Main Line

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.

Weekend Shed Tours Saturday 12th & Sunday 13th October

Volunteer members of the Boscastle team will be offering informative tours of the Loughborough Locomotive Shed on Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th October.

The tours will be at:

 10 30, 11 00, 11 45, 12 45, 13 30, 14 15 and then, as guides are available, up to 15 30 & 1615.

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.

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!

ADB975397 – Test Car 2

An interesting project is currently taking place at GCR, where an important vehicle used in railway testing is being restored...

Test Car 2 was originally built at Wolverton in 1962 as Mk 1 Brake Second Corridor (BSK) number 35386 as part of Lot 30699 and fitted with Commonwealth bogies.

Class 47 47221 with Test Car 2 during slip/brake testing on the East Coast Main Line north of York on 30th June 1985. Image (c) Dave Bower.

The coach was temporarily adapted for use by the Department of Mechanical & Electrical Engineers (DM&EE) as a test car in 1974, and renumbered ADB975397. This was after the previous Test Car 2, DE320041 was irreparably damaged after a failed slip/brake test. The new Test Car 2 received further modifications in 1976 including changes to the interior layout and installation of a generator.

Between 1974 and 2006 Test Car 2, based at the Railway Technical Centre in Derby was mostly used for Slip/Brake testing of vehicles on the WCML between Crewe & Winsford. On occasions, Slip/Brake testing was also carried out on the ECML north of York, most notably a Mk 3 coach in 1985. Testing was required to verify the braking characteristics of new vehicles and the best way to do this was to slip them and allow them to brake on their own without influence from any other vehicle.

Test Car 2 in Serco livery prior to restoration at Quorn & Woodhouse. Image (c) Dave Bower.

When not in use for Slip/Brake tests, the coach was often seen coupled with Test Car 1 to provide additional braking effort when carrying out vehicle ride testing at higher speeds.

In 1994 an unusually large amount of instrumentation was installed when Test Car 2 was used as the main test coach for the pantograph and traction performance testing of Class 92 locomotives. The Class 92 tests included four days of operations between the Dollands Moor freight yard, through the Channel Tunnel to the Fréthun freight yard near Calais.

When British Rail was privatised, Serco Railtest took over the role of testing vehicles until slip testing paths became difficult to arrange and Test Car 2 was retired to the Old Dalby Test Track in 2011.

In 2016 Test Car 2 was lined up for disposal and saved by a GCR volunteer. It was moved to the GCR and now falls under the care of the Quorn Wagon Group who are currently in the process of restoring the vehicle to its BR testing glory.

Test Car 2 at Quorn with newly applied livery in late June 2019. Image (c) Dave Bower.

With thanks to Matt Baker and Dave Bower for providing the information and images for this article.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

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

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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