The Great Central Railway Experience (UK)

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1. Posted by traintravel33 (First Time Poster 1 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

Visiting the Great Central Railway (Leicestershire). The UK's Only Double Track Main Line Heritage Railway

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(Above): BR (British Rail) Standard Class 5 73156 departing Loughborough Central (GCR).

Basic details of my trip below:

  • Date of trip: March 2024.
  • Type of railway: Heritage Main Line (The only one in the whole of the UK)
  • Type of Trains: Steam and Diesel trains.
  • Opening Times: Mainly weekends and some weekdays.
  • Length of railway: 8.5 Miles (15.7Km) long. Future expansion to Ruddington (South Nottingham). Reunification Project currently ongoing.
  • Number of stations: 4 (Loughborough, Quorn, Rothley and Leicester North.
  • Original Railway: The Great Central Main Line. From Manchester to Central London (1899 to 1969).
  • Ticket Type: Adult Day Runabout (£23 per person) Access to all stations and unlimited travel for one day.

My Trip

I arrived at the current Loughborough station on the Midland Main Line (EMR) train to start my journey to the Great Central. After a 20 minute walk I arrived at Loughborough Central on the Great Central Railway. The first thing I noticed was the old architecture of the building inside and outside. It was beautiful and well looked after. I payed for my ticket at the ticket office and made my way down those big long stairs to the platform. And it was like stepping back in time to a different era. It was lovely. This station is the biggest one on the railway. I saw a shop, the station masters office, waiting rooms, toilets and even a museum. There was a lot to look at in the museum. Lot's of old signs, railway maps, tickets etc. And it's free entry as well. Lot's of interesting things in there to look at. Further down the line is the engine shed and a large Signal Box.

I then took the steam train to the next station which was Quorn and Woodhouse Station. This station has Island platform (like Loughborough), a Signal box, a ticket office, a place to sit and eat, toilets and even a large turntable. The next station was Rothley Station. This station has an island platform too with another Signal box, a ticket office, a place to eat, an engine shed, toilets and even a miniature railway. The last station on the line was Leicester North Station. This station is different because the original Station (Belgrave and Birstall) was demolished to make way for Leicester North. This station has a ticket office, a place to sit and eat, toilets and a smaller second platform. The reason for building Leicester North was build it within the Leicester City boundary (A bit further down the line). Overall visiting this railway was a great experience. The sound and smell of the steam trains really took you back in time. A wonderful experience for anyone wanting to visit this great railway. I would recommend anyone visiting the UK to make time to see this railway. It's a great place to visit for everyone :)

[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]

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