Mountsorrel branch trains for Great Central gala

THE Great Central Railway will be running two special trips from the main line on to the Mountsorrel Branch on both days of the September 9-10 diesel gala.

This is the first time the branch has been open to passengers during a gala.

The first public train to run from the GCR main line on to the Mountsorrel Branch via Swithland sidings was the 09.43 departure from Quorn and Woodhouse on July 22. The ground signal gives right-of-way to Class 101 DMU set Nos. E50266, M50321 and E51427, which is at the rear, nearest the camera. The return working departed Mountsorrel at 10.20, running through to Rothley. JOHN NEAVE

The Class 101 DMU departs Loughborough at 11.30 and 13.45, calling at Quorn and Woodhouse, joining the branch at Swithland Sidings, and travelling to the end of the line at Mountsorrel before returning to the GCR main line.

For this weekend only, branch travel is included in the price of runabout tickets on a first-come first-served basis, as the DMU has limited capacity.

There are no branch-only fares at this event and passengers must buy an all-day runabout ticket for the event to enjoy the branch trains as part of their visit.

There are two visiting locos for the gala – Class 35 No. D7017 from the West Somerset Railway (see separate item) and Class 26 No. D5343, courtesy Cotswold Mainline Diesel Group and the Gloucestershire-Warwickshire Railway.

Home fleet locos in operation will be Class 20 No. D8098, Class 25 No. D5185, Class 31 No. D5830, Class 33 No. D6535, and Class 37 No. 37714.

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