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The Mountsorrel Railway is part of the Mountsorrel and Rothley Community Heritage Centre. This website is no longer updated. For updates see:

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Recent press coverage

News of the ballast link up to the Great Central Railway, and progress with the wagon restoration, has really caught the public's imagination!

Over the last few weeks we've had some great exposure in the press:
  • A further piece in the Quorndon Magazine. The article is reproduced, with permission, here and here. The Quorndon is the quarterly magazine for the village of Quorn. © 2008 The Quorndon. Further reproduction prohibited without written permission.

We're very grateful to these publications for their support.

And, even with Christmas coming, volunteers will still be working hard on the project. There will be work ongoing on the trackbed in the coming weeks, restoration of the third wagon, and behind the scenes work securing track and fundraising. If you would like to offer your help, either with volunteering or fundraising, please let us know.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Further ballast laying complete

A milestone point in the project has been reached, thanks to local firm McCanns donating their equipment and operators for free. There is now ballast laid from the junction with the Great Central Railway all the way up most of the route of the Mountsorrel Railway to the Wood Lane bridge.

Compare a photo of the junction in October 2007 (taken by Nigel Harris) with the very different scene snapped earlier this week:

GCR junction, October 2007

GCR junction, November 2009

Massive thanks to all the volunteers who have really worked hard over these last two days with very little notice and at times pretty unkind weather! We really could not have done this without them.

We must also thank McCanns, who have gone to extreme lengths to help us this week, and Haydn Yeo, project volunteer, for introducing us to and liaising with McCanns. Without Haydn and McCanns, we would not have been able to undertake two long sessions of ballast laying in July and November, lift the Wood Lane bridge stone, or other tasks requiring their equipment and expertise.

Thanks too to the Great Central Railway, who have had to make special arrangements so the ballast laying could take place this week, and to Lafarge of course for donating the ballast.

Ballast has reached the GCR junction

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Second childrens' ecology activity session builds on the success of the first!

On Saturday October 31, Mountsorrel Railway Ecology Group volunteer Lesley Humphries ran the second of our hugely successful children's ecology activity sessions.

These sessions are aimed at opening up the ecology of the trackbed and its surroundings to our younger generation and their parents. The railway is blessed with a wealth of wildlife, which our ecology group strives to maintain and encourage.

Our latest event involved the children and their parents studying the wildlife that had taken up residence in wildlife habitats that the children helped to build at the first session in September. The children were able to take bark rubbings and learnt to identify the types of trees along the line and how to tell one from the other. They also examined some of the 17 species of wild flowers that are still flowering along the trackbed.

These sessions are aimed at children of all ages and are open to anyone who would like to bring their children along. The project makes no charge for taking part in these events. The next session will be early in the New Year; further details will follow nearer the time.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Second replica Mountsorrel wagon completed in record time

We are pleased to announce the completion of the second replica Mountsorrel Granite Company wagon!

The completed second wagon

Impressed by our work on the first wagon, RVP kindly allowed us to use space on their siding inside Rothley carriage shed for the second restoration. This meant that we were not restricted by the British weather as we were with the first wagon. This allowed our volunteers to really go to town and, coupled with our restoration knowledge obtained during the first restoration, we were able to push on at lightning speed with volunteer activity occurring almost daily over the last few weeks!

A look inside our second wagon

From start to finish the wagon took only five and a half weeks to restore! That's not to say that less work was required, far from it! A new floor had to be made and fitted together with full derusting and repainting of the metal frames both inside and out. End planks needed to be replaced as well meaning that the work required was almost on a par with the first wagon. As with the first wagon, even the bits you can't see have all been thoroughly restored as well.

Teenagers from the Tuesday group carefully applying the finishing touches

Thanks must go to all our volunteers who have worked on the wagon over the last few weeks. Our volunteers have included people from all areas of the community from teenagers up to volunteers in their late 70s. Our wagon restoration project really seems to have caught the imagination of the community. We are also very grateful to East Midlands Airport for sponsoring the signwriting costs of all three wagons and to all our supporters who have donated funds to aid the wagon restoration project.

One of our teenagers from the Tuesday evening team bolting down the planks of the new wagon floor

The wagons will form the core of historical recreations on the rebuilt branch line. These include a project we are undertaking with local primary schools to allow today's children to take part in a recreation of the Sunday school outings that used to run on the Mountsorrel Railway in the 1920s and 30s.

We are about to start work on the third and final wagon, so it's still not to late to help out with our wagon project, volunteers are always welcome (contact Steve Cramp). Alternatively you may wish to support our work with a financial donation. Thank you.
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