Loughborough Central railway station

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Loughborough Central
Station on heritage railway
GCR Loughborough.jpg
Platform and clock
LocationLoughborough, Leicestershire
Coordinates52°46′07″N 1°11′45″W / 52.7686°N 1.1959°W / 52.7686; -1.1959Coordinates: 52°46′07″N 1°11′45″W / 52.7686°N 1.1959°W / 52.7686; -1.1959
Grid referenceSK543193
Operated byGreat Central Railway (preserved)
Platforms2 (1 Island)
Original companyGreat Central Railway
Post-groupingLondon and North Eastern Railway
Key dates
15 March 1899opened
5 May 1969closed
23 March 1974reopened
Entrance to station

Loughborough Central Station is a railway station on the Great Central Railway and the Great Central Railway (preserved) serving Loughborough.


The station was opened by the Great Central Railway on 15 March 1899,[1] built to the standard GCR arrangement of having an island platform set between the two main running lines. The platforms are 400 feet (120 m) long, capable of accommodating consists of up to 8 coaches and/or mail vans.[1] The station buildings are unique on the preserved railway, the only station with a complete canopy, the longest in railway preservation. The station was closed by British Rail under the Beeching Axe, on 5 May 1969.[1]

Reopened by the Great Central Railway as part of the restored heritage railway in 1974, train services currently run south from the station to Leicester North. Within the station complex, the station buildings, original GCR signal box sited to the north, and the three original water tanks are all Grade II listed.[2]

Station masters[edit]

  • Walter Tate
  • P.B. Hand ca. 1929 - 1931[3] (afterwards station master at Luton)
  • Henry Ernest Algar 1931[4] - 1937 (formerly station master at Nottingham High Level station)
  • A. Smith 1937[5] - ???? (formerly station master at Bingham)

Station facilities[edit]

Original station facilities include: ladies' waiting room and powder room; general waiting room; gentlemen's toilets; and a refreshment room/cafe. In 2009, a £20,000 grant allowed the station to have new toilets, and a lift in the entrance hall to be installed for the benefits of the disabled visitors. The railway society have also added a book and gift shop, a museum, and an emporium/shop.

All stations on the preserved Great Central Railway are set in a specific era; at Loughborough this era is the 1950s. Many artefacts around the station aid in this atmosphere, including original and recreated British Railways posters, British Railways totem poles, a 1950s TV showing 1950s transportation films in the general waiting room, and a display of 1950s platform trolleys and bicycles.

The station also plays host to the command centre of the heritage railway operations, from which the Duty Traffic Manager organizes all movements which take place on the railway from the Station Master's Office.


The station has appeared in many film and television programmes, chosen for its retro aesthetic, such as Enigma, Shadowlands and Cemetery Junction. The station and Great Central Railway line were also featured in the fourth episode of the 17th series of BBC's Top Gear programme, shown on 17 July 2011 during a train/car feature, which was filmed in June 2011.[6]

Running shed[edit]

From a long fenced pathway alongside the northward line, the running shed can be viewed. This large 3-road building has to accommodate both residential and visiting motive power, as well as serving as a workshop. Unlike most other railways, it is possible to go inside and see "most" of the steam locomotives in various stages of completion. Only the third road is inaccessible to the general public.

The current Loughborough Gap project will result in the shed being demolished, due to its position intercepting the line to Ruddington. The replacement is a 10-road from Workington in Cumbria, which will be rebuilt brick-by-brick into an 8-road shed, which could have enough storage for 16 large tender engines. The brownfield site on which it will eventually be built, will include the shed itself (half of which will be converted into a workshop), a second carriage works, storage sidings and an education centre for school groups.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Disused Stations". Subterranea Britannica.
  2. ^ http://www.charnwood.gov.uk/environment/loughborough-statutorylist.html#loughborough25a Archived 11 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Mr. P.B. Hand". Nottingham Evening Post. England. 20 February 1931. Retrieved 8 March 2020 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  4. ^ "Loughborough's New Station-Master". Nottingham Evening Post. England. 30 March 1931. Retrieved 8 March 2020 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  5. ^ "Bingham Stationmaster's promotion". Grantham Journal. England. 23 January 1937. Retrieved 8 March 2020 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  6. ^ "Top Gear trio pull latest stunt at Great Central Railway". Leicester Mercury. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 22 July 2011.
Preceding station Heritage Railways  Heritage railways Following station
Quorn and Woodhouse   Great Central Heritage Railway   Terminus
Disused railways
Quorn and Woodhouse
Line and station open
  Great Central Railway
London Extension
  East Leake
Line and station closed
Heritage Railways  Proposed Heritage railways
Quorn and Woodhouse
Line and station open
  Great Central Heritage Railway   East Leake
Line and station closed