lunch on the gcr

Dining On A Steam Train At The Great Central Railway


This time we (my wife and I) enjoyed a day on the trains at the Great Central Railway based at Loughborough Station. We went dining on a steam train at the Great Central Railway on 26th May 2012. This pleasure was a Christmas gift from our son. We had 1st class tickets to travel up and down the line during the day, as we pleased, together with lunch on “The South Yorkshireman”.

We were able to choose the date when we used the ticket so we chose a very good one with wall to wall sunshine. You can see our table in the Restaurant Car in this Featured Image if you haven’t already seen it. (This photo was taken from the outside through a window hence the reflections.)

We Started At Loughborough

For anyone wanting to travel to Loughborough to visit the GCR see the map below to get its location and directions to it:

For photographic enthusiasts: All photographs and videos were taken with a Lumix FZ100.

First we admired the Waiting Room. This incorporated the “Ladies” so it may have been just the Ladies Waiting Room:

Laidies Waiting Room
‘Ladies & Waiting Room’ (That’s what it says on the door)

This is the sign on the wall over the fireplace:

Sign over the fireplace in the Waiting Room
Sign over the fireplace in the Waiting Room

We Caught The First Train of The Day

Then we got the first train a Class 101 Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) the 09:40 from Loughborough to Leicester North at the south end of the line (a distance of 16 miles) as shown on the map below:

The accommodation within the Class 101 DMU in which we travelled.
The accommodation within the Class 101 DMU in which we travelled.

Our journey was interrupted, on the single track section of the line between Rothley and Leicester North, by a tree that had been chopped down at the side of the track and was laying on the line. The driver and his mate had to get out and shift it before we could move on.

Felled Tree Lying Across The Track
Felled Tree Lying Across The Track

For those wanting to know where Rothley Station is, take a look at the following map:

To travel on this single track section the driver has to be given a large steel token which is required to unlock the signals. While he had it no one could route another train head on towards ours. We travelled 1st Class, behind the driver’s cab, and by chance in the 1st class compartment there was a group of drivers learning about the line. Their instructors were able to get the token off the driver and we all examined it, see below:

Rothley to Leicester North Single Track Token.
Rothley to Leicester North Single Track Token.
‘ROTHLEY TO LEICESTER NORTH’ is clearly seen stamped into this Single Track Token.
‘ROTHLEY TO LEICESTER NORTH’ is clearly seen stamped into this Single Track Token.

Our Visit To The Quorn & Woodhouse Station

We didn’t disembark at Leicester North and began the return journey immediately. Having heard all about the line and intermediate stations, from the lecture given to the group of drivers earlier, we chose to alight at the Quorn and Woodhouse station. This station is set in the period WW2 and is a small museum of that period.

Quorn & Woodhouse Name Board
Quorn & Woodhouse Name Board

We exited Quorn & Woodhouse Station onto Woodhouse Road carried by the bridge crossing the line. The entrance/exit can be found between the up and down lines on the map below:

A Little Diversion To The Café

Then we went over the bridge to the Butler Henderson Café, a large modern building with facilities. This is on the edge of the station car park which has its own driveway off Woodhouse Road. The picture below is taken from the area surrounding the café. This happened before we went dining on a steam train at the GCR.

 at Quorn & Woodhouse Station
Quorn & Woodhouse Station.

Back To The Station

The first picture below is of a baby laying in its pram inside a respirator. In this case a respirator is a gas mask for a baby. In the background is a “Dig For Victory” vegetable patch:

 at Quorn & Woodhouse Station
A pram with a baby in a respirator & the Dig For Victory plot in the background.

 A close up of the “Dig For Victory” Vegetables. In WW2 British People were encouraged to supplement their rations with home grown food from any land available:

"Dig For Victory" vegetable patch at Quorn & Woodhouse Station
“Dig For Victory” vegetable patch.

Not only is Quorn station decked out in the WW2 period it also has an LNER (London & North Eastern Railway) theme:

 at Quorn & Woodhouse Station
Quorn and Woodhouse Station Booking Office.

Next we have an eccentric English Stationmaster doing his impression of a teat-pot.

Quorn & Woodhouse Stationmaster
Quorn & Woodhouse Stationmaster

The Stationmaster’s Office

Below is the Stationmaster’s office. Some items in there are still part of everyday life but they don’t all look the same as they do today. See how many you can spot. Try clicking on the picture to enlarge it. See if you can top my list at the end of this post.

 at Quorn & Woodhouse Station
Quorn and Woodhouse Station Master’s Office.

Back On The Platform

Are these fire buckets or fire helmets?

 at Quorn & Woodhouse Station
Fire Buckets for scooping up water and throwing it onto a fire.

I found this advert portraying the height of technology at the time:

Telephone Advert at Quorn & Woodhouse Station
Telephone Advert

Enjoy This BBC Science Experiment Performed At Quorn Station

Go to BBC News to see and hear a Doppler effect demonstration.

Visiting Quorn Village

While at Quorn we walked from the station to the village and found some nice residential properties en-route:

Great Central Railway - 26th May 2012
A Modern Detached Quorn House

Lunch On The South Yorkshireman

Having returned to Loughborough we were given the Red Carpet treatment when we went dining on a steam train at the GCR:

dining on a steam train
There was a red carpet laid out for those dining on a steam train at the GCR.

Passengers Dining On A Steam Train At The GCR

Here are some of the passengers who were dining on a steam train and enjoying lunch at the GCR:

dining on a steam train
dining on a steam train
“Where’s my soup?”

……and below is the location of the first course, Swithland Reservoir with Brazil Wood to the right:

dining on a steam train
Swithland Reservoir with Brazil Wood to the right.

In The Sheds

After dining on a steam train at the GCR we went to see a little bit of work in the sheds and found this Class 2 loco № 46521:

Loco Maintenance
Men Working in The Sheds at GCR Loughborough next to Class 2 № 46521.

The List of Items In The Stationmaster’s Office

Below is my list of items of interest in Quorn and Woodhouse Station Master’s Office which are still used today but may look different to the ones we have now. The list has white text to hide it against the white background.

To view my list:

Select the area between the two markers →| and |← as if you were going to copy it. That will highlight the area making the hidden text appear white against the highlighting colour so you can see it:

→|Clipboard, Telephone, Office Swivel Chair, Desk, Luggage, Radio (Wireless), Weighing Scales, Free-standing Photo Frame, Wire In-tray for papers, Stapler, Light Switch, First Aid Box, Newspaper, Union Flag.|←

Go here to see more of The Railway Experiences I’ve Had At Home and Abroad.



One response to “Dining On A Steam Train At The Great Central Railway”

  1. Becci avatar

    Looks like you had a great day out!x

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