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October 2019 progress update
30th October 2019.

An overhead view of the canal bridge during the works in early October 2019.The recent autumn sunshine has seen another crane jib towering into the sky above the bridge over the Grand Union Canal.

The crane was on site to remove the temporary metal beam placed perpendicularly across the bridge (see our previous update and film). This was put in place to allow the bridge to be jacked up very slightly, lifting it off the pad stones. The pad stone is what the bridge bearing sits on. The north west bearing has now been refitted so the bridge has been lowered back on to it. There are four bearings - this is the third to be dealt with, with only the south west corner still outstanding.

The next visible change will be the arrival of scaffolding (expected to be in the next fortnight or so) which will mean the bridge can be grit blasted and repainted underneath. The top flange on the main girder will also be worked on with contractors expected to be on site until early in the New Year.

The canal towpath is closed during the works.Please note the towpath under the bridge is closed while work continues. We’re sorry for any inconvenience but it does mean this elegant structure will be a well known local landmark for decades to come as well as one day carrying trains again.

Don't forget to like and subscribe to the GCRofficial You Tube channel so we can keep you up to date.

Donate to the CharityWe are grateful for any donations you can make to the REUNIFICATION project, bringing an eighteen mile heritage railway closer. Thank you.

You can make a donation on line here.

Thank you for your tremendous support so far!



October 2019 progress update video.
7th October 2019.



Work has resumed on the Canal Bridge as we continue our reunification project.

With the peak boating season coming to an end, contractors have returned to site, and we've prepared a short update video on the latest work in progress.

Donate to the CharityWe still need your support to continue the momentum and progress with this exciting project.
You can make a donation on line here.

Thank you for your tremendous support so far!



Canal Bridge work resumes!Works resume...
5th October 2019.

Now the peak boating season is drawing to a close, the contractors repairing and restoring the canal bridge for use have returned to site.

The planned halt allowed for further discussion with them about the scope of works. The canal crossing is a vital part of the whole reunification project, as it will not just handle traffic heading to and from Network Rail and Great Central Railway Nottingham, but play a key part in Loughborough Central’s northern approach. Its full operational capacity is fundamental, particularly if we are to avoid complete congestion in future years. Therefore, we will now be repairing both up and down sides of the bridge now, rather than just the one side.

Temporary closure of the canal...George Green, a professional engineer, has recently been appointed to supervise the whole reunification project. George has a vast experience in supervising projects of this scale and his role is to review all the work so far, plan ahead and manage future phases. Further good news is, barring unforeseen circumstances, we now have the money required to complete the canal bridge.

The work will continue over the winter of 2019 and into 2020 involving a short term closure of the tow path under the bridge. We’re sorry for any inconvenience caused by this.

We will endeavour to post pictures of the work as it progresses. In the meantime please consider a donation either via this website, or by cheque made payable to ‘David Clarke Railway Trust’ and posted to DCRT, Lovatt House, 3 Wharncliffe Road, Loughborough, LE11 1SL. Write ‘reunification’ on the rear. The regular income of funds we receive either this way, or via standing order will allow us to plan the next stage of work, likely to be the section right next to the newly built main line railway bridge, across the car park of Preci Spark.
Donate to the Charity
Thank you for your tremendous support so far!




Appeal total reaches £412,000!
3rd July 2019.

Parapet works progressing. We're delighted to report that the Crossing the Canal appeal total has now passed the £400,000 barrier and now stands at £412,000 raised so far!

Thank you for your tremendous support!

While works on the bridge site itself have reached the end of the first stage, work on the parapets has continued off-site. The parapets are being refurbished by contractors and will be returned to the bridge later in the year, when work resumes during a planned closure of the canal which has been negotiated with the Canal and River Trust.

We'll bring a more detailed update in early July on the next stage of works to be completed.

Donate to the CharityWe still need your support to continue the momentum to progress this vital stage of the project - you can make a donation on line here.

Thank you for your tremendous support so far!




Appeal total reaches £376,000!
26th April 2019.

Work inside the scaffolding on the canal bridge We're delighted to report that the Crossing the Canal appeal total has now reached £376,000!

Thank you for your tremendous support!

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 gritblasting, 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 look forward to bringing more news soon.

Donate to the CharityWe still need your support to continue the momentum to progress this vital stage of the project - you can make a donation on line here.

Thank you for your tremendous support so far!



March 2019 progress update video.
14th March 2019.



With scaffolding now in place, work is progressing well on the Canal Bridge.

We've prepared a short update video on the latest works.

Donate to the CharityWe still need your support to continue the momentum to progress this vital stage of the project - you can make a donation on line here.

Thank you for your tremendous support so far!



Scaffolding taking shape.
6th March 2019.

Scaffolding is erected on the Canal Bridge in early March 2019 Contractors are back on site and are building the scaffolding which is required for the next phase of work on the Canal Bridge, north of our station at Loughborough Central.

We will bring regular news on the project as it continues, with contractors expected to be working at the site regularly.

We are working with the Canal and River Trust to ensure the shortest possible disruption to canal users while the work is in progress, and are grateful for their support and assistance.

Donate to the CharityWe still need your support to continue the momentum to progress this vital stage of the project - you can make a donation on line here.

Thank you for your tremendous support so far!



Appeal total passes £330,000!
25th February 2019.

Canal Bridge in early 2019 As progress continues behind the scenes, we are delighted to report that the Crossing the Canal appeal total has now passed £330,000.

Thank you for your magnificent support!

We're looking forward to bringing news of further progress on the bridge very soon, as our ultimate goal to reunify the two halves of the Great Central Railway draws closer.

Donate to the CharityWe still need your support to continue the momentum to progress this vital stage of the project - you can make a donation on line here.

Thank you for your tremendous support so far!



Work continues on site!
18th January 2019.

Canal Bridge - Measuring works With the canal bridge parapet repairs underway off site, it won’t be too much longer before work begins on the rest of the structure.

Before it can , it will be encased in a cloak of scaffolding. A site visit this week by our engineers saw detailed measurements taken so the temporary structure can be designed.

We are working with Canal and River Trust to make arrangements for the work to take place in a safe and efficient fashion, with as little disruption to canal users as possible. Further details will be published as soon as they are confirmed.

Canal Bridge - Measuring works To achieve the necessary clearances, and protect the workforce, boaters and walkers on the tow path will be quite a challenge.

We are grateful to the Canal and River Trust and would like to thank them for their support.

We're looking forward to bringing more news soon as progress continues.


Donate to the CharityWe still need your support to continue the momentum to progress this vital stage of the project - you can make a donation on line here.

Thank you for your tremendous support so far!



Canal Bridge Update Video!
1st January 2019.

As we welcome 2019, and with work now in progress on the Canal Bridge, here's a short video update on the appeal.



Progress continues thanks to your tremendous support, but we still need your assistance to continue the momentum to progress this vital stage of the project - you can make a donation on line here.
Donate to the Charity
Thank you for your tremendous support so far!



Work begins on-site!
12th December 2018.

We're delighted to report that work has now begun on the canal bridge!

Canal Bridge - Lift in progressA crane has been on site today to lift the lattice parapets to allow these to be removed for restoration off-site.

This work is the first stage of the restoration of the 120 year-old structure which will allow the bridge to once again carry trains.

Our goal of reconnecting the two halves of the Great Central Railway is taking another major step forward. We have reached this stage thanks to your tremendous support, but we still need your assistance to continue the momentum to progress this vital stage of the project - you can make a donation on line here.
Donate to the Charity
Thank you for your tremendous support so far!



Appeal passes £300,000!
22nd November 2018.

Donate to the CharityWe're pleased to report more positive progress on the Crossing the Canal appeal which has now broken through the £300,000 barrier..

We are currently working with potential contractors as the start of works draws nearer.

We are very grateful for your tremendous support so far, and we will bring more news on the details of the works as they are confirmed.

Donate to the CharityWe still need your support to continue the momentum to progress this vital stage of the project - you can make a donation on line here.

Thank you for your tremendous support so far!



Appeal passes £250,000!
29th August 2018.

We're delighted to announce that our Crossing the Canal appeal is now more than half way towards the goal of £475,000 for this phase of the project, with the total now standing at over £250,000.

We are hopeful that work on the bridge will start before the end of this year.

We are working with two main contractors to assess the best pricing to repair the existing bridge in situ, with half of the canal being closed at a time, allowing single-file canal traffic to continue whilst the bridge repair work is being completed.

Donate to the CharityWe still need your support to continue the momentum to progress this vital stage of the project - you can make a donation on line here.

Thank you for your tremendous support so far!



June appeal update..
20th June 2018.

We are delighted to announce the new total for its Crossing The a canal appeal.

Donate to the CharityAn incredible one hundred and fifty five thousand pounds have been raised in six months. This is towards the total of four hundred and seventy five thousand pound - which will see the canal bridge prepared for trains to cross it, as part of the overall reunification project.

Thank you to everyone who has supported the campaign so far. You can make donations online, or through the post by downloading an appeal form.

Look out for the fundraising stands run by Friends of the Great Central Main Line at our events, watch the video, study the model and chat to our volunteers to find out more about the whole scheme.



May appeal update..
30th May 2018.

Donate to the Charity The Crossing the Canal appeal continues to progress and we're delighted to report that the appeal has now passed £130,000.

We still need your support to continue the momentum to progress this vital stage of the project - you can make a donation on line here.

Thank you for your tremendous support so far!



Superb response to "Money Match March".
6th April 2018.

Donate to the CharityMoney Match March has now come to a conclusion, but thanks to everyone's very generous response we have an impressive new total to post! The Crossing the Canal appeal has now reached £110,000 - a tremendous amount which will go towards the next phase of the reunification project.

The matched element of twenty five thousand pounds was ultimately oversubscribed with many donations received online and through the post. A recent visit by members of the Friends of the Great Central Main Line to the model railway exhibitions and on train collections have also really helped.



23rd February 2018.

Donate to the CharityGood news! The Crossing the Canal appeal has now passed the forty thousand pound mark.

In just three months we are a little under ten percent of our way to the target of four hundred and seventy five thousand pounds. A huge thank you for donating!

Canal Bridge in February 2018This appeal is part of our grand reunification project, to link two halves of the Great Central Railway together. A new bridge over the Midland Main Line has been built at Loughborough. The canal bridge repairs are the next stage of the work.

Now here’s a chance to make your donation go further. It’s the return of Money Match March! A fund of twenty five thousand pounds has been made available, and will be released pound for pound with every donation you make, during the month of March.

Give ten pounds - and it will be matched by ten pounds. We can even still claim gift aid on your part of the donation (if you can make the declaration on the form). So your £10 - could become £10 + £2.50 + £10 = £22.50.

If Money Match March is fully subscribed, we can push the total up another fifty thousand pounds (not including any gift aid).

You can download an appeal form here. Send it through the post with a cheque made payable to DAVID CLARKE RAILWAY TRUST (with “CROSSING THE CANAL” written on the year) to DCRT, Lovatt House, 3 Wharncliffe Road, Loughborough, LE11 1SL.

Or you can make a donation on line here

If you are already donating via a standing order, your donation will be matched. If you’re not, why not consider setting one up? If everyone who reads this webpost gave ten pounds per month - just £2.50 a week - we’d soon make forward progress on reunification.

Pick up an appeal form on your next visit and thank you for your support!

Donate to the Charity



Great Central Railway Crossing the Canal

It's time for Bridging the Gap part two!

1st December 2017.

Donate to the CharityGreat Central Railway has embarked on one of the biggest projects in modern railway preservation. We’re reunifying two halves of the railway to create an 18 mile heritage route through the East Midlands.

We’ve already invested millions - which you helped us to raise - to build a brand new bridge to carry our trains over the Midland Main Line.

Next up, we want to work on the existing canal bridge at Loughborough which needs repairing. Current thinking is it can be repaired without being lifted. This is likely to mean some disruption to boat traffic below, so it needs to be done when the canal is quieter. The earliest window is Autumn 2018 - but we won’t proceed unless we have sufficient funds.

At the same time we need to continue our design work, so we can get permission to build the rest of the new infrastructure reunification needs. So we’re launching our new appeal; crossing the canal. We need to raise four hundred and seventy five thousand pounds to get the canal bridge completed and carry on with the paperwork. We’ve had international interest in the project and we know you’ve been encouraged by the new rail bridge being installed.

We hope you’ll support us again.

Map of the Bridging the Gap area 3D render of how the repaired bridge will look on completion

You can donate online by credit or debit card. Click the link. Donate to the Charity



You can donate by cheque through the post. Click here to download the appeal form. Complete the sections and send a cheque made payable to the David Clarke Railway Trust to:
'Canal Bridge Appeal', Lovatt House, 3 Wharncliffe Road, Loughborough, Leicestershire LE11 1SL

Please consider a standing order. The more standing orders, the sooner we’ll get the trains running over the 18 mile railway.

However you support us, please don’t forget to make the gift aid declaration if you can. Gift Aid is a scheme where the government will top up donation made by UK tax payers by an extra 25% at no cost to you.

Thank you, together we’ve made a huge amount of progress on this exciting project.
We’ll keep you up to date right here with the latest news.




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