|R339||50th Anniversary of the Great Central Railway Closure||£10.95||Buy Now|
Issue Date: 17/03/2019
Issue Name: 50th Anniversary of the Great Central Railway Closure
Producer: Buckingham Covers
The Great Central Railway is a heritage railway in Leicestershire, named after the company that originally built this stretch of the railway. It runs for 8.25 miles between the large market town of Loughborough and a new terminus just north of Leicester.
Our lovely cover features a stunning image of a steam train on the Great Central Railway, along with a Great Central Railway stamp from the 2004 Classic Locomotives issue and our Loughborough, Leicestershire postmark.
The Great Central Railway
It began as the smaller Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolshire railway, and would have remained as this had it not been for General Manager and then Chairman Edward Watkin. Then a significant period of devlopment took place mainly through joint line developments with other companies. He was a very ambitious man and envisaged rail links between the industrial centres of Europe and the Channel Tunnel.
In 1897 the name was changed to the Great Central Railway from the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway to better reflect its status. Two years later in 1899, ‘The London Extension’ was officially opened to passenger and freight traffic, allowing more direct journeys from the capital to Nottingham, Leicester, Sheffield and Manchester.
During the 60s the run down had begun, with long stretches being closed in 1966 and the remaining section in 1969. With these final closures a group of enthusiasts who opposed the closures and were determined to keep the line alive for the running of main line engines, gathered together for a series of meetings at Leicester Central railway station and the Main Line Preservation Group (MLPG) was formed to begin the mammoth task of preservation and restoration.
The Great Central Railway is the UK’s only double track, main line heritage railway. It’s the only place in the world where full size steam engines can be seen passing each other – just as it was when steam ruled the rails.
Want to keep your rail covers safe? View our lovely Railway Album here