Winter Steam Gala – 24th to 26th January 2020

Our annual Winter Steam Gala takes place over three days on 24th, 25th, and 26th January 2020.

Three days of intensive action on our double track featuring passenger and goods/freight services with up to 10 steam locos in action. We're recreating the experience of a busy main line railway in the age of steam!

Click here to buy tickets online


Two special guests: K1 62005 and 4953 "Pitchford Hall".

Up to 10 locos in steam!

We're delighted to welcome two special guest locomotives which will star alongside the home fleet:

K1 62005

(appearing courtesy of the North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group)

- a very popular locomotive on well-known Scottish excursion trains.

4953 "Pitchford Hall"

(appearing courtesy of the Epping and Ongar Railway)

- Recently returned to service after major overhaul.


A superb lineup

We're expecting up to 10 steam locos in action on Saturday and Sunday, featuring:

  • Intensive timetable with very frequent passenger service.
  • Goods trains - we demonstrate how the nation's freight was moved in the age of steam.
  • Double-headed trains, including workings with both Hall Class locomotives.
  • A non-stop express train on Saturday and Sunday.
  • North Eastern Railway electric autocar 3170 - a late addition to the lineup operating on Saturday and Sunday.
  • High number of train movements (up to 90 movements at Loughborough alone on Saturday and Sunday).
  • Two GWR Hall class locomotives 4953 "Pitchford Hall" and 6990 "Witherslack Hall".
  • Display by the Quorn Wagon & Wagon group (Saturday & Sunday), including the award-winning "Test Car 2".
  • "50 years at Loughborough Central" historical photographic display.

Unfortunately the Travelling Post Office (TPO) will not be operating at this event. This is due to a temporary speed restriction just north of Quorn & Woodhouse station which prevents us from achieving the higher speeds required for TPO demonstrations. Visitors can still expect the same level of train movements that are expected of a GCR gala event, and we will be running additional trains to make use of the paths which would have been used by the TPO. We apologise for any disappointment that this may cause.


North Eastern Railway autocar 3170 added to the gala line-up!

A late addition to the gala is North Eastern Railcar autocar 3170, appearing courtesy of the N.E.R. 1903 Electric Autocar Trust, which will work trains marked "Railcar" on the timetable.

Originally built in 1903 as a petrol-electric railcar, this unique vehicle has been beautifully restored and is now diesel-electric.


Home Fleet Locos

In addition to our special guest locomotive we're expecting to have up to 8 steam locos from the home fleet:

9F 92214 Leicester City
6990 "Witherslack Hall" 9F 92214 "Leicester City"
Stanier 8F 48305 Stanier Black 5 45305
BR Standard 5 73156 BR Standard 2 78018
Ivatt Class 2 46521
(subject to completion of repairs)
Fowler 3F 47406
(available following boiler certificate extension)



Passenger timetables (freight trains will also run) are available for download below last updated 20/01/20:

The full Working Timetable will be available in the Event Programme which is free of charge for event tickets holders from any of our Booking Offices while stocks last (£3 otherwise).





No booking fees!  We do not charge booking fees for our tickets. The prices below are the prices you pay on the day, or online.

The prices in the table below are for "runabout" tickets which provide unlimited travel on our passenger trains on the day of your visit.

£ Friday Sat or Sun Any 2 days All 3 days
Adult 23 28 50 66
Young person 3-16 12 15 26 35
Family 1A + 3C 34 45 80 100
Family 2A + 3C 50 68 105 125
Privilege/Friend (Adult) 16 21 36 46
Privilege/Friend (Child) 9 12 20 26


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


Return, single and short hop tickets will not be available. Return tickets may be purchased after 3.30 pm (Saturday & Sunday), or 3.00pm (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 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.

Heritage Shuttle Bus service - Friday and Saturday only.

Leicester Transport Heritage Trust will run free shuttle buses between Loughborough Midland (East Midlands Railway) and Loughborough Central (GCR) stations on Friday and Saturday 24 /25 January 2020, but not on Sunday.

The bus timetable is available for download here.


At the stations


* Refreshment Room serving hot and cold food and drink.
* Barbecue stand on station platform.
* Locomotive shed or shed apron open for a browse, subject to operational requirements.
* Award winning GCR museum
* Well stocked retail shop
* Emporium - railway 'Olde Curiositie Shoppe' full of books, CDs, DVDs oddities etc
* "50 years at Loughborough Central" - A superb photographic display showing some of the images during the past 50 years of restoration and preservation at Loughborough Central station.

Quorn & Woodhouse
* Butler-Henderson Café - fully licensed and serving delicious home made sandwiches and cakes. Great photo opportunities from the garden viewing area. Open: 9.30am to 5pm on Fri. 9am to 6pm on Sat and 9am to 5pm on Sun.
* NAAFI-style tea room - 1940s style tea room, under the railway arches.

* Real Ale Bar in the Tin Shed serving a selection of ales from Nottingham Brewery, ciders, lager and wines, open from 11:00am each day until 18:00
* Quorn Wagon & Wagon group (Saturday and Sunday)- Talk to the team responsible for restoring at maintaining a number of goods vehicles including the impressive box van train. The award-winning Test Car 2 will also be available for viewing.

* 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 open 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. 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).

Headline image of K1 62005 kindly provided by Joe Connell.

Our next running day

Passenger trains are running regularly again, with trains every weekend and on selected weekdays following the relaxation of restrictions.

Our appeals

Reunification appeal - Reuniting the two halves of the Great Central Railway

Locomotive Shed Appeal
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