Tag Archives: Great Central Railway

Steam Railways in Preservation in the 1980s-90s, From May 14, 1993. Rebuilt West Country Class 34101 ‘Hartland’

Steam Railways in Preservation in the 1980s-90s, From May 14, 1993.

Rebuilt West Country Class 34101 ‘Hartland’

Following a successful steam test on April 15th (1993) rebuilt West Country Class 34101 ‘Hartland’ is now making excellent progress towards full restoration at the Great Central railway.
The locomotive is presently estimated to be returned back to full working order by mid-summer.
Thanks are being offered to all those who have made this possible, but further donations are still urgently required for the 34101 Restoration Fund at the Great Central Railway. A donations box is also situated at the bufferbeam end of the locomotive.

Hartland at Grosmont34101 “Hartland” at Grosmont Crossing
The 34101 Hartland, West Country Class 4-6-2 built in Brighton in 1950, rebuilt 1960, pulling out of Grosmont station on the NYMR.
© Copyright David P Howard and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Steam Locomotive BR 34101 HARTLAND
SR Classes WC & BB Bullied 4-6-2 Pacific
Rebuilt West Country & Battle of Britain loco
Heritage & Preserved Steam Locomotive Engines
My Archive Steam Photos from the 1960s
Technical detail specifications of locomotive 34101: Boiler pressure of 34101: 250 lbf/sq.in., Weight of 34101: loco 86.0 tons, tender ~42-48 tons, Wheel diameter of 34101: 3′ 1”, 6′ 2″, 3′ 1″, Valve gear of 34101: Walschaerts, Cylinders (diameter x stroke) of 34101: 16⅜” x 24″ (3), Tractive effort of 34101: 27720 lbf., BR Power classification of 34101: Class 7P
Bullied SR 4-6-2 pacific design, (34101 HARTLAND originally built with air smoothed casing, removed in rebuilding), thermic syphons and Boxpox driving wheels.
Steam locomotive 34101 HARTLAND was built in 1950 with air smoothed casing at Brighton Works, but was rebuilt by Jarvis in 1960 at Eastleigh Works. It is currently being rebuilt and hopefully restored to full working order at NYMR’s Grosmont workshops on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. http://www.docbrown.info


Steam Railways in Preservation in the 1990s – December 1993 Including Littleton Colliery

Steam Railways in Preservation In the 1990s

Including Littleton Colliery

December 1993

Bahamas shedWork begins on the removal of the shuttering at the ‘Bahamas’ Locomotive Society’s new purpose built workshops at Ingrow on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway. Revealed underneath them is the inspection pit which has taken the summer and autumn to complete. The ex-LMS Jubilee 4-6-0 was recently passed for 75mph running (when track and timing permits, of course) in a complicated procedure which included having the loco’s speedometer re-calibrated at Crewe Heritage Centre, its resting place between North Wales Coast excursion duties at the weekend. She returned to Keighley on Monday but will be out again on the main line, Rail Tours organiser Tom Cozens reminds enthusiasts, double-heading with Black Five ‘George Stephenson’ over the Settle & Carlisle Railway on December 18 1993 and January 1 1994. (Photo: John Fairclough

Littleton Colliery

Whiston & Wimblebury in the yard - Melville Holley

Whiston & Wimblebury in the yard – Melville Holley

The staging of the most ambitious photographers’ charter steam train event ever – over the three day period November 12-14 1993 – became even more poignant in the light of subsequent events.
Within 48 hours of the event, British Coal announced that Littleton Colliery in Staffordshire firstly under review, was to close following losses of £2.9 m since April.
And that effectively means that the sight of working steam within a working colliery environment is unlikely to be repeated.
Over 140 of the country’s leading railway photographers were invited to the three-day event, organised by Railway Magazine Assistant Editor Chris Milner and photographer Robin Stewart-Smith, together with Steve Turner and other members of the nearby Foxfield Railway. Following the success of a similar one-day event at Littleton last year, it was proposed that the event be repeated but this time using two locomotives over the full length of the pit system.
Motive power came from Foxfield, appropriately in the shape of two ex-NCB 1950s-built Hunslet 0-6-0STs, ‘Whiston’ (ex-Bold Colliery) and ‘Wimblebury’ (ex-Cannock Wood Colliery). Foxfield also brought along their recently-acquired ex-LMS brake van, appropriately out-shopped in NCB blue and yellow livery.

Wimblebury and the Foxfield Railway's brake van beside Littleton's loading bunker - Robin Stewart-Smith
Wimblebury and the Foxfield Railway’s brake van beside Littleton’s loading bunker – Robin Stewart-Smith

Llangollen Railway

Chemicals giant ICI have swapped Llangollen Railway more than three-quarters of a mile of 95lb bull-head line worth at least £25,000… for hundreds of seats for disabled and under-privileged children on their renowned ‘Santa’ services along the Dee Valley!
Imperial Chemical Industries say the site of redundant sidings is now wanted for further development at their sprawling Castner Kellner Works on the mouth of the Mersey estuary at Runcorn – and when the giant firm named their price, the North Wales line were more than delighted to oblige.
This special deal was arranged by ICI chief and Llangollen member Mr. John Rutter, who was anxious to ensure that the metals weren’t simply cut up for scrap.

Swanage Railway

Swanage Autumn Gala 1993Thousands of excited children and their parents from throughout Dorset and Hampshire are expected to deluge the volunteer-run Swanage Railway every weekend this December and the annual fund-raising ‘Santa Special’ steam trains on the relaid Purbeck Line.
And rail passengers can beat the traffic this year because volunteers are laying on a special vintage bus service from Weymouth and Christchurch – and many points in between – to the Swanage Railway. A rare 1961 double-decker Bristol Lodekka bus. ‘Nelly’ will be transporting passengers from Weymouth, Dorchester, Wareham, Poole, Bournemouth and Christchurch.

Bristol_Lodekka_F56G_-_1961_-_reg_109_DRMA preserved Bristol Lodekka FS6G/ECW at the Fleetwood Tram Sunday 2006. It was previous operated by Cumberland Motor Services, whose successor is Stagecoach North West. Bristol Lodekka F56G – 1961 – reg 109 DRMCC BY 2.0view termsTerry Wha from Bolton, UK
License details  This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

BRM WilmcoteDetroitGCR

Some Old Lines – The Great Central Railway

Some Old Lines

Great Central Railway


QuornQuorn & Woodhouse Station

The Great Central Railway (GCR) was a railway company in England which came into being when the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway changed its name in 1897 in anticipation of the opening in 1899 of its London Extension (see Great Central Main Line). On 1 January 1923, it was grouped into the London and North Eastern Railway. Today, small sections of the main line in Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire are preserved; see Great Central Railway (preserved). Several other sections of GCR lines are still in public operation.

BelgraveBelgrave & Birstall Station

Nowadays the Great Central Railway (GCR) is a heritage railway in Leicestershire, named after the company that originally built this stretch of railway.
The GCR is currently Britain’s only double track mainline heritage railway, with 5.25 miles (8.45 km) of working double track, period signalling, locomotives and rolling stock. It runs for 8.25 miles (13.28 km) in total from the large market town of Loughborough to a new terminus just north of Leicester.

RothleyRothley Station

I’ve come across a few photos of old stations on the Great Central Railway.
The Great Central Railway was one of Britain’s biggest closures. The line from Sheffield to London was built at the turn of the 19th/20th centuries and designed for high speed running. It was built to the continental loading gauge as the entrepreneurs of the Great Central had ideas of building a channel tunnel and running through-trains to the centre of the country. The line was built on a grand scale and the architecture was well known.
Typical country stations were Quorn, Rothley and Belgrave & Birstall. Built as island platforms, the stations were more economical to staff and operate.

EPSON scanner imageBelgrave & Birstall Station
View southward, towards Leicester, London etc.; ex-GC Sheffield – Nottingham Leicester – London Main line (closed mainly 5/9/66). Station closed 4/3/63, but reopened by Great Central Railway as ‘Leicester North’, being southern terminus of restored line from Loughborough (Central), which reached here on 3/7/91. The photograph shows the station in the original form typical of ‘London Extension’ stations – an island platform accessed from entrance buildings on a bridge.
© Copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Old Railway Stations – Nottingham Victoria

Old Railway Stations

Nottingham Victoria

Nottingham Victoria Station 1903

Nottingham Victoria Station 1903

Nottingham Victoria railway station was a Great Central Railway and Great Northern Railway railway station in Nottingham, England. It was designed by the architect Albert Edward Lambert, who also designed the rebuild of the Nottingham Midland station (now known more simply as Nottingham Station).
It was opened by the Nottingham Joint Station Committee on 24 May 1900 and closed on 4 September 1967 by the London Midland Region of British Railways. The station building was entirely demolished (except for the clock tower) and the Victoria Centre shopping centre was built on the site, incorporating the old station clock tower into the main entrance on Milton Street (continuation of Mansfield Road).

Nottingham Victoria 1
Nottingham Victoria on a summer Saturday in August with B1 class 4-6-0 No.61192 taking water on the 6.45am Leicester central to Manchester Victoria train. This vast station site is now occupied by a large shopping centre. The clock tower, which is now overshadowed by skyscraper flats, has been incorporated into the shopping precinct and survives as a monument of a more spacious age.

Nottingham Victoria 2

Nottingham Victoria with a class 9F 2-10-0 rumbling through on an empty coal train from the south. Known to railway staff as ‘Annersley Runners’, these long coal trains were a feature of Great Central main line running. Passengers are waiting for the through trains to Scarborough or Cleethorpes which used to run summer Saturdays only over the closed Lancashire, Derbyshire and East Coast line.

Nottingham Victoria 3

Nottingham Victoria and the arrival of the 7.20am Leicester Central to Cleethorpes train behind K3 class No.61896. This train ran on three days of the year only and traversed the closed Lancashire, Derbyshire and East Coast Railway from Mansfield Central to Lincoln, calling at Edwinstowe and Ollerton, two stations which were open to the public for two months of the year only. Note the wheeltappers wondering whether to tap or not.

Some Early Lines – The LNER also operated trams.

Some Early Lines

The LNER also operated trams.


The Grimsby & Immingham Electric Tramway was opened by the GCR in 1912 to provide transport for Immingham dockworkers. Seven miles long, the line started at Corporation Bridge, Grimsby, and ran the first mile in the public street and then into open country. The GCR’s single deck bogie cars had a central area for milk and merchandise. It was a line of great character, but closed down in favour of buses on July 1st, 1961. Car No.16 stands at the tramway station in Corporation Road, Grimsby, on 23rd May 1953. Car No.14 was in the care of the National Tramway Museum, in store awaiting restoration (1986).
Photo: O.H.Prosser.

Some Local Railways this Easter

Some Local Railways this Easter

Don’t forget – Chasewater Railway details on the ‘Home’ page!

Ecclesbourne Valley Railway

Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Wirksworth.

Sunny Day at Wirksworth StationSunny day at Wirksworth Station

Easter Weekend
Fri 18th, Sat 19th, Sun 20th, Mon 21st April 2014
Our normal timetable will operate on the Wirksworth and Duffield line. The Wirksworth and Ravenstor line will be operating an increased timetable also.
There will be an Egg Trail on Saturday, Sunday and Monday around the station at Wirksworth.
Day Rover Fares
Tickets are valid for all day travel on both the Duffield and Ravenstor lines.
Adults Concessions Children Family (2+3)
£12.00 £11.00 £6.00 £29.00

Churnet Valley

churnet-valley-railway logoChurnet Valley

Kids Go Free This Easter

Posted in Contributors Blog on 7th Apr 2014
“Kids Go Free” this Easter at the Churnet Valley Railway with its Steam hauled Easter “Eggspress” trains….
Plus on Easter Sunday Children can enjoy complimenatry Easter Activities which will include an Easter Egg Hunt, Egg Painting, Hunt the Rabbit and Make & Take Children’s Activity Tables.
Trains will be running over the Easter weekend, Saturday, Easter Sunday & Bank Holiday Monday and Wednesday 23rd April. Our “Kids Go Free” offer which allows one Child to travel FREE with each full fare paying adult is valid every day over the Easter holiday. Trains depart each day at 11:32, 12:57 & 14:22 from Cheddleton Station and 12:10, 13:35 & 15:00 from Kingsley & Froghall Station. No booking is required just come along.
As usual our “Goods Shed” tea room at Cheddleton Station and our award winning traditional tea rooms at Kingsley & Froghall Station will be open on all running days providing snacks, hot meals and a huge selection of homemade cakes. And don’t forget to visit one of the best railway souvenir shops around.
Happy Easter!

Amerton Railway


Running daily throughout the Easter Holidays, mainly diesel hauled but with steam on Easter Saturday, Sunday and Monday

Fares (held for 2014): Children £1.50, Concessions £1.70, Adults £2.20

Peak Rail


19th, 20th, 21st, 22nd & 23rd April – Easter Treasure Hunt
Fun for all the family with clues on the train and at Rowsley South and Matlock Platform 2 Stations. Plus your chance to win tickets for our hugely popular Santa Specials.
For a Easter treat every child bringing along a teddy bear can travel free over this five day event.
Normal timetable and fares will apply for this event.
Please contact 01629 580381 for further information.

Severn Valley Railway


During the school Easter holidays, timetable B operates from April 14th – 27th excepting April 19th – 21st when timetable C is in operation.

With timetable B, 3 steam hauled trains are in operation throughout the day. An additional train, which is not shown here, operates on Sunday and is available for pre-booked diners only.

Why not try one of our suggestions below and get the most out of your day?

For the Kids: Collect an entry form and a FREE pack of crayons when you arrive, and take part in our ‘Chicks & Bunnies’ observation competition all the way along the line. Prizes for the best entries!
There will also be fun art and craft activities (Decopatch) by Crocodile Creations at The Engine House on April 19th, 20th & 21st (additional charge applies).

Fantastic Fares: Our Fantastic Fares discount offer is available on April 18th & 25th. Prebook your tickets now and save up to 30% off the normal fare

Great Central Railway


GCR Next week easter-poster-2014

Foxfield Railway

Foxfield easter-bunnywhiston

Foxey’s Easter Specials 2014

18th – 21st April
Spring is not just great for seeing rows of daffodils but also a great chance to explore the great British countryside and what better chance to do it by steam train.
With Easter to look forward to Foxfield will be providing plenty of steam hauled trains so that more people can see how glorious the surrounding Staffordshire countryside really is.

Throughout the Easter weekend visitors will be able to take part in Face Painting, Egg hunt and also our much loved activity carriage where everyone can get can to grips with games.Commenting on the busy weekends “Richard Barnett” said, “Spring is always a great start to the season for us, people just want to get out, especially after the extremely cold winter period we have had”.
Over the weekend Foxfield’s great facilities will be open with the buffet offering cold and hot refreshments and our very own award winning real ale bar offering a fine selection of beers.


Telford Steam Railway


Welcome to Telford Steam Railway

2014  Our railway will be open on Sundays and Bank Holidays from Easter 2014

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era – 1903 – Robinson ‘Atlantics’ Great Central Railway

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era

1903 – Robinson ‘Atlantics’

Great Central Railway

5259 King Edward VllOne of the compounds, No. 5259 ‘King Edward V11’, in 1930, at which time it was carrying the temporary ‘flower pot’ type of chimney of the period, later replaced by a more handsome tapered chimney similar to, but not quite identical with the original GCR pattern.

Concurrently with the two 4-6-0 engines of Class B1, Mr. Robinson commenced building a series of very handsome ‘Atlantics’ for express working on the main line.  The first two were Nos. 192 and 194, turned out in 1903, and they were followed between 1904 and 1906 by Nos. 260-7, 358, 360-3 and 1083-94, 27 in all.  In addition another four engines, Nos. 258-9 and 364-5 were built in 1905-6 as 3-cylinder compounds on the Smith system, similar to, but not quite identical with the much better known Midland and LMS type.  These four were given names.

All had 5000 added to their numbers at the grouping, and all were eventually superheated.  No. 1090 was converted to 3-cylinder simple propulsion in 1909, but reverted to two cylinders in 1923.  This engine was scrapped in 1939, and was subsequently not included in the 1946 renumbering scheme whereby the simple engines became 2900-25 and the compounds 2895-8.  All were scrapped between 1947 and 1950, and none actually carried a 60000 number although a few lasted until early Nationalisation days.

Simple – Driving wheels – 6’ 9”,  Cylinders (2) 21”x 26” (originally 19”x 26”),  Pressure – 180 lb.,  Tractive effort – 21658 lb.,  Weight – 71 tons 18 cwt,  GCR classification – 8B and 8J,  LNER classification – C4

Compound – Driving wheels – 6’ 9”,  Cylinders (1) 19”x 26”  (2) 21”x 26”,  Pressure – 180 lb.,  Tractive effort – 21658 lb.,  Weight – 73 tons 6 cwt,  GCR classification – 8D and 8E,  LNER classification – C5


Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era 1902 – Earlier Robinson 4-6-0s Great Central Railway

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era

1902 – Earlier Robinson 4-6-0s

Great Central Railway

6100 - One of the 6 -7 engines in 19266100 – One of the 6′ 7″ engines in 1926

In all, J.G.Robinson designed nine classes of 4-6-0 for the Great Central Railway during his period of office from 1900 to 1922, the first four of which conformed to one general pattern and can be considered here.  The later classes differed very considerably.

The arrangement common to all four of the earlier designs was the two outside cylinders driving the centre pair of wheels, with the framing raised to clear the coupling rods and separate splashers for each pair of driving wheels.  The main variations between the four classes lay in the sizes of the driving wheels and the boilers.


The first batch consisted of fourteen engines, No. 180-7and 1067-72, built between 1902 and 1904.  These had 6’ 1” wheels and were intended mainly for the fast fish traffic between Grimsby and London, hence they were usually known as the ‘Fish’ class.

Nos. 195 and 196, which appeared in 1903, were intended for express work and had 6’ 9” driving wheels.  Apart from the six-coupled wheels, they were identical with the ‘Atlantics’ which appeared at the same time, and were built for the sake of comparison between the two types.  Neither class was ever converted, however, unlike the similar situation on the Great Western, where the 4-4-2 type was eventually altered to 4-6-0.


1906 saw ten somewhat similar engines but with 6’ 7” wheels, Nos. 1095-1104, of which 1097 bore the name ‘Immingham’.

Lastly, in the same year, were ten engines, Nos. 1105-14, with 5’ 3” wheels for fast freight traffic.  All of these classes had 5000 added to their numbers at the grouping, and in 1946 they were renumbered from 1469089 and 1678-90 (two engines already withdrawn were not included here).  They were scrapped between 1947 and 1950, and although some passed into BR hands, only two, old 1105 and 1111 actually carried BR numbers, which they did as Nos. 61469 and 61475.


B1 later B18 – Driving wheels – 6’ 9”,  Cylinders – 21”x 26”,  Pressure – 180 lb.,  Tractive effort – 21658 lb.,  Weight – 72 tons 18 cwt,  GCR classification – 8C,  LNER classification B1, later B18

B4 – Driving wheels – 6’ 7”,  Cylinders – 21”x 26”,  Pressure – 180 lb.,  Tractive effort – 22206 lb.,  Weight – 71 tons 15 cwt,  GCR classification – 8F,  LNER classification B4

B5 – Driving wheels – 6’ 1”,  Cylinders – 21”x 26”,  Pressure – 180 lb.,  Tractive effort – 24030 lb.,  Weight – 65 tons 4 cwt,  GCR classification – 8,  LNER classification B5

B9 – Driving wheels – 5’ 3”,  Cylinders – 21”x 26”,  Pressure – 180 lb.,  Tractive effort – 27410 lb.,  Weight – 66 tons 1 cwt,  GCR classification – 8G,  LNER classification B9

The cylinder dimensions were originally 19”x 26”, with less tractive effort in consequence.


Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era 1899 – American 2-6-0 Midland Railway

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era

1899 – American 2-6-0

Midland Railway

One of the Baldwin engines, MR 2506, later 2205, which was broken up in 1913.

About the turn of the 19th/20th century there was a considerable demand for more engines by many of the major companies which could not be immediately met either in their own workshops or by the various private firms of locomotive builders.  As a temporary expedient, therefore, three railways, namely the Midland, the Great Northern and the newly formed Great central, ordered some 2-6-0s from the Baldwin and Schenectady works of the USA, forty for the Midland Railway and twenty each for the other two lines.

Although of the same general design, they differed slightly in detail, some having two domes, as in the example illustrated above.  The 2-6-0 type, which had long been used in America, was almost, but not quite, new to this country, the Great Eastern having had some very unsuccessful examples built in 1878 to the design of W. Adams before he went to the LSWR; the small Midland and South Western Junction Railway also acquired two of an Australian design from Beyer Peacock in 1895-7, one of which later survived at a colliery in Northumberland until the 1940s.

The new 2-6-0s did not have a very long life on any of the three lines which acquired them, and all disappeared between 1909 and 1915.  They had several features, in particular the bar frames, which were common American practice but alien to the standards of this country.

The Midland engines, at first numbered 2501-40, became respectively 2200-9, 2230-9, and 2210-29 at the 1907 renumbering.

Driving wheels – 5’ 1½”,  Pony wheels – 3’ 0”,  Cylinders – 18”x 24”,  Pressure – 175 lb.,  Weight 45 tons.

No.2516 – Howden Boys Book of Locomotives, 1907

Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era 1877 Sacre 4-4-0 Manchester, Sheffield & Lincolnshire Railway

Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era

1877  Sacre  4-4-0 

Manchester, Sheffield & Lincolnshire Railway

Illustration: No.442 in MSLR days.

Charles Sacre’s design for express work over the hilly road between Manchester and Sheffield.  27 engines were constructed between1877 and 1880, Numbered 4, 128, 129, and 423-46.  They had outside frames to the driving wheels, but the bogie was inside framed, and had no connection with the slotted outside frame which was carried forward to the front of the engine.  They lasted well and were little altered during their existence, apart from such differences as the replacement of the original stove-pipe chimney by one of more decorative design.  In later Great Central days they were placed on the duplicate list by the addition of ‘B’ to their number.  Twelve of them survived to be taken over by the LNER at the grouping, and a few received new numbers, 6460 (late 128B), 6463 (443B), 6464 (442B), 6465 (439B), 6466 (430B), 6467 (428B) and 6468 (425B).  The last survivor was No.6464, scrapped in 1930.

Driving wheels – 6’ 3”,  Bogie wheels – 3’ 3”,  Cylinders – 17”x 26”,  Pressure – 140 lb.,  Weight – 41 tons,  GCR Classification – 6B,  LNER Classification – D12

No.440 of the GCR.  From  LNER Encyclpedia Photo – Malcolm Peirson