|R48||Great Central Railway 110th Anniversary cover||£15.00||Buy Now|
Issue Date: 15/05/2009
Issue Name: 110th Anniversary of the Great Central Railway
Producer: Buckingham Covers
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-sized steam engines can be seen passing each other - just as it was when steam ruled the rails! To mark the 100th Anniversary of the Great Central Railway, we have produced this charming cover, to conjure up the nostalgia of gentler days.
We were delighted to work officially with Great Central Railway on the design of the cover, which bears their logo. Postmarked in Loughborough, the home of Great Central Railway. Dated on 9th March 2009, 110 years since the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway opened the line in full from London to Manchester. Each cover was carried on Great Central Railway during the Gala weekend marking the 40th anniversary of the Closure of the Railway (and of course the start of the preservation).
Great Central Railway - A History
The Great Central Railway began as the smaller Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway, and would have remained as this had it not been for the General Manager and then Chairman Edward Watkin. He was a man of great foresight and ambition, who contributed greatly to Railways in Britain and abroad, envisaging rail links between the industrial centres of Europe and the Channel Tunnel.
In 1897 the Directors changed the name from the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway (which, to be fair, was a little on the long side) to the much snappier Great Central Railway. It was felt that this better reflected it's status. Two years later in 1899 the "London Extension" was opened. Built by Edward Watkin, it became known for it's "Rapid Travel in Luxury" as well as it's handsome locomotives and trains. It was also the last main line to be constructed into London until the opening of "High Speed 1" in 2007.
In the grouping of 1923, the Great Central Railway became part of the London & North Eastern Railway, and later in 1948, the Eastern Region of British Railways.
As with many railways, private motor competition began to affect the line and in 1960 the decline had truly begun, with long stretches of line being closed in 1966 and the remaining section in 1969. With these final closures a group of enthusiasts decided to recreate, for future generations, the magic and nostalgia of the great British Age of Steam. From small beginnings, the Great Central Railway is now one of the region's top tourist attractions.
The Great Central Railway now boasts over 20 steam locomotives and an extensive selection of rolling stock, passenger carriages, wagons, First Class dining cars and kitchen/buffet vehicles. In fact, being a mainline railway means that the largest, heaviest and most impressive of British steam locomotives can be operated. In addition to the home-based fleet, famous guest locomotives visit the line on a regular basis.
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