Ruddington’s Railway Celebrates 125 Years

Did you realise that 2024 marks 125 years since the opening of the Great Central Railway ‘London Extension’? That included the two sections of line now preserved by heritage railway groups between Ruddington and Birstall in Leicester – which are soon to be reconnected in Loughborough, if all goes to plan. Meantime this weekend those two groups, Great Central Railway (Nottingham) and Great Central Railway (Loughborough), are holding a joint celebration for the first time, and encouraging visitors to enjoy what’s on offer at their sites. On both Saturday 16th March…

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Twixmas Roundup from our Railway

With Nottingham Transport Heritage Centre now closed until 2024 (3rd January) here’s a quick progress report as we reach the end of another busy year at Ruddington’s popular railway. Firstly, Great Central Railway (Nottingham) (GCRN) reports that all the main building work on its new carriage shed here in Ruddington is now complete. Not only will this substantial new structure protect four, 1950s-built carriages from the elements and damage, but also the planned flat floor means it will be suitable for indoor events, and there is also a small workshop.…

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Milestone Moment for Ruddington’s Railway

Despite the less than ideal autumn weather, it’s being reported that construction of a brand new building at Ruddington’s heritage railway is proceeding well – with new roof beams recently lifted into place {top photo by Tom Ingall} and the halfway point of the fundraising target now reached. As we reported in the summer, £40,000 was awarded to the Great Central Railway (Nottingham) Ltd (GCRN) ‘Carriage Shed Project’ from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) and Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF). This money, combined with match funding from East Midlands Railway Trust and LNER…

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Carriage Shed Takes Shape

Volunteers at Ruddington’s heritage railway report that work has got underway on schedule to finish building the long-planned covered storage area for its vintage carriages. This will complement the existing locomotive shed and engineering works at Nottingham Transport Heritage Centre on Mere Way. Great Central Railway (Nottingham) Ltd (GCRN) reveals that contractors have been onsite at building number 4, their new ‘Carriage Shed, for about two weeks now. Work completed to date includes the installation of new rear security door, marking out the position of the new steelwork and necessary work…

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Cash Boost for Ruddington’s Railway

The carriage shed interior as it looks now

Volunteers at Nottingham Transport Heritage Centre on Mere Way have revealed one of their projects has been awarded significant grant funding by Rushcliffe Borough Council to help them complete it. The £40,000 being given to the Great Central Railway (Nottingham) Ltd (GCRN) ‘Carriage Shed Project’ comes from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) and Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF) – part of the UK Government’s ‘Levelling Up’ agenda providing funding for local investment. The money, combined with match funding from East Midlands Railway Trust and LNER (GC) Heritage Trust will allow the already…

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New Rail ‘Reunification’ Bridge Arrives!

Reaching the stage when trains will once again be able to run all the way from Ruddington to Leicester has got another step closer this week – with the lowering into place of a replacement Great Central Railway (GCR) bridge over the A60. As RUDDINGTON.info reported last month, this brand new structure was needed to replace the old bridge (number 326) near the Brush factory, on the outskirts of Loughborough, which was in such poor condition that the line over it needed to be closed on safety grounds back in September…

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Goodbye Bridge As Rail ‘Reunification’ Gets Closer

A future era when trains will once again be able to run all the way from Ruddington to Leicester has got another step nearer this month – with the removal of an unsafe railway bridge over the A60. The old bridge near the Brush factory, on the outskirts of Loughborough, has been a landmark for road users visiting the town during the last 125 years. Originally it was not anticipated having to replace this historic structure as part of Great Central Railway’s ‘Reunification’ plans – an ambitious railway reconnection project to…

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What’s Happening at our Heritage Railway?

For almost two years now a most familiar weekend sound drifting across Ruddington has been sadly missing – that of the distant whistles and gentle chugging of steam trains making their way in and out of Nottingham Transport Heritage Centre. Please find our January 2023 update >>HERE<<. In fact, heritage passenger services last ran at Great Central Railway (Nottingham) (as it was then known) during the February 2020 half term – before all trains were cancelled and the centre closed to visitors due to the initial Coronavirus outbreak. Whilst other attractions at…

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Trouble on the Tracks!

Just as everything seemed to be moving forward very nicely at Ruddington’s transport heritage centre, it’s emerged that the two groups responsible for running the site – and the services from it – are at loggerheads over a section of track. After the Board at GCRN decided to rebrand its railway as NHR – Nottingham Heritage Railway “with immediate effect” just a week ago, this morning it has issued a terse public statement saying it will not “surrender running rights” to East Midlands Railway Trust (EMRT) from a point just north of Rushcliffe Halt…

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Record Breaking Train Reaches Ruddington

In October 2019 RUDDINGTON.info reported that two former Midland Mainline Inter-City 125 Powercars would be coming to GCRN – Great Central Railway (Nottingham) on a permanent basis thanks to leasing company Porterbrook. As planned, high speed trains 43048 and 43089 were both duly handed over The 125 Group at the end of their careers with East Midlands Trains to be based in Ruddington – with the intention of running passenger trips between the Heritage Centre and Loughborough (eventually to Leicester North). We understand they are still in storage. Meantime, their eventual arrival here has been trumped…

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