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Reunification project
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Welcome to Reunification

It's one of the most exciting projects, not only in UK railway preservation but internationally too. We're putting together two surviving halves of the Great Central Railway to create an eighteen mile heritage main line, stretching across the East Midlands.

Far from being an impossible dream, work has started, and at www.gcrailway.co.uk/unify we'll always keep you to date.

The story so far.

The Great Central was the last Victorian Main Line railway to reach London. Opened to passengers in 1899 it boasted of rapid travel in luxury. Crack express trains with restaurant cars ran between Sheffield and London Marylebone over impressive viaducts and calling at large stations. However in the 1960s it was closed, the single biggest casualty of the "Beeching" railway cuts. In the East Midlands two sections remained. Eight miles of the line between Loughborough and Leicester North has become a thriving heritage line, complete with double track and signalling. It's a home to large locomotives both steam and diesel. Meanwhile between Loughborough and Ruddington (on the southern outskirts of Nottingham) almost ten miles of line survived to serve an MOD depot. This was closed and itself became a heritage centre with the line back towards Loughborough also reopened for heritage trains.

The Reunification Adventure.

Unfortunately, the 500 metres of railway which connected the two was ripped up after closure. We need to rebuild bridges and embankments and relay track. It's going to cost millions of pounds. With your help we have already raised and spent millions and completed two parts of the project, including an impressive new bridge over the four tracks of Midland Main Line at Loughborough.

(You'll find all the news updates about previous works on the "Crossing the Canal" page and the "Midland Main Line bridge" page.)

When its complete the new railway will be a thrilling heritage attraction with the power to bring in visitors from around the world. With a link to the national network of Britain it will be able to welcome charter trains of tourists to the area and be a home for the locomotives pulling those trains. It is a great social enterprise, connecting communities and providing camaraderie for thousands of volunteers.

How can you help?

Your donations make all the difference. We can only keep building as we have the funds available. Whatever you give it brings us closer to the day the first train runs. You can take control of how quickly this happens with your support. We're grateful for every contribution which is only spent on this project and not diverted elsewhere.

Thank you for being part of tremendous railway adventure.

Donate to the Reunification appeal



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