The Great Central Railway is trying out a new timetable for its award winning heritage trains. The aim is to encourage visitors to visit the locomotive footplate and meet the driver and fireman.
Trains run between Loughborough and Leicester North and when they reach their destination, the heritage steam or diesel locomotive moves to the other end of the train for the return journey, a process known in railway slang as ‘running round’.
General Manager of the Great Central Railway Malcolm Holmes said, “We know so many of our visitors now have no direct memory of steam locos when they ran on Britain’s railways, but are still fascinated by them. By changing our timetable and allowing trains to wait for longer at Leicester North we want to encourage families to stand on the footplate of a steam engine, feel the heat of the fire and meet our engine crews. It’s part of our drive to make every visit rewarding and full of memories.”
An extra ten minutes was added at Leicester North station so visitors alighting to stretch their legs get the chance to experience the line’s heritage steam and diesel locomotives in person.
The timetable change was trialed during services over the Coronation Bank Holiday weekend. It will be used again on the last Bank Holiday in May (the 29th) and again for a special gala event celebrating fifty years of trains on the heritage line over the weekend of 17th and 18th of June.
Malcolm concluded, “We hope to inspire new generations to come and volunteer with us and learn to drive locomotives themselves. Once upon a time it was said everyone wanted to grow up and be an engine driver and we want to awaken that passion!”
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