Hall Royd Junction Box nameboard as preserved at the East Lancashire Raiway, Bury

The Great Central Railway, Loughborough: 30 December 2014

The Great Central Railway has much to offer, including some interesting signalling. Some signal types are readily available at Loughborough which are needed for a revised set of upper quadrant transfers planned for 2015, and that seemed the perfect excuse for a railway jolly.

30 December 2014 was forecast to be a sunny but frosty day, with the first train timed for 10.15 a.m. I like time to 'case the joint' before the first train, so a 7.30 a.m. start was required from the Chilterns.

Arrival at Loughborough found snow on the ground still, and the temperature hovering at freezing. The low strong sun and the condensing water vapour created some interesting photographic challenges, but a great day nonetheless.

Entrance to Loughborough Central Railway Station on 30 December 2014.

To the left of the entrance is the signature bracket signal, controlling 'up' departures from Platform 2: a facility not required in BR days. Behind the lower signal arm can be seen the surviving GCR goods shed. The old goods yard spread to the left of the signal but wasn't acquired for the revived railway.

Signals controlling exit from Patform 2 at Loughborough Central.

The signals at the down end of Loughborough Station caught whilst the exhaust from 46521 blotted out the sun.

Diesels at Loughborough

Diesels at Loughbough on 30 December 2014, including Brush Type 2 (Class 31) D5830; Peak D123, and Southern Railway 777 'Sir Lamiel'.

Diesels at Loughbough 30 December 2014

47406 at Loughboorugh

BR Standard Class 2 78019 at Loughborough, 30 December 2014

Gresley N2 0-6-2 tank 1471 at Loughborough, 30 December 2014.

Water tank at the down end of Platform 2, Loughborough Central, Great Central Railway.

Station nameboard at Loughborough Central railway station, 30 December 2014.

Original bracket signal rescued from the Nottingham approaches, Great Central Railway, Beccles Road Bridge, Loughborough

On the up lines beyond the Beccles Road bridge is a wonderful set of LNE shunting signals with their distinct corrugation.

LNE shunting signals, Beccles Road Bridge, Loughborough, 30 December 2014.

'Oliver Cromwell' heads south on the Great Central Railway

Steam from 'Oliver Cromwell' hides Swithland Sidings signal box, 30 December 2014

Rothley signal cabin, 30 December 2014

Signal swathed in steam. Great Central Railway. 30 December 2014.

The steam heating was surprisingly effective; and there was evidence of it working throughout the train. This is the Resturant Car corridor,,,

Not just hot dogs: heating in operation in the GCR Restaurant Car 30 December 2014.

Leicester North station, Great Central Railway, 30 December 2014.

46521 moves to take up its train at Loughborough.

Loughborough Signal Box 30 December 2014

Loughborough Signal box rodding

Corrugated iron lamp hut, Loughborough

Numberplates on display in the Loughborough Railway workshops.

BR Britannia Pacific 70013 approaches Beccles Road Bridge, Loughborough.

'Oliver Cromwell' gets away with an up service as seen from Beccles Road Bridge, Loughborough. 30 December 2014.

All images copyright J K Wallace 2014 

As a footnote, I had a relative who worked on the Great Central Railway. My Great Great Uncle James Hayes was Head of Parcels at Ashburys. Unfortunately at age 56 he attempted to cross the line in front of an "engine and train" and died a few days later in Manchester Infirmary on 2 June 1902. The inquest described his job as 'Railway Goods Inspector', and remarkably, a copy of his death certificate is available, as shown below. It was James Hayes' brother's family that moved to Todmorden, and Mrs Emily A Hayes became the Head Teacher at Lanebottom Board School, which was located on the other side of the canal from the Yorkshire mouth of Summit Tunnel. Remarkably, a photo of Mrs Hayes and her daughter standing on the steps the school looking towards the L&YR main line is here.

Death certiciate of James Hayes, a Railway Goods Inspector employed by the Great Central Railway at Ashburys who died after being struck by a train as he was crossing the line in 1902.