About the Great Central Railway Autumn Steam Gala
The City of Nottingham sits almost dead centre in the UK and most people know about its association with the fictional character Robin Hood. Some have speculated that the name or earlier versions of it, were a generic alias used by thieves, perhaps to justify their deeds. Much less nefarious activities will occur in early October at the Great Central Railway (GCR) Autumn Steam Gala held in Loughborough, about 15 miles south of Nottingham.
The GCR is the UK's only double track, mainline heritage railway. The four-day gala is a celebration of the trains starting with a passenger service on Thursday that ramps up with added freight trains Friday through Sunday.
One highlight of the weekend is the travelling Post Office demonstrations that visitors will not want to miss. Nine locomotives on an enhanced timetable will be in steam. Past shows have featured guest locomotives like the sole surviving LSWR T9 30120 and Class no 926 "Repton". The GCR Museum full of artifacts will be open with plenty of food and drink on the dining cars and at the four stations of the GCR. The line-up of activities may change so please check with the railway before arriving for the most up-to-date information.
Great Central Railway
The 1847 union of the Sheffield, Ashton under Lyme & Manchester, the Sheffield & Lincolnshire Junction, the Great Grimsby & Sheffield Junction Railways, and the Grimsby Dock Company was the first incarnation of the GCR. Its main role was to move coal and other goods across the harsh Pennine moorland and through the Woodhead Tunnel. It operated during the golden age of steam locomotives but closed for the last time in 1969. Two years later the Main Line Preservation Group (MLPG) took on the daunting task of restoration with a dedicated group of volunteers.
Entry To The Event
For special event days like the Autumn Diesel Gala, check with GCR for the exact timetables and fares. The normal fares begin at £18.00 for and adult and £9.00 for children age 3 to 16 and will vary depending on which of the four stations you visit. Dogs, bicycles, and large items of luggage are a flat fare of £2 and students with a valid NUS card can ride for £16. More privileges await visitors with Heritage Railway Association passes.
Somewhere to Stay in Leicestershire
Loughborough offers a wide array of B&Bs and hotels along A6 and in Derby and Leicester. Tent campers and caravaners will also find several campsites to pitch a tent or park their RV with all the needed facilities. One highly rated campsite is the Broome Island campsite, about three miles southeast of town.
Other Things To Do Around The Area
The four-day steam gala will allow you and your family plenty of time to explore the Loughborough and Leicester area. One nearby attraction is the Stonehurst Family Farm and Motor Museum, a working farm, and a motor museum located in the village of Mountsorrel. The farm is a former winner of the Leicestershire Tourism Award for Best visitor experience. Nottingham offers more than just Robin Hood as visitors will want to visit the National Justice Museum and its sister attraction, the City of Caves.
Don’t forget that dogs, bicycles, and large items are welcome with a £2.00 addition to the fare. Disabled people are given a slight discount and can ride for £16.00 with a caretaker joining at no extra cost. People with wheelchairs and other special needs should check with the railway before their arriving. If you are a Robin Hood alias, we only ask that if you steal from the rich, please use some of the cash as a donation to the GCR before disbursing the rest of it to the poor.
When is the next Great Central Railway Autumn Steam Gala?
The Great Central Railway Autumn Steam Gala is planned to take place at Great Central Road, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 1RW, Thursday 1st October, 2020. This is a Four Day Steam Event.
07710 934 788
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