autumn steam gala 2019

Autumn Steam Gala 2019 At The Great Central Railway


Another trip to Loughborough and another Steam Gala. The GCR keep coming up with them. This Autumn Steam Gala 2019 was a four day event from 3rd to 6th October 2019. That’s Thursday through to Sunday. I visited with a couple of friends on Friday 4th, arriving just before 09:00 BST.

It was quiet with occasional light rain showers when we arrived at Loughborough station. We walked to the sheds at the north of the station where the engines were being prepared to find there had just been a delivery of coal in a 44 ton artic truck. The coal had been tipped and the truck was manoeuvring to leave the yard.

Loughborough Station Location

Just to clarify the location of GCR Loughborough Station, here it is on a map.

Locomotive Listings

Steamers Running To Timetable In The Autumn Steam Gala 2019

The GCR hosted nine steam locomotives during the Autumn Steam Gala 2019, but only five were in steam when I was there on Friday 4th and ran throughout the gala. They were:

Locos running from 3rd to 6th October:

  • № 926, “REPTON”, 4-4-0
  • № 30120, 4-4-0
  • № 47406, 0-6-0
  • № 73156, 4-6-0
  • № 92214, “LEICESTER CITY”, 2-10-0

These five are all pictured below starting with a carousel of three images of Repton:

Here is a plaque showing historical facts about №926 “REPTON”. There is one attached to the front driving wheel arches of Repton on each side. It’s displayed below the name and class plate.

Repton's information plate
926 Repton History Plaque
30120 autumn steam gala 2019
47406 autumn steam gala 2019
73156 autumn steam gala 2019
92214 autumn steam gala 2019
92214, “Leicester City”, Class 9F 2-10-0.

The other four, according to the weekend timetable, were:

Locos running on 5th & 6th October only:

  • № 6990, “WITHERSLACK HALL”
  • № 46521
  • № 78018
  • № 48305

These four are all pictured below:

6990 autumn steam gala 2019
6990, “Witherslack Hall”.
46521 autumn steam gala 2019
46521 (taken later in the day) with a fire burning to warm it up to run on Saturday.
78018 autumn steam gala 2019
48305 autumn steam gala 2019
48305 (taken later in the day) with a fire burning to warm it up to run on Saturday.

Steamers Not Running In The Autumn Steam Gala 2019

Other steam locomotives I saw on site but not running throughout the gala were:

  • № 4953, “PITCHFORD HALL”
  • № 45305, “ALDERMAN A.E.DRAPER”
  • № 48624
4953 autumn steam gala 2019
4953, “Pitchford Hall”.
45305 autumn steam gala 2019
45305, “Alderman A.E.Draper”.
48624 autumn steam gala 2019

Down at the sheds there were other locomotives which were unidentifiable because they were stripped down and their numbers could not be seen. Also Access to the sheds was not given beyond the line from which I took the photo of No. 48624 above.

Diesels Not Running In The Autumn Steam Gala 2019

Inactive Diesels I saw on site were:

  • № D8098
  • № 13101
  • № 37714, “Cardiff Canton”
  • № 50017 (Not pictured here)
D123 autumn steam gala 2019
D123 2-6-6-2 Diesel, “Leicestershire and Derbyshire Yeomanry”.
D8098 autumn steam gala 2019
D8098 0-4-4-0 Diesel.
13101 autumn steam gala 2019
13101 – 0-6-0 Diesel.
37714 autumn steam gala 2019
37714 0-6-6-0 Diesel, “Cardiff Canton”.

Raising Steam Down Near The Sheds

I don’t think there had been any movement before I arrived but the locos down near the sheds were all getting steam up. The first to move south towards the station was № 30120:

Here are the locos that remained a while longer near the sheds getting steam up. Note that № 4953 and № 48624 were not running:

47406, 73156 & 4933 autumn steam gala 2019
47406, № 73156 & № 4953 at The Sheds.
92214 autumn steam gala 2019
92214 “Leicester City” at The Sheds.

The next loco to move was № 92214 “Leicester City”. It didn’t move far but, it moved.

46521 & 78018 autumn steam gala 2019
926 “Repton” & № 48624 at The Sheds.

Two locomotives not running on Friday were also parked all day in this same area. They were:

These are almost two of a kind. See below:

46521 autumn steam gala 2019
46521 (taken later in the day) with a fire burning to warm it up to run on Saturday.
78018 autumn steam gala 2019

Loughborough Signal Box

Tucked away down by the sheds, adjacent to the Down Line, is the Loughborough Signal Box, a Grade II listed building. All the detail is available here at the GCR website including a picture taken inside it.

Loughborough Signal Box

Forming A Double-header

One way to display as many steam loco’s as possible at an event like this is to couple them in pairs as Double-headers. Even though it’s not necessary to do this from the power requirement viewpoint two loco’s can be seen in motion instead of one running and the other being idle in a siding.

With this purpose in mind 92214 Leicester City was coupled behind № 73156 as you can see below:

autumn steam gala 2019
92214 “Leicester City” being coupled to the tender of № 73156.

Below is a video of the two locos manoeuvring into position for coupling together.

There just isn’t enough land on this side of the track to stand back and take a decent picture of these two loco’s coupled together. So here is my best effort below.

92214 “Leicester City” coupled to № 73156 to work as a Double-header.

Later in the day I spotted them passing through Loughborough station:

92214 “Leicester City” coupled to № 73156 passing south through Loughborough.

I also managed a short video of №30120 passing through.

Getting A Bite To Eat At The Autumn Steam Gala 2019

After looking at what’s on offer at the sheds and Loughborough Station the next thing to do is to start travelling. So my friends and I boarded the first train to Quorn and Woodhouse where we alighted to look for refreshment. We found it here in a small tea room laid out in an old station office.

Quorn & Woodhouse Station Tearoom filled with Memorabilia.

It turned out we weren’t satisfied by tea alone. So we wandered over to the Butler Henderson Cafe at the carpark over the track from the station (as seen on the map below) for a more substantial meal.

Going South In The Autumn Steam Gala 2019

After lunch we were just in time to see №30120 again as it left Quorn with a train of coaches.

At Rothley We Saw “Through Traffic”

No longer connected as a double header, №92214 “Leicester City” passed through Rothley without stopping.

Just to get Rothley Station pinpointed you can see it on the map below.

Repton Got Us To Leicester North During The Autumn Steam Gala 2019

During the day we travelled the full length of the line on a train pulled by No. 926 “Repton”. The line terminates with buffers at Leicester North station. Here locos have to travel to the other end of the train to haul it back to Loughborough. Here is a video of Repton doing just that.

Below is a map showing the location of Leicester North Station.

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