Richard Patching

Inspector Vignoles film

Many of you will be familiar already with the Inspector Vignoles books authored by Stephen Done. With their success, thoughts have turned to the possibility of a TV series based on our fictional detective and his investigations of dastardly murder and crime up and down the GCR in the 1940s and 1950s.

To this end, the opportunity was taken some twelve months ago to shoot a short “taster” production in just one day here on the Railway. The weather was agreed by all involved to have been totally foul but maybe this has added to the mood and mysteriousness which was captured. Just click Inspector Vignoles to watch and enjoy for twenty minutes.

Community Membership of Friends

Friends of the Great Central Main Line are introducing a new class of Community Membership.

The purpose is to encourage organisations, of any size or type, to support the Railway and show their connection with us. These may include businesses, charities, education or public bodies, of any size or type. A new leaflet will be available shortly from the Friends office at Lovatt House; also the Friends web page has been updated.

A short launch event is being held at Quorn Station Marquee on Wed 23 Oct, with light refreshments, from 4.15-5.30 pm. Do please contact Friends@gcrailway.co.uk for an invitation if you’d wish to attend or for further details.

Fifty years at Loughborough Central

Fifty years have now passed since the last British Rail operated DMU headed north to East Leake and Nottingham.  It is also fifty years since work began to restore Loughborough Central following many years of neglect.  Windows and doors were smashed; lead was ripped from gutters and the canopy; dry rot was rampant.  Latterly the canopy required a complete rebuild.

To commemorate this landmark the Station Restoration Team will be presenting a photographic display in the General Waiting Room at Loughborough Central Station during the forthcoming Autumn Gala (3rd to 6th October).  Over 200 photographs will display the work carried out at Loughborough since 1969.  The restoration of the various rooms; installation of a new water supply; repairs to roofs and gutters; manufacture of replica poster boards; replacement of drainpipes; rebuild of the canopy and even the repair of platform trolleys.  All aspects of the on-going maintenance of Loughborough Central Station will be on display.

Not to be missed!

Rothley Station car park works

The car park at Rothley Station has now been completed and all parking restrictions lifted.

A reunion from 1969 – the early days

A group led by John Clayton will be holding a nostalgic reunion on 18th August of the 1969 Belgrave & Birstall Action Group and Leicester Industrial Locomotive Group who celebrate their 50th anniversary this year, as does Main Line Preservation Group (MLPG).

They have traced most members and friends from 1969 but still have a few elusive contacts which they are trying to find.

If you were involved in, or have memories of the Belgrave & Birstall Action Group or with Lamport No3  from 1969, or at the inception of MLPG, please e-mail  Belgravebirstall@virginmedia.com in order to find out more and to share in the 50th anniversary reunion at GCR in August’.

Further information can be found by clicking here with images from the early days

Steam Dreams Discount for Friends Members

Steam Dreams, the mainline steam train tours company, is kindly offering a 10% discount on their day trips for all members of Friends of Great Central Main Line (FoGCML).

The discount is offered to members with up to three accompanying guests.

If you're not already a FoGCML member, this may be another good reason for you to join us!  Here's a link to more details and how to join

 

All bookings must be made by phone by calling 01483 209888, quoting discount code GCR10 and your membership number.

Details of trips can be obtained by visiting the Steam Dreams website

NB.

FoGCML membership must be valid at the time of booking and also on the day of travel.

Failure to show a valid membership card on the day of travel will result in the discount being cancelled and full payment will be required before being allowed to travel, similar to how the National Rail Card system is operated.

Unfortunately trains hauled by the "Flying Scotsman" and multi-day holidays are not included.

Loughborough Station improvements – update on Refreshment Room

Over the coming weeks, a programme of improvements will begin at our Loughborough Central station.

Initially, remedial work will be carried out on the guttering around the platform canopy to be followed by:

  • an extensive refitting of the Refreshment Room kitchen
  • repainting of the canopy itself (including the one at street level on Great Central Road).
  • interior painting of the Booking Office and the Retail Shop
  • repainting of the water tower at the north end of the platform.

It is not intended that these works will affect the Railway's public operation but further details can be expected with more precise dates and timescales as the project proceeds.

The Refreshment Room kitchen work has now been completed and the facility has re-opened fully.

 

Annual General Meetings, Saturday, 6th July

The Great Central Railway PLC's annual general meeting will be held at the Pre-Prep Hall, Loughborough Grammar School LE11 2DU on Saturday 6th July 2019 at 10.30 am (doors open from 10 am).

As usual, this meeting will be followed at 12.30 pm, or shortly afterwards, by the annual general meeting of Friends of Great Central Main Line.

Car parking is available on-site, including disabled parking closest to the building entrance.

A map to the venue is available for download here.

 

Loughborough Loco Shed Temporary Pathway Closure

We are glad to say that the pathway leading to the Loco shed from the pedestrian crossing at the north end of Loughborough station platform will be reopened on Thursday, 4th October.

It had been closed for the installation of an underground oil/water separator, oil tanks and pump station, plus the exchange of the existing Reverse Osmosis plant for an updated one. This was, of course, a major and much needed improvement in the Railway's infrastructure.

Inspector Vignoles – the new book and a film

The eagerly awaited 9th Inspector Vignoles Mystery ‘Cold Steel Rail’ by Stephen Done is now available to purchase from our Gift Shop at Loughborough priced at £8.99.

Set in December 1954, romantic notions of a cosy white Christmas are dashed for the tight knit community along a secluded branch line by the actions of a satanic Santa whose deathly season’s greetings send a tragic shockwave to the wider world. Inspector Charles Vignoles along with Sergeant Trinder are left to unravel a complicated murder mystery as the action speeds along the former Great Central line from rural Leicestershire to London, Liverpool & Manchester.

What is more, plans are now afoot to take Inspector Vignoles onto the small screen. Last week we issued our Inspector Vignoles press release and this is now receiving considerable interest from both the media - just please click on the above link to read more.

Our next running day

This weekend
Two steam locomotives, one diesel loco, and our Diesel Railcar are due to be in action this weekend.

Steam locomotive (selection to be confirmed). Steam locomotive (selection to be confirmed).
Brush Type 4 1705 "Sparrowhawk". Metro Cammell Diesel Railcar.

Click here for more information





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