See new website

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 This website is no longer updated.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

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Mountsorrel Railway limited edition prints on sale

A local artist has painted a superb watercolour scene of the Mountsorrel Railway. The painting is evocatively titled "The Way Forward" and shows sole surviving Mountsorrel Railway steam loco, Peckett 0-4-0 tank engine "Elizabeth", coming through the Wood Lane bridge with a rake of Mountsorrel granite wagons.

Watercolour prints to go on sale

The painting gives an exciting insight into the historical recreations the restored branch line will be able to portray.

The artist has kindly allowed us to commission a run of limited edition prints of the painting, which we are selling with all proceeds going directly to the Mountsorrel Railway track appeal.

The prints are available in two sizes:
  1. The first comes in a 20" x 16" mount for only £20. A frame can be supplied for an extra £7 if desired.
  2. The second size comes in a 12" x 10" mount for £15 with a frame available for an extra £5 if desired.
If you are not local we can mail the prints to you, charging postage and packing at cost.

The limited edition run is of only 150 in each size. The larger prints will be available on the week beginning 15 November 2010, with the smaller size the following week. We have already taken many advance orders, so interest is high!

If you would like to see steam trains run along the Mountsorrel Railway and onto the Great Central Railway again, then please help the track appeal by buying a print.

For more details please e-mail direct the volunteer coordinating the Mountsorrel Railway project, Steve Cramp, at:

Thank you

Monday, 25 October 2010

October update

We had another cracking day on Saturday with over 25 volunteers attending the work party, including three Loughborough University students. Work was done to clear the line of sight to the signal at the Great Central Railway junction, as locos will approach the junction around a curve. As well as the clearance work a survey team of volunteers was also plotting a new curve alignment.

Watercolour prints to go on sale

Below is a low resolution version of a superb watercolour painted for the project by local artist John Cramp.

Watercolour prints to go on sale

Appropriately entitled The Way Forward, the painting indicates what we are working towards, and also signifies that the painting's creation might hopefully help us to raise the funds to get there!

The painting shows Peckett 0-4-0 saddle tank engine Elizabeth, bringing her rake of Mountsorrel granite wagons through the Wood Lane bridge on their way to the Great Central Railway.

Elizabeth is the only steam loco to have worked on the Mountsorrel Railway that still survives. Currently under restoration at the Rutland Railway Museum by its owner, a local resident, we hope that Elizabeth will visit the restored branch line to recreate this scene.

We don't currently have a firm price for the prints as we are investigating what costs we will incur in creating them.

However, to give you some idea, we hope to offer the prints in up to three sizes, and priced appropriately so they are affordable by everyone.

Each print will be signed by the artist, and will be numbered as part of a limited edition run of 100 or less.

Each print would come with a mount and in a cellophane sleeve. If buyers want their print sent by post we can do this at an added cost. In addition to this we may also look at providing frames for an additional cost if people want this.

To register your interest for a print please e-mail George Overton.

Media coverage

The project featured on the BBC Radio Leicester breakfast show this morning and our third anniversary was mentioned in several news bulletins.

The four minute interview between DJ Ben Jackson and project coordinator Steve Cramp can be heard by going to the following page of the BBC iPlayer; the interview is just after the 41 minute mark.

Additionally the Loughborough Echo kindly continues to give the project excellent coverage most weeks.

Short survey online until 1st November

We'd like to know your thoughts about a handful of things to do with the Mountsorrel Railway project. It shouldn't take more than a minute for you to fill in this online survey. The survey closes Monday 1st November midnight GMT.

Please remember that at any time we're grateful for your thoughts and opinions about the work. To get in touch please e-mail George Overton.

Your support is much appreciated. Thank you

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

70 volunteers attend the project's third anniversary work party!

The project's third anniversary was marked by a mammoth work party as we pushed forward with the many restoration tasks ahead of us. Our volunteer team was joined by 48 volunteers from Loughborough University making a record work party attendance of 70 volunteers!

This allowed us to undertake work in FIVE separate areas of the trackbed:

Loughborough University students clearing out the old mortar on the Bond Lane bridge, ready for repointing

1. The restoration of the Bond Lane bridge was started.

Student volunteers working alongside our project volunteers to repair the trackbed drainage system

2. A large group worked alongside our volunteers to tackle exploratory work on the trackbed drainage shafts near to Bond Lane.

Students exploring the ecology alongside the trackbed

3. Another group looked at ecology with a view to restarting the junior ecology sessions.

A student volunteer helps to make a fence stake

Loughborough University students working on track side fencing

4. A fourth group were at work fencing our boundary near to Wood Lane.

Students clearing vegetation from alongside the ballasted trackbed

The trackbed clearance students showing their enthusiasm at the end of the session!

5. The largest group, consisting of both students and our own volunteers, numbered 25 in total and tackled the annual line side clearance work near to the GCR junction.

It was fantastic to see the trackbed so alive with activity! The feedback from the students showed that they all thoroughly enjoyed the friendly atmosphere of the project and they were amazed by the progress made so far by our own volunteer team. Their help really showed just how much more can be achieved with a high number of volunteers. Our student volunteers allowed us to achieve five times as much as we would normally achieve in a single session and we would like to say a big thank you to both the students and Loughborough University for making the visit possible.

Loughborough University actively encourage their students to volunteer with local groups. Last year the university placed over 1,200 students with local community projects. The university sees voluntary work as an important personality and experience builder for their students. Volunteering says a lot about a person. Being willing to give your time freely to help others and the community around you is an important attribute when graduates are looking for work at the end of their degree. In the current limited job market employers are looking out for applicants that have that little extra. We are pleased to have been able to offer the students an interesting and enjoyable opportunity to volunteer.

Our hope now is that we can build a ongoing relationship with Loughborough University which will lead to regular help from their students.

If you would like to volunteer with the Mountsorrel Railway project please get in touch with Steve Cramp.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

September Mountsorrel Railway news

Our volunteers continue to make good progress:

Bond Lane halt access path

Work on the access path for our proposed platform at Bond Lane has been completed for now. The path will be left to settle for a few months before the handrails and top surface is added. Also at Bond Lane volunteers have cleared and strimmed the roadside grass verges around the bridge and alongside the road to Cuffins Pit Lane some 70 metres away. This was done to tidy the area and to create a safe walkway for users of the Leicestershire Round footpath, which passes along Bond Lane at this point. Walkers can now walk along the grass verge instead of having to walk along the road itself.

Cleared verges along Bond Lane

Work is also underway at Bond Lane, courtesy of Mountsorrel quarry, to repair the drainage problem which is delaying the ballast laying along the final section of the trackbed. We hope to have this problem resolved within the next few weeks.

We are in discussion with Her Majesty's Railway Inspectorate with a view to gaining their approval for the design and location of the halt at Bond Lane. We hope to have some good news to report very soon.

Volunteers have also made a start on the annual program of strimming the trackbed shoulders and trimming back the hedgerows. Good progress has been made over the last two Saturdays with over 600m of trackbed trimmed and cleared. This work will continue throughout the autumn.

Volunteers busy trimming the summer regrowth from the sides of the trackbed

Our small team of volunteer surveyors have been at work plotting out the exact route of the track near to the junction with the Great Central Railway. This is in preparation for the next phase of track laying which will extend our length of track by an additional 100-200m depending on funds and availability of materials. Please donate to our track appeal! We hope that track laying will proceed towards the end of this year or early next.

Railbus work continues to make progress with the construction of a temporary frame which will allow the chassis to be wheeled out from under the body of the vehicle. The chassis will then be rolled into a near by work shop allowing work to progress on the mechanics overall of the vehicle. The railbus team are on the look out for volunteers with both welding and mechanical skills to help with the restoration work. If you have these skills and can spare a few hours of your time, please get in touch with the railbus project leader Stephen Mellor.

The Mountsorrel Railway project is pleased to be teaming up with Loughborough University to allow their students the chance to undertake a whole raft of different voluntary work with the project. These tasks could include the repair and repointing of the bridge at Bond Lane, vegetation maintenance, lineside fencing repairs, surveying and plotting out, platform construction, railbus restoration and various aspects of ecological work, including possibly the continuation of our junior ecology sessions with local children.

This coming weekend September 25th/26th, our volunteers will be taking the project stand to the annual Soar Valley Model Railway Club exhibition in Loughborough. If you are visiting the exhibition please drop by our stand to say hello.

We round the update off with an appeal for both additional volunteers and donations to the project. Our work can only continue with your support so please come and lend a hand or donate, all amounts large and small will be gratefully received and put to very good use. For further details please contact George Overton.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Mountsorrel Railway August news

August has been another busy month on the project. Work has continued between Wood Lane and the end of the line at Bond Lane. The trackbed has been readied for ballast laying. The next task is to repair the drainage pipe that runs along the side of the cutting; once this is complete we will start to lay the ballast. We thank Lafarge Aggregates Community Fund for their continued support.

The trackbed ready for ballasting with the end of the line at Bond Lane visible in the distance

Volunteers have spent the last few weeks constructing a volunteer access path at Bond Lane. This path has been built with the correct gradient and dimensions to allow future wheelchair use and will be developed over time to become our public access to the Mountsorrel Halt platform, once the railway is completed and open to the public.

The access path at Bond Lane starting to take shape

Sourcing of materials for construction of the platform has taken a big leap forward with the kind donation from Lafarge of enough granite blocks to construct a 45 metre long full height platform wall. This kind donation represents a massive saving on the construction cost of the platform. We still require a concrete pour and re-bar for the foundations, plus other materials.  If your company would like to donate materials to help with the platform construction please get in touch.

Lesley Humphries ran her final junior ecology session in July; she has left us now to study at university. So far our attempts to find a volunteer to take over the ecology sessions has drawn a blank. If you or a friend, has an interest in ecology please get in touch with us. The junior ecology sessions can only continue with your support.

Junior Ecology Session children examining bugs in their bug catchers

Thanks go to our weed killing sponsors Languard Vegetation Management of Husbands Bosworth, who have been back with us for a second session of weed management.

We have successfully completed our second year of wild flower planting sessions with local schools and young people groups. Since these sessions started last year over 400 children have been able to learn about ecology and the railway's history. If your school or group would be interested in taking part in next years sessions please get in touch.

Rothley school children and their parents taking part in our wild flower planting program

Local Guides taking part in our wild flower planting program

Rothley school children and their parents taking part in our wild flower planting program

A local Scout carefully planting during the 2010 wild flower planting program

Work continues to progress on the railbus restoration with the body now separated from the chassis. This is to allow work to commence on the mechanics whilst the body is overhauled at the same time.
The trackbed appeal is still in full swing. With ever increasing metal prices, we need your donations as soon as possible to secure the track we need, so please see our donations page for full details of how to donate.
Finally, an appeal for more volunteers. We currently have trackbed restoration work parties each Saturday, together with a railbus work parties also on Saturdays. We have also recently started a trackbed weekday work party, usually on Thursdays. So we should have an area of the project that interests you, regardless of whether you can only volunteer during the week or at weekends. Please try to find time to volunteer if you can. You'll always be assured of a very warm welcome! Thank you.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Next junior ecology session this Sunday July 11th at 2pm

Lesley Humphries will be running the next of her junior ecology sessions along the Mountsorrel Railway trackbed this coming Sunday at 2pm. The theme of the session is how insects, birds and animals use camouflage to protect themselves from predators.

Lesley Humphries leading an ecology session

The sessions are open to children of all ages and their parents. The project makes no charge for attending these sessions.

Children making plaster casts of animal tracks near to the trackbed during the previous session

If you would like to bring your children along, please contact Lesley for details. We need to know numbers attending so that we have enough materials for everyone.

Sadly Lesley is leaving us shortly to study for a teacher training degree. We would like to thank Lesley for all her hard work over the last ten months. Unless we can find a new volunteer to take over the ecology sessions we will be unable to continue running them and this session will be the last. If you are interested in volunteering to take over Lesley's role then please get in touch with Steve Cramp. The sessions can only continue with your help!

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Volunteer help needed urgently!

The project is expanding rapidly at the moment and, with so much going on with both the trackbed and the railbus, our volunteers are spread quite thinly.

As you will have seen from previous updates, Lafarge has agreed to donate and lay ballast for us to the end of the line at Bond Lane. This is obviously wonderful news but has to be done now because we have been told we will soon lose the use of the access track at Bond Lane, which we have been using to bring construction plant onto the trackbed. So the pressure is on to complete as much plant work as possible before we lose our plant access track. This means starting work on Mountsorrel platform, and the pedestrian access path leading to it, much sooner than we had anticipated.

Volunteer help needed urgently!

You can see from the photo that good progress was made last Saturday clearing the side of the cutting so that the stumps can be removed and volunteers can start work on the access path.

Mountsorrel Station

This artist's impression shows what the halt will eventually look like. We are up against time though and we really need your volunteer help to get this work done now whilst we still can. If you can spare a few hours this Saturday, or a Saturday over the next few weeks, then please let us know. We are also looking to run weekday work parties so if you could be available on a weekday please let us know also. All you need to be able to do is put a branch on a bonfire or hammer a nail, so no prior experience is necessary. If you are able bodied we have a task for you to do! We need your support now at this critical time so please get in touch. Thank you.

Friday, 18 June 2010

David Clarke Railway Trust donates £5,000 to track appeal!

The David Clarke Railway Trust, setup in honour of former Great Central Railway (GCR) President and local businessman David Clarke, has very generously boosted the Mountsorrel Railway's track appeal with a donation of £5,000!

David was an important figure around Mountsorrel. His family owned the former box factory on Linkfield Road and David himself setup the successful Gray Paul Ferrari dealership at Loughborough, which later moved to Nottingham. He later went on to become GCR President, spearheading the GCR's project to establish Swithland sidings and reinstate the double track between Loughborough and Rothley, helping to realise the dream of early GCR preservation pioneers of preserving a section of double track main line railway as a working linear museum.

David was well known in Mountsorrel and we are honoured to accept this generous donation from the trust set up in his name.

In addition to this the project has seen a flood of donations pour into our track appeal since the beginning of June, helping to swell the fund by an additional £3,500! Together with existing funds we have now raised over £10,000! This sets us well on our way to raising the £30-40,000 we need to secure the one and a quarter miles of track needed to complete the project.

Donations are also being received for the railbus restoration, allowing restoration work to finally get under way.

Thanks to all of you who have donated to the project so far. If you haven't donated yet please do so as soon as you can. The rising price of metal means we have to act quickly if we are to secure the track we need at a reasonable price.

You can donate to the project in several ways. You could sponsor a sleeper at £15 per sleeper or a length of rail at £180 per length. Alternatively you may wish to donate an amount each month by regular standing order; by clicking the link you will see the project has incentives for those donating large amounts by standing order.

Whatever you can afford will be greatly appreciated, and every penny of every pound donated goes straight towards securing the track we need.

And if you are a UK taxpayer please download and fill in our Gift Aid form and send with your donation. This enables us to claim tax back from the government, boosting your donation still further.

Please send your donation cheque, made payable to "RVP Ltd" with "Mountsorrel Railway" written on the back, to 112 Balmoral Road, Mountsorrel, Loughborough LE12 7EW.

With your help we can bring the railway back to Mountsorrel! Thank you.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Project volunteers start railbus restoration!

Visitors to the Great Central Railway (GCR) in recent years may have noticed the rather forlorn frame of a railway vehicle languishing at the back of Loughborough loco shed. This is a 1958 built AC railbus now owned by the David Clark Railway Trust. The railbuses were built to carry passengers on short branch lines where passenger numbers didn't justify the cost of running a steam service. They were small single carriage vehicles just over half the length of a standard railway carriage yet still carried up to 47 passengers. With their own diesel engine they were extremely versatile and cheap to operate. Sadly they weren't able to save most of the branch lines they were built to serve, and as the Beeching axe closed some of the branch lines the vehicles were soon out of work after only a few years in service.

One of the aims of the Mountsorrel Railway project is not only to utilise the branch line for historical recreations, and to show how an industrial branch line would have interacted with a double track mainline railway, but we also hope for the GCR to run a passenger link along the branch to the nearby Stonehurst Farm attraction at Mountsorrel. The railbus would make an ideal vehicle for running that service, particular at quieter times of the year when passenger numbers may not cover the cost of running a steam service. Being able to run the railbus would allow us to operate trains along the branch on many more weekends than would otherwise be economically possible. The railbus would also offer excellent all-round views of the scenic branch line.

The other benefit of using the railbus is that they were designed to pick up passengers from almost anywhere, almost like a road bus. A full size platform is not required due to the railbus's vacuum operated fold down steps, which can be extended from underneath the vehicle allowing it to operate alongside either a full height normal platform or a simple almost ground level wooden structure. The obvious cost savings of not having to construct a full height platform at Bond Lane are immense.

With all this in mind, project volunteers have started to look at restoring the railbus for use on the branch line and on the GCR in general. The railbus has had some restoration work done on it in recent years, but only a little. A lot of work, both mechanically and structurally, is required to bring her back to operational use.

Running the railbus would allow the project to recreate yet another part of history, this time from the 1950s.

We have already built a strong team of volunteers to work on the vehicle, but we still need more help. If you have mechanical or steel welding skills, that would be great, but don't worry if not: there's still much to do for everyone. If you would like to help out with the railbus restoration please get in touch with Steve Cramp.

Funds for the railbus's restoration are also required. A fund exists within the David Clarke Railway Trust specifically for the railbus. If you would like to donate to support the railbus's restoration, please send your cheque made payable to "DCRT", with "Railbus" written on the back, to 112 Balmoral Road, Mountsorrel, Loughborough LE12 7EW. Thank you.

Mountsorrel Railway June news

Phase two ballast laying preparation underway

Hot on the heels of our recent track laying, we're pleased to announce that phase two trackbed preparation and ballast laying is now underway!

The end of the line in the distance

This work should see ballast laid over the final 600m of trackbed all the way to the end of the branch line at Bond Lane. We're very grateful to Lafarge Aggregates Mountsorrel Quarry community fund for supporting this work, which we hope will be completed in July.

Once complete the full length of the trackbed will be ballasted and awaiting track. Please see our track appeal for details of how to donate to help us secure the track we need to complete the project.

Wood Lane bridge restoration complete

15 months of hard work came to an end last Saturday with the completion of the restoration of the Mountsorrel Railway bridge at the top of Wood Lane! When we started there were some who questioned whether we had taken on a "bridge too far" with the challenge of restoring the bridge, let alone produce a finished result that did justice to such a significant and architecturally important part of our local heritage. We're pleased to say the restoration has been completed to a very high standard indeed. Both the original fabric and appearance of the bridge have been restored to its former glory.

Local volunteer stonemasons applying the finishing touches to the restored bridge

Restoring the bridge involved the complete rebuilding of a section of the road side parapet wall using the original carefully restored stones, and the repointing of the road-facing sides of the structure. The work has only been possible thanks to over 30 of our volunteers who've given their time to work on the bridge restoration over the last 15 months. In particular we must thank our volunteer stonemasons who've overseen the restoration and helped to ensure completion of the work to such a high standard.

The entire restoration has been achieved at a cost of only a few hundred pounds, thanks to Lafarge Aggregates, Mountsorrel Parish Council and members of the public who have sponsored the restoration work. The restoration shows what the community, local business and the Parish Council can achieve when we work together to preserve our heritage for years to come.

Project hosts Scout, Guide and school visits

Last year the project ran a series of visits from local groups and schools, allowing over 300 local children to learn about their history and to help boost the ecosystem along the sides of the trackbed. Local children grew native wild flowers which they then planted alongside the route. A year on we're pleased to report that the planting was a great success. The difference between the planted sections and the sections left to run wild, which have filled with nettles and thistles, is clear to see.

Wild flowers planted last year by local children and young people, helping to boost the ecology of the trackbed

Not only does the greater diversity of flora and fauna help the ecology of the trackbed to return to how it would have been during the original operating life of the railway, but it also helps to boost the ecosystem generally. Additional and varied wild flowers attract more insects, which helps pollinate the crops in nearby fields. The insects also provide food for birds and animals, further enriching the ecosystem.

Wild flowers planted last year by local children and young people, helping to boost the ecology of the trackbed

This year's series of school and group visits will soon be underway, allowing even more of our local children to benefit and learn from the project. Thanks go to our ecology volunteers who work hard to create these educational opportunities for our children.

Monday, 17 May 2010

Tracklaying update

Thursday May 13th

Sleepers were laid out onto the branch line formation closely followed by two more panels of track.

Thursday May 13th

Thursday May 13th

Thursday May 13th

Friday May 14th

The gang proceeded to drop ballast between the sleepers so that the new track could be slewed into the correct position and then lifted and packed. This was achieved by loading wheelbarrows and then barrowing the ballast onto the new track.

Also on Friday the hole was dug for the new branch exit signal post. The Great Central Railway's (GCR) signal and telegraph (S&T) department then erected the signal on Friday afternoon.

Friday May 14th

Friday May 14th

Saturday May 15th

We were joined today by six volunteers from the GCR's volunteer permanent way (P-Way) group. Thanks to Steve Saunders and his team for coming to work on the branch! Together with our own volunteers we had 25 people working on the trackbed at various times throughout the day. We were able to complete the lifting and packing of the last two panels. With plenty of wheelbarrows and people to help, we were able to barrow more ballast onto the newly laid track.

Saturday May 15th

Saturday May 15th

Saturday May 15th

Saturday May 15th

Tracklaying has also been mentioned on the websites of the GCR and Railway Vehicle Preservations.

We would like to thank all those who have worked on the project over this last week. This has included the GCR P-Way staff, GCR volunteers, S&T for erecting the signal, and our own project volunteers. The entire week has been a real team effort. Everyone has worked really hard to complete our first section of track. This is only the beginning though: with your help we can reach Mountsorrel!

We need a mile and a quarter of track to reach the end of the branch at Bond Lane. With budgetary cuts having a serious effect on the rail industry at the moment, potential second hand track sources are becoming increasingly difficult to come by at an affordable price. Nevertheless we have identified a potential source but we urgently need funds to secure this. Cuts are likely to continue for many years to come so this may be our last chance to secure the track we need at an affordable price. If you are able to support our track appeal please donate as soon as you can. Little and large amounts are gratefully received: whatever you can afford. Every donation takes us closer to completing the railway. We can only complete the railway with your help!

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Tracklaying progress yesterday and today, 11-12 May

Tracklaying is going very well indeed so far this week. Mountsorrel Railway volunteers, led by Great Central Railway (GCR) permanent way supervisor Andy Higginson, and assisted by other GCR volunteers and staff, have been working hard since Sunday.

The aim for this week is to install the junction point, an additional catch point at the start of the branch, plus up to five panels of track beyond. This will take the head of steel on to the branch line, approximately half way around the long curve near to the GCR junction. This is a tremendous milestone for our volunteers who have worked so hard over the last two and a half years to bring the project to this point.

Progress yesterday (Tuesday 11 May)

By 2.30pm yesterday afternoon the junction point was in and packed. The shorter rails needed to close the gap between the point and the end of the loop had also been cut, drilled and fitted. Volunteers were starting to lay out the sleepers for the first track panel, to take track through the branch gates and onto the branch itself.

Monday/Tuesday 10 /11 May

Monday/Tuesday 10 /11 May

Monday/Tuesday 10 /11 May

Monday/Tuesday 10 /11 May

Later yesterday afternoon the first panel of track was laid, taking the head of steel right up to the branch gate. This was followed by the laying of the catch point which took track back onto the Mountsorrel Railway for the first time in 50 years!

Monday/Tuesday 10 /11 May

Progress today (Wednesday 12 May)

There was much work to do this morning before additional track could be laid. This morning’s work focused on further lifting and packing of the the junction point and the new section of rail in the the loop. This was achieved by jacking the rails and then using shovels to pack the ballast underneath. Good numbers of volunteers helped to complete this task relatively quickly. By lunchtime the track in the loop was effectively complete although the point still needs its point blade operation mechanism installing so that it can be set to allow trains onto the branch.

This afternoon's work was focusing on slewing the first panel of branch track and the catch point, achieved by levering bars into the ballast.

Lunchtime Wednesday 12 May

Thank you

We would like to thank all those who have worked on the track laying this week, and the GCR volunteers, staff and management for their support and assistance. We must also thank Andy Higginson and Alan Brassey who have devoted a great deal of time over the past couple of months arranging and planning the work. We couldn't have done it without you.


Currently we only have the funds to buy and lay five panels of track this week. Further tracklaying depends on donations.

Would you consider donating to the Mountsorrel Railway track appeal, so trains can run again from the Great Central Railway to Mountsorrel?

Please see the Mountsorrel Railway track appeal donation form for more information. You can help by donating whatever money you can afford, for example:
  • You could sponsor one or more sleepers at £15 each
  • You could sponsor one or more lengths of rail at £180 each
  • You could setup a standing order donation to the appeal, which would help reopen the Mountsorrel Railway even sooner
There has never been a better time to support the project! Thank you.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Mountsorrel Railway track laying has begun!

Yesterday six volunteers, assisted by many from the Great Central Railway, started removing the existing loop track to make way for the junction point. In only three hours the existing catch point, and the length of rail beyond, had been removed. Not bad considering we’ve never done anything like this before! Volunteers quickly learnt how to jack rails, remove and set chair springs, slide two-ton rails with ease, and move sleepers around.

As you’ll see from the photos, there’s no going back now!

Track laying has begun!

Track laying has begun!

Track laying has begun!

Today a small length of rail will be cut and removed for the point to fit in place, and a digger will scrape the ballast to the correct height ready for the junction point to be craned into position. Let’s hope the weather stays fine. For the rest of the week several lengths of rail will be laid, with more to come in the future as funds allow.

Please support the project to enable further track to be installed.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Primary schoolchildren plant trees at the Mountsorrel Railway

Children from Mountsorrel Christ Church and St Peters Primary School have visited the Mountsorrel Railway with their parents to plant new trees and hedgerow bushes along the formation. The planting was done under the watchful eye of our ecology group leader Lesley Humphries.

The hedgerows along either side of the trackbed had suffered through 50 years of neglect. Although our volunteers have worked hard over the last two and a half years to restore and encourage the hedgerows, there is still a long way to go.

Lesley commented:
It was great to welcome children from our local primary school to help with this important ecology work, which builds upon the planting visits we ran with the school last summer. It was lovely to see the children enjoying themselves so much!

If your school or young peoples' group, such as Scouts, Guides, Cubs, Brownies, or Boys Brigade, would like to help with planting native flora and fauna alongside the Mountsorrel Railway, we will be running a repeat of last year's popular planting visits this coming June. Please contact Steve Cramp, volunteer project coordinator, as soon as possible if you would like your school or group to be involved.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

LanGuard VM sponsors the Mountsorrel Railway project

LanGuard VM, a nationwide vegetation management and weed control business with a head office in Leicestershire, have very kindly offered to undertake a program of weed control along the Mountsorrel Railway trackbed.

Steve Cramp, volunteer project leader, said:
"We were concerned that the onset of Spring would bring with it a whole raft of unwanted weeds creeping through our mile long newly ballasted trackbed. As with any railway, it's imperative that the ballast is kept clear of weed growth to ensure that it drains well and the formation of the railway is protected. The cost for controlling the weeds over a mile of track bed is substantial and a significant overhead for a community volunteer project like ours. We were thrilled when LanGuard VM offered to keep the weeds at bay for us at no cost to the project and we really can't thank them enough!"
LanGuard VM Contracts Director Tony Marlow commented:
"We had heard about the Mountsorrel Railway project and its hopes of recreating part of our local history for today's generations to learn from and enjoy, but it was only when we saw for ourselves the phenomenal work that their group of community volunteers have done over the past two and a half years, we were only too happy to be able to support their endeavours and to offer our services."
The Mountsorrel Railway project aims to recreate part of our local history by rebuilding the Mountsorrel Railway both for historical purposes and to carry passengers as part of the Great Central Railway experience. Community volunteers have reconstructed the old trackbed and are now running a track appeal to raise the money required to lay track along the railway.

"We have just launched our track appeal with the aim of raising the £150,000 we need to complete the project." continued Steve "Our aim is to relay track in stages as donations come in. Local support has allowed us to source the first lengths of rail and track laying will start this coming May!"

If you would like to support the Mountsorrel Railway project's track appeal, please see full details on the project website

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Photos of wagons in action at recent GCR gala

Kinchley Lane

See here for more.

Many thanks to Gareth Griffiths for taking these excellent photos.

More photos of the wagons from the gala are here (Rick Eborall) and here (Ian Loasby).
Join our mailing list

Powered by