Tuesday, January 31, 2017

On the Great Central Railway

The sight of an approaching steam locomotive continues to thrill!

And that was why I ventured down to Loughborough last weekend to spend a day at the Great Central Railway's Winter Gala. There were lots of locomotives in steam. Here is 0-6-0 Maunsell Q Class No 30541, built in 1939, and visiting from the Bluebell Railway, see here. Pic taken at Rothley station.

Here's the Q again.

The GCR's LMS 'Black Five' No 45305 with a goods set at Loughborough. Locomotive details here.

BR Standard Class 9F 2-10-0 No 92214 reverses back at Loughborough to take on water. The locomotive story is here.

It's not just the locomotives which are of interest. A 'primitive' toilet is maintained at Rothley. I am not the first to wonder just what was meant by the sign: 'ALBONOIDS - The Best Aperient for ADULTS'. Back in the day, these laxative tablets were apparently available in twopenny, sixpenny and one shilling tins! I should say that I'm just off the first train of the day from Quorn, so that's why there's no people in view. It got much much busier as the day went on.

I rather like Rothley station with the fantastic Charnwood Forest Garden Railway nearby, see here

Despite the rain the model railway was running flawlessly!

The signal box at Rothley.

Rothley is a great place to appreciate the locomotives. This is King Arthur Class 4-6-0 No 30777 'Sir Lamiel' which was built in June 1925 at the North British Locomotive Works in Glasgow. More here.

 
 I encountered this Class 101 DMU at Rothley, see here.

At Loughborough there was opportunity to see round the shed where restoration of BR Standard Class 5 4-6-0 No 73156 is nearing completion, see here.
 
Fascinating!

West Country Class 4-6-2 Pacific No 34039 'Boscastle' is in the process of a major overhaul. Here are the frames. Story here.

Here is LMS Class 3F 0-6-0T No 47406 being prepared for the day's action. I do love a 'Jinty'!

I met many interesting people during my day on the GCR. Here's a selfie with the station master at Leicester North!

I was waiting for my last ride of the day, behind BR Class 2 2-6-0 No 78018, see here.

Saturday was my second visit to the GCR. I enjoyed a visit back in 2013, see here. And my second visit was no less enjoyable. Big crowds of course, and the weather was a bit iffy - but, for January, it could have been worse. The Great Central Railway has lots of plans for the future - a link to the line running north from Loughborough, and a new museum. Hopefully these plans will come to fruition.

Photos © Skip Cottage

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