The preserved Great Central Railway has been operating for over 30 years, and is manned by around 700 volunteers and a small team of permanent staff. Originally a main line from Sheffield to London, the 8 mile preserved section between Loughborough and Leicester is fully operational and the 4 stations reflect a different period of the railways 109 year history.
Of the hundreds of engines built of the class, 63601 is the only example to remain in the UK. Part of the national collection, it has been stored at numerous sites since withdrawal from service. After many years at Dinting, the engine was moved to the newly refurbished National Railway Museum at York, where a start was made to make the engine presentable.
The locomotive has been restored to full operational condition with help from Main Line Steam Trust and an appeal to the readers of Steam Railway magazine.
It was seen here at Loughborough, preparing to leave for Leicester with the 14:15 “Sunday Lunch special” on the 8th of March, 2009.
It was raining heavily at the time, but the man watching was not bothered!