UK & Ireland Heritage Railways

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Great Central Railway

Class 27 D5401 pictured leaving Swithland Sidings BoB Class 4-6-2 34070 'Manston' pictured starting off southbound from Loughborough Station


Length of Line:

Number of Stations:


Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 1RW

8 miles



Rail Experience Days:

Dining Trains:

4ft 8½in



Voted number 12 on the list of the 50 greatest railway journeys in the world 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.

VAQAS Logo Trains run every weekend of the year, bank holidays and daily in the summer. In addition, First Class Restaurant Car Services provide 5 course meals, whilst travelling between Loughborough and Leicester. For a very special night out, step aboard the Great Central Pullman and return to an age of luxury and glamour, the quintessential orient express experience. Childhood dreams can come true with a Drive a Train Experience. We also run many family events, including Bonfire Night, Wartime Weekend and Santa Specials.

The preserved railway has been operating for over 30 years, and is manned by around 700 volunteers and a small team of permanent staff. Originally a main line from Sheffield to London, the 8 mile preserved section between Loughborough and Leicester is fully operational and the 4 stations reflect a different period of the railways 109 year history.