘4073’ CLASS “THORNBURY CASTLE” TO BE RESTORED AND BASED AT THE GREAT CENTRAL RAILWAY

GWR 4073 Class number 7027 “Thornbury Castle” has been sold to a private buyer, the present owners JJP Holdings have announced today. Under the sale and purchase agreement, the Great Western locomotive is to be restored at the Great Central Railway in Leicestershire and will run there for the duration of its next 10-year ticket.

The new owner, who is a significant supporter of the GCR, has confirmed that it will not be made available for any mainline operation. It requires significant restoration which will be carried out at the Great Central’s locomotive works in Loughborough under the watchful eye of their Chief Engineer, Craig Stinchcombe.

The loco, currently housed at the West Somerset Railway’s Williton depot, will be transported by road to Loughborough during week commencing 27th January.

Built in 1949 by British Railways at the Swindon works, N0. 7027 was initially allocated to Plymouth Laira before moving to Old Oak Common some 10 years later, with its last shed allocation being Reading before being withdrawn from service in 1963 and being transported to Woodham Brothers Scrapyard at Barry. It was purchased by the Birmingham Railway Museum and left Barry in 1972. Subsequent to this it was purchased by the Waterman Railway Heritage Trust and remained in scrapyard condition for stays at Crewe Heritage Centre and Peak Rail until being purchased by the current owners in July 2016

Jonathan Jones-Pratt (JJP) said, “We are obviously sad in many ways to lose this iconic engine from the Group but, at the same time, very pleased as I always wish to see the right decision being made for these wonderful engines.   For me, this is a good move for Thornbury and we have been pleased to play a key part in ensuring the engine is restored as a Castle and we are satisfied that there is the right commitment to rebuild the engine to the right standard.  We wish the Great Central team well with the project and, personally, I welcome the chance to help them along the journey.   The engine will now leave the WSR over the coming weeks for her new home where I am sure the team will be waiting to get started!

GCR’s Managing Director, Michael Gough commented “We are very excited that this iconic locomotive is coming to the GCR and very proud that the new owner has chosen to have it restored in our works and for it to run here at the Great Central once completed. This is a major project and will involve significant hours and expense but we are ready for the challenge and looking forward to its arrival next week.

Eric Boulter

We are very sorry to report the passing of Eric Boulter who passed away on Sunday after a long period of illness.

Eric will be fondly remembered for his years of service on the Griddle Car, with his customary shouts of "plates are hot" as he served many a satisfied customer their all-day breakfast.

Eric was a well respected member of the GCR family and will be sorely missed.

We will publish details of Eric's funeral arrangements when these are known.

FoGCML 2020 Calendar

Crossing the Canal appeal reaches £376,000

We're delighted to report that the Crossing the Canal appeal total has now reached £376,000! 

Meanwhile on the bridge itself, work has been continuing inside the protective sheeting which surrounds the scaffolding and the bridge.

The entire top section has been grit blasted and painted in the protective coating as shown in the photograph, and the top flange plate of the east girder has been replaced. The west girder top flange and ballast retention plates are to receive attention in the coming weeks.

With the structure revealed following grit blasting, an inspection has been undertaken to determine the condition of the bridge in greater detail, and a report is being prepared to allow the project to continue to the next stage.

We're very grateful for your tremendous support and look forward to bringing more news soon.

For the latest news on the project, and to donate to the appeal, please visit www.gcrailway.co.uk/unify

Bridging the Gap – Works at Midland Main Line bridge site

Work has started to relocate the pile of earth from its temporary location on the paddock owned by Loughborough Grammar School back onto the EMRT site where it will be stored until work starts in the future to reconstruct the northern embankment as part of the Bridging the Gap project.

To facilitate the construction of the abutment supporting the new bridge over the Midland Mainline, part of the old embankment and an area of the EMRT paddock were removed to accommodate the machinery and materials needed to erect the new bridge.

Now that the bridge has been completed and signed off by Network Rail, we are able to restore both paddocks to their former levels.  The cost of this work was included in the original budget for the bridge project and we are grateful that the Grammar School allowed us to store the spoil free of charge.

Meanwhile, work continues on the next exciting stage of our project to reunify the two halves of the Great Central Railway, Crossing the Canal. For more details please see www.gcrailway.co.uk/unify

Bill Ford. Leader and legend. 1937-2018.

 

The very sad news of Bill Ford's passing on Sunday has no doubt already reached so many of our friends and supporters.

Bill was instrumental in the Railway's development from the earliest days of preservation.

He will be greatly missed by the whole GCR family.

National Railway Museum broadcast

We were very pleased to welcome a film crew from the National Railway Museum at our End of Steam event on 11th August.

They filmed a live 54-minute Facebook broadcast from GCR which included significant footage from the footplate of 70013 "Oliver Cromwell, which is owned by the NRM, and some detailed background on the original 1968 event.

We have been informed by NRM that the film has been watched more than 33,000 times now and has potentially reached more than 120,000 people, making this one of their most popular posts ever. These figures do not include the additional audience of people reached through other posts and on Twitter, which would increase the numbers further. All-in-all some very valuable publicity for our railway.

A link to the film and the blog is shown below for those users who do not have Facebook:
https://blog.railwaymuseum.org.uk/fifteen-guineas-the-price-of-progress 

 

 

Future of AC Cars Railbus 79976

On behalf of the management.

In order to start the next phase of the Bridging the Gap project, clearance of the area north of the Loughborough locomotive shed has begun.

For several years, the AC Cars Railbus 79976 has been left untouched without any firms plans for restoration.

Following a recent push to find a new home for the vehicle, to no avail, the decision was taken to begin the heartbreaking process of dismantling the vehicle. This decision was not taken lightly.

However, following a recent enquiry from a prospective buyer, further dismantling has ceased.

We hope that in the coming weeks this vehicle will have a new owner.

Crossing the Canal – Appeal news

As reported in Main Line magazine (ML175), the Crossing the Canal appeal has now passed the £130,000 mark and donations continue to arrive as we make good progress towards the original £475,000 target of the appeal.

Further inspection of the canal bridge in recent times has revealed that the amount of work required is likely to require the bridge to be lifted out to allow the repairs to take place on "dry land". This will provide the opportunity to more easily inspect and if necessary make any repairs to the bridge abutments.

Chairman of Friends of the Great Central Main Line Andy Fillingham noted in Main Line that this work to the canal bridge would require the area to the west of, and behind the locomotive shed to be cleared, and that work to clear those areas must be completed by the end of August 2018. "Work has already commenced to identify the owners of everything (some of it long forgotten!) in those areas and arrange for it to be moved to an agreed place, removed from GCR, or disposed of. So if you own anything in these areas, please us know asap!"

Returning to the canal bridge, a national leaflet drop is taking place in the national heritage media asking enthusiasts to commit to donating to the appeal by monthly standing order. We're asking people to give £12 a month, or approximately £3 (the price of a fancy coffee) a week.

65,000 leaflets are being circulated.

For the latest news on the appeal, please see our dedicated Crossing the Canal web pages at www.gcrailway.co.uk/unify 

We're very grateful for the tremendous support received so far!

Our next running day

All train services are currently suspended until further notice.

We are regularly monitoring the situation and the latest advice, and will be updating our website at least daily...
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