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. It had arrived in a 44 ton artic truck which was manoeuvring and. The coal had been tipped and the truck was manoeuvring to escape from the yard.
Loughborough Station Location
Just to clarify the location of GCR Loughborough Station, here it is on a map.
Steamers Running To Timetable In The Gala
The GCR hosted nine steam locomotives during the Autumn Steam Gala 2019, but only five were in steam on Thursday and Friday and ran throughout the gala. They were:
Locos running from 3rd to 6th Oct:
- No. 926, “REPTON”, 4-4-0
- No. 30120, 4-4-0
- No. 47406, 0-6-0
- No. 73156, 4-6-0
- No. 92214, “LEICESTER CITY”, 2-10-0
These five are all pictured below starting with a carousel of three images of Repton:
Here is a history plate attached to the front driving wheel arches of Repton (there’s one on each side). It’s displayed below the name and class plate.
The other four, according to the weekend timetable, were:
Locos running on 5th & 6th Oct:
- No. 6990, “WITHERSLACK HALL”
- No. 46521
- No. 78018
- No. 48305
These four are all pictured below:
Steamers Not Running In The Autumn Steam Gala 2019
Other steam locomotives I saw on site were:
- No. 4953, “PITCHFORD HALL”
- No. 45305, “ALDERMAN A.E.DRAPER”
- No. 48624
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:
- No. D123, “LEICESTERSHIRE AND DERBYSHIRE YEOMANRY”
- No. D8098
- No. 13101
- No. 37714, “Cardiff Canton”
- No. 50017 (Not pictured here)
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 No. 30120:
Here are the locos that remained a while longer near the sheds getting steam up. Note that No. 4953 and No. 48624 were not running:
The next loco to move was No. 92214 “Leicester City”. It didn’t move far but, it moved.
Two locomotives not running on Friday were also parked all day in this same area. They were LMS Class 2 2-6-0 No. 46521 and BRITISH RAILWAYS CLASS 2 2-6-0 No. 78018 which are almost two of a kind. See below:
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.
Making Up A Double Header
One way to display as many steam loco’s as possible at an event like this is to run them 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.
Here is a video of the two locos manoeuvring into position for their coupling:
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.
Later in the day I spotted them passing through Loughborough station:
I also managed a short video of No. 30120 passing through.
Getting A Bite To Eat
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.
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.
After lunch we were just in time to see No. 30120 again as it left Quorn with a train of coaches.
At Rothley We Saw Through Traffic
No longer connected as a double header, No. 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 Our Destination
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.