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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 This website is no longer updated.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:

Friday, 7 December 2012

Mountsorrel Railway Launches the "Nunckley Trail"

Mountsorrel Railway Ecology Group volunteers have spent the past few weeks creating a new nature and history trail through the woodland south of Nunckley Hill.

Our volunteer ecology expert Martin Piggins has designed a circular half mile long path route that starts and ends from the road side next to the Wood Lane bridge.
All of the work has been done by our ecology group which primarily consists of young people and their parents, plus a small group of volunteers with learning difficulties from a local college who help on Tuesdays. Some of those who attend our Wildlife Warrior sessions have also helped to create the trail.
 Much thought has gone into the path which takes in many areas of ecological and historical interest. These include differing types of woodland habitats and the Wildlife Warrior activity areas, as well as the ruins of the old Dob Hall and the industrial archaeology of the old Nunckley Hill quarry.

We want the path to be accessible by all and care is being taken to make the path suitable for disabled users. The path will have touch boards along both sides to aid use by the partially sighted and we are trying to create a route suitable for wheel chair or at least mobility scooter users.


We plan to erect information boards at points of interest along the route and it is hoped to include Braille as well as written text on these signs. We are deeply grateful to Loughborough University who have approved a community grant to help pay for the creation of the information boards.

Part of the trail runs alongside the restored railway and there will be a picnic/viewing area where path users can watch the trains go by.

Our aim is to have the path open to the public free of charge on the days that the railway is operating.


So far around half of the route is complete with the remainder of the route partially completed. The Ecology Group need more helpers though so if you would like to bring your children along on an occasional Saturday morning, please get in touch with the project leader Steve Cramp for further details.


Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Track Laying Reaches Wood Lane

On Saturday December 1st project volunteers mounted a big track laying push to take the head of steel through the Wood Lane bridge and back into Mountsorrel village.


The brisk frosty weather didn't seem to deter the enthusiasm and over 40 community volunteers turned out to work on the project. The weekday volunteer team had spent the previous Tuesday and Thursday moving sleepers up to Nunckley Hill in preparation and progress was swift despite the need to carefully bend the track into the tight reverse curves on the approach to the bridge.


By midday track had arrived at the bridge itself and the team pushed on and ended the session at 2:00pm with an additional panel laid on the Mountsorrel side.

The Wickham Rail trolley, which is on loan to the project, became the first train to pass through the bridge and into Mountsorrel for 50 years.

In all five 60 feet long track panels were laid during the session. Laying 300 feet (90 metres) of track smashes the Mountsorrel Railway previous track laying record of 225 feet!

Passing through the Mountsorrel village boundary is another major milestone for the project and was cause for a celebration. The volunteers wrapped up the session with a track side party to celebrate.

Track laying is now three quarters complete and the hope is to reach the end of the line at Bond Lane by late February next year. This will only be possible with your help as more volunteers are needed to help the track laying process. If you can spare a few hours on an occasional Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday then please email the project leader Steve Cramp

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Track Laying Reaches Nunckley Hill

The project reached another major milestone when on November 17th community volunteers laid track into the base of the old Nunckley Hill quarry and to within sight of the bridge at Wood Lane!

Almost all of the 1300m of track we have laid so far has been away from publicly accessible areas, so to come within sight of the bridge where the public can now see the great work that the community is doing to preserve our local heritage, has really given the volunteers working on the project a major boost.

In early December track laying should pass through the bridge itself and back into Mountsorrel!

The Youtube link below shows a ride up the line to Nunckley Hill. 

Track laying is very labour intensive and we need additional volunteers to help with this process if we are to reach the end of the line by early March next year. If you are reasonably able bodied and can spare the occasional Saturday morning, we would very much like to hear from you by email

We need your help!

Caterpillar and Aggregate Industries Help the Mountsorrel Railway

Two large Leicestershire employers have been helping the Mountsorrel Railway by encouraging their staff to volunteer in the community.

Aggregate Industries who operate Bardon quarry at Coalville, have sent teams to up to 15 volunteers on three occasions since the summer.
Aggregate Industires staff volunteer at the Mountsorrel Railway

Caterpillar, who have a plant at Desford, sent 20 volunteers to the Mountsorrel Railway on four consecutive days in November.

Caterpillar staff volunteer at the Mountsorrel Railway

Both companies staff were able to help with a variety of tasks including track laying. Mountsorrel Railway Project Leader Steve Cramp commented "We had hoped to complete track laying to Mountsorrel by the end of February next year, but delays in rail delivery meant that this date had slipped back to the end of March/early April. The help we have received from Aggregate Industries and Caterpillar has quite literally put us back on track!".  

The Mountsorrel Railway volunteers would like to say a massive thanks to Aggregate Industries and Caterpillar for their help. If your company or the company you work for encourages its staff to volunteer in the community, please get in touch via email There are many different ways you could help us and your help would be very welcome indeed!

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Another Resounding Success For Wildlife Warriors

The October 13th Wildlife Warriors event was another great success as the events continue to go from strength to strength.

The focus of the latest event was hedgehogs. The children were able to build hedgehog hibernation houses to help our line side spiky friends to find shelter through the winter period.

The children then made their own teasel hedgehogs to take home with them to place in the garden in the hope that the teasel seeds may grow wild flowers next year.

A great time was had by all and a big thanks goes to Caroline Bowler for putting so much enthusiasm and effort into running these events. We would also like to thank Amar Patel who runs the newsagents next to the post office in Mountsorrel, for sponsoring the event and also Everards Breweries at Fosse Park for donating materials for the event.

Mountsorrel Railway Wins Two More Awards

We are pleased to announce that the project has won a further two more awards for its community work! The first was a Mountsorrel Ripples Community Award and the second is a commendation for service to the community from Mountsorrel Parish Council. It is good to see how much local people value both the educational and recreational benefit the restored Mountsorrel Railway will bring to the local area.
Project volunteers Steve Cramp (left) and Pat Neal (right) proudly show off their awards with Ripples Community Award founders and sponsors Anne Gregory and Ian Shonk

Monday, 1 October 2012

Don't Miss the Final Trackbed Tour of 2012

Project volunteer Robert Turlington is running has final trackbed tour of 2012 on Sunday October 14th at 2:00pm.

The tours have proved popular over the summer which is why we have decided to squeeze in one last tour before the autumn weather sets in. "It is a wonderful time of the year to see the Mountsorrel Railway" said Robert. "The leaves are starting to turn golden and the low sun creates quite a magical feel to the railway."

Tours cost £3 per adult with accompanied children going for free. The tour will only be run if sufficient numbers book in advance, so please make sure you contact Robert by phone (0116 2396742) or email to book your place. 

Monday, 24 September 2012

Next Wildlife Warriors Session - October 13th

The next of our very popular Wildlife Warrior sessions is on Saturday October 13th from 2:00pm until 3:30.

The sessions are FREE to attend and are aimed at children aged 3 to 11 accompanied by their parents/carers.

Each session focuses on learning about a different aspect of ecology along the Mountsorrel Railway, through fun activities and games. The main focus of the October session involves the children building "hoghouses" for hedgehogs to hibinate in over the winter period.

It's a great way for younger children to get involved with the project and learn about the wildlife around us.

For further details please contact our volunteer Wildlife Warriors leader, Caroline Bowler at

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Ballast Laid on the Mountsorrel Railway

In mid September over 1000 tonnes of ballast were laid along the Mountsorrel Railway route.

Ballast are the small stones which sit around the track to hold it in place and help stop it moving when trains are running. First to go down is the base ballast which is a layer that the track is then laid on top of. This is followed by a similar amount of top ballast which goes on once the track is in place.

Lafarge have kindly donated and laid 500 tonnes of base ballast along the section on the line from Wood Lane to a point only 200m short of the end of of the line. This newly ballasted section is now ready for project volunteers to lay track over the coming months. The final 200m to Bond Lane will be base ballasted in a few weeks time.

At the GCR end of the line Lafarge have donated a further 500 tonnes of ballast which the GCR's permanent-way staff have dropped along our newly laid track. All 1000m of laid track is now top ballasted leaving this part of the line effectively complete. A machine called a tamper will align and pack the track leaving it fully ready for trains to run. At the moment we are fund raising to raise the £2,000 required to pay for the hire of the tamper, so please donate to help us reach this target if you can. Please send your donation cheques made payable to "DCRT" (David Clarke Railway Trust), with "Mountsorrel Railway" written on the back, to 112 Balmoral Road, Mountsorrel, Loughborough, LE12 7EW. If you are a UK tax payer please also download a gift aid form from the link on the left of this page and send it with your donation, this way the tax man will add a further 25% to your donation at no cost to you.

A massive thanks goes to Lafarge for their generosity in donating the ballast and also to the GCR for laying the ballast for us. This is a giant leap forward for the project which would not have been possible without their help. 

Please see the Youtube video below showing class 37255 laying the ballast.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Mountsorrel Railway Trackbed Tour on September 30th

Project volunteer Robert Turlington will be running another of his hugely popular trackbed tours on Sunday September 30th at 2:00pm.

The meeting point will be next to the railway bridge on "The Ridings", which is the road that runs from Rothley to Swithland over the reservoir.

The tours cost £3 per adult with accompanied children going for free. The cost applies to both the general public and volunteers with all proceeds going towards the restoration of the Mountsorrel Railway.

If you would like further details or to book your place, please contract Robert by email at

Next Donate £1000

Next the clothing and home furnishings retailer with head offices at Enderby, have very kindly made a donation of £1000 to the Mountsorrel Railway Project. Jeanette Cooper-Hudson, their Charity and Sponsorship Manager said "I am pleased to confirm that Next would be delighted to help such a worthy cause and would like to make a donation of £1,000".

This is another great boost to the project and will help us to secure some of the remaining materials we need to bring the railway back to Mountsorrel.

The project depends entirely on grants and public/corporate donations to continue our work, so if your company or the company you work for, makes donations to community good causes then please get in touch with our volunteer fund raiser Malcolm Law  by email at

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Track Laying Passes the Half Way Point!

On August 4th 2012 another milestone was reached as track laying passed the half way point of the branch line as a remarkable 240 feet (72m) of track were laid before lunchtime.

35 volunteers turned out to help lay track around the curve at the end of the long straight. We were joined by Mountsorrel Parish Councillor Mick Lemon who came along to spur us on with words of support.

Since the end of June over 280 yards (250m) of track has been laid and the head of steel is only 350m from the Wood Lane bridge.

Further rail will arrive in September to allow track laying to continue. In the meantime ballast laying will be taking place over the first part of phase 2. This is thanks to a donation of ballast from Lafarge and the GCR who will be laying the ballast. Volunteer work in the coming weeks will focus on bringing our newly laid track up to operating standards as well as preparing the Bond Lane cutting for base ballast to be laid ahead of track laying early next year.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Trackbed Tours are a Resounding Success

Over 70 people attended the recent tours of the Mountsorrel Railway. These were run by project volunteer Robert Turlington as part of the British Festival of Archaeology.

Those on the tours were able to walk along almost all of the Mountsorrel Railway that is in the process of being restored and to see the work undertaken by the 120 community volunteers that regularly give their time to the project.

The tour started with the completed section of the branch line close to Swithland Reservoir and progressed through the different phases of restoration towards Mountsorrel.

Attendees also learnt about the history of the line and how the restored railway will operate as a linear museum, bringing both educational and recreational benefits to visitors.

There was also the opportunity to see the wide range of ecological work alongside the line that has been undertaken over the last five years by both project volunteers and over 600 local children. This includes the creation of new habitats, a large number of bird boxes, hedge laying, tree and hedgerow planting as well as the large scale planting of native wild flowers.

We would like to say a big thank you to Robert for putting together such an informative and interesting tour that was enjoyed by all those who attended!

Due to the success of the tours we may run a further tour again later this year. If you would be interested in attending a future tour, or if you would like to book a private tour for your club or group you belong to, then please contact Robert by email at

Tours cost only £3 per person with all proceeds going directly to the project fund.   
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