The Great Central Railway (Nottingham) and Great Central Railway and are teaming up for a unique event to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the opening of GCR London Extension in 1899
It’s the first time the two companies have come together to offer a single ticket for an event on the two sections of the line, which looks to their future as a reunified 18 mile heritage line.
On the 16th and 17th of March linked events will place at the Notttingham Transport Heritage Centre, Rushcliffe Halt station and along the length of the Great Central Railway in Leicestershire.
Andy Fillingham of the Great Central Railway Nottingham said, “It’s a special occasion and we hope to welcome new visitors and familiar friends to try something different. We’re marking the past, but looking to the future where trains run the full length of this wonderful midlands heritage corridor.”
“While this is the first time we’ve worked so closely together on an event,” said the General Manager of the Great Central Railway, Malcolm Holmes, "it’s the start of a new era. As we work towards becoming one railway, both companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding committing them to sharing good practice. What better place to celebrate this new chapter by coming together to mark a significant milestone in the story of the GCR. It’s just a shame we’re not one railway yet - so our visitors will have to make do with a heritage bus service running through the event by way of rail replacement!"
Opened in March 1899 the GCR was the last Victorian Main Line Railway to reach London. It linked Sheffield, Nottingham, Loughborough and Leicester with the capital, but faced with stiff competition from other railways, was never a sound financial success and was absorbed into the London and North Eastern Railway in 1923. British Rail closed it in stages through the 1960s. The first heritage trains ran in 1973 though 500 metres of track between the Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire sections was later removed, again by BR. It has been a long held ambition to reinstate the link and some parts have already been constructed.