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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 This website is no longer updated.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, 7 July 2015

July News

Voting Success

We did it!!

Out of 169 projects nationwide we came 3rd, which is just remarkable! We were up against some very stiff competition, so it is a tremendous achievement to take 3rd place.

All of the top 15 projects each receive a £5000 grant. The grant will cover the materials and tools we need to create the stone masons huts in the base of the quarry. The rebuild/restoration of the huts will be tackled entirely by our volunteer team. We are aiming to start work on this segment of the project in October, with the aim of having the huts ready for the opening of the heritage centre site in early 2016.

Thank you very much to all of you who voted for us. We couldn’t have done it without your support!

Now you’ve helped us secure the funding, why not volunteer and get involved with the actual building of the huts! If you are interested then contact project leader Steve Cramp.

Heritage Centre/Coffee Shop Progress

The heritage centre building is rising quickly!
The heritage centre section of the building, which is the relocated historic barn from Kinchley Lane, is already up to the second floor.
The tea room/coffee shop element is the old Time Office from Mountsorrel quarry. Both of these elements of the build are being built by utilising an internal timber frame design with surrounding block walls. The original stones are then built up on the outside. Externally the buildings will look identical to the originals, yet are fully eco friendly to heat and comply with modern building regulations. The external stone walls are due to start to be built towards the end of July.    

The original grant completion date was July 12th but an extension has been granted due to the long period of time it took to sort out the legal side of the build, which was out of our control.

The main building is due to be completed in October.

Track Donation

British Celanese at Derby have very kindly donated track materials for the quarry demonstration sidings, which are part of the heritage centre site.

Three sidings will be laid together with a fourth loading siding. Two of the sidings will one day lead into the Mountsorrel Railway Museum building, which will be built as part of Phase 2 subject to funding (see below).

The sidings will not be used for the storage of railway vehicles, they will allow the three Mountsorrel Granite Company wagons (restored by local school children) to be displayed and to operate shunting demonstrations.  

Project volunteers made several trips over to Derby in May and June to dismantle the track and assemble into stacks ready for transport.

We are extremely grateful to British Celanese for their very kind donation.

Railway Progress

With the arrival of the track materials from Derby, volunteers have already started to lay the siding connection track into the base of Nunckley Hill.
On going progress of the siding track laying can be viewed on our time lapse picture sequence.

In addition to this, preparation is taking place for the erection of lever frames to control the points at Nunckley Hill and also the new run off sand drag siding at the junction with the GCR.

The GCR’s Signal and Telegraph volunteers have been building the ground frames to hold the levers and restoring the other items required to connect up the points.
Ground frame
Restored point lever
Ground Signal

Mountsorrel Station

The foundations have been laid for the new Nunckley Hill station. The platform will allow passengers to leave/join the train from the heritage centre site.


Nunckley Trail
Volunteers have been working hard to look after and promote the wildlife around the Nunckley Trail through the most active season of the year. In addition to this volunteer Chris Thompson has created a wonderful sculpture close to the sensory area. The idea of the sculpture is to encourage the sense of touch to feel the texture of the wood and different shapes.

The area where the Guide, Brownies and Rainbow groups planted wild flower seeds back in April, is now starting to flower.
Mountsorrel Station

The final tasks at Mountsorrel Station are underway. These include the erection of the station signage. The new car park entrance sign looks especially effective.

The car park has been constructed of a grid surface which allows grass to grow through whilst still supporting vehicle use all year round. This was an important part of our determination to minimise the visual impact of the station. The car park is now starting to green up and blend in with the neighbouring field.

The Great Central Railway will be opening the Mountsorrel Railway for a special weekend on October 24th/25th. This weekend will be a trial weekend to assess passenger numbers and operational requirements, prior to regular operation of the line in early 2016. Mark the weekend in your diary and make sure you don’t miss it. High visitor numbers over this weekend will be essential to ensure regular use through 2016. More details to follow nearer the time.

Phase 2 Appeal

The final costings are in for the Phase 2 Museum and exhibition buildings at the rear of the old Nunckley Hill quarry. A potential funding source has been identified and a grant application submitted. We need to raise £7,800 in match funding ourselves, should the grant be awarded. So far £1600 has been raised so we still have £6,200 to go. If successful it is hoped to start work on phase 2 in October with completion by the end of the year.
CAD model showing the Mountsorrel Railway museum and exhibition buildings to the left of view.
Please consider making a donation to our phase 2 appeal. Any amount both large or small would be very much appreciated. Our sponsor a brick appeal is still open. Bricks cost £50 each and can be sponsored in your name, in memory of someone, a family name or as a gift. All the brick sponsors names will appear on a large commemorative plaque in the heritage centre tea room.

Here are the links where you can download Donation and Gift Aid forms with all the details of where to send your donation cheque. If you would like to donate online please contact Steve Cramp for details.


With so many varied and interesting tasks underway, there are many volunteering opportunities to interest everyone. If you are available on an occasional Saturday, Tuesday or Thursday and would like to get involved, then please get in touch with Steve Cramp.


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