MOUNTSORREL RAILWAY GRAND OPENING WEEKEND 24TH & 25TH OCTOBER
The weekend of October 24th and 25th sees the opening of a newly restored railway line at Mountsorrel in Leicestershire, the latest addition to Leicestershire’s Great Central Railway
The project to restore the Mountsorrel Railway, which once served the granite quarries of the village, has been undertaken entirely by volunteers from the local community and beyond. What started 8 years ago as a desire by local people to protect their heritage, has grown to capture the hearts of the community.
Volunteer Project Leader Steve Cramp commented “We started the project with no funding at all and looked at how the restoration of the railway could be achieved at minimal cost; the only answer was to do all the physical work ourselves. From there we never looked back and set out using tools such as a restored 120 year old cross saw, traditional track laying tools and lots of hard graft. So many people have gotten behind the project and given their time and expertise to help; 80,000 hours of volunteer time have gone into the project to complete the restoration.”
The project has been able to attract assistance from many local businesses who donated time, materials and expertise. “So many companies have helped with the areas we just couldn’t do ourselves. In particular we would like to give our thanks to Tarmac who donated many thousands of tonnes of railway ballast and also digger time to help with track bed repairs and ballast laying.” continued Steve.
Not content with restoring the railway, the group then set out to create a brand new railway station at Mountsorrel. “When the Mountsorrel Railway was built originally, it was always intended that Mountsorrel would have a station but that dream was never realised. That was something that we wanted to put right so that the public could ride the railway that we had restored” says Steve. Thanks to a grant of £66,000 from Tarmac’s Landfill Community fund, and more work by the volunteers, Mountsorrel now has a railway station, on Bond Lane, to serve the village.
Tim Deal, Estates Manager at Tarmac commented “We are delighted to support such a worthwhile local cause and are delighted to see the opening of the railway”.
“We very much hope that the public will come along to ride the line and see the tremendous achievement for themselves. The restoration of the Mountsorrel Railway shows just what a community can achieve when it works together. It will be the first time the line is open for public trains – come and grab a ride and be one of the first!” Steve concluded. Tickets are £5 for adults and £3 for children and can be purchased in advance via the Great Central Railway website:-
www.gcrailway.co.uk or at Mountsorrel Station on the day (cash only).