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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 This website is no longer updated.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:

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

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.

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