GCR "Mail by Rail" Steam Gala Sat 29 & Sun 30

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bunnahabhain

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The Mail by Rail Gala is almost upon us, on Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th of July the Great Central Railway will once again be running the heritage LNER Travelling Post Office set, performing spectacular TPO Exchanges at Quorn & Woodhouse station at speeds of up to 35mph.

This gala should see the return of 63601 back into service after a few months out of service for retubing. And will also feature Standard 4MT Tank No.80105 on a visit from the Bo'Ness & Kinneal Railway, this locomotive was originally planned to run at the Winter Gala earlier this year, but due to problems was replaced by a locomotive from the Llangollen Railway, after this weekend 80105 is expected to return to the Bo'Ness & Kinneal Railway.


Locomotives

London, Midland & Scottish Railway 8F No.48305
Built: 1943
Livery: British Railways Unlined Black
Class: 8F


British Railways Standard 2MT No.78019
Built: 1954
Livery: British Railways Lined Black
Class: 2MT


London, Midland & Scottish Railway 5MT "Black 5" No.45305 Alderman A.E. Draper
Built: 1937
Livery: British Railways Lined Black
Class: 5MT


British Railways Type 4 D123 (Class 45, 45125) Leicestershire & Derbyshire Yeomanry
Built: 1961
Livery: British Railways Brunswick Green with small yellow warning panels


British Railways Type 2 D5830 (Class 31, 31297/31463/31563)
Built: 1962
Livery: British Railways Golden Ochre with small yellow warning panels


***Special Guest Star***

British Railways Standard 4MTT No.80105

Built: 1955
Livery: British Railways Lined Black
Class: 4MT



Events

Throughout the day there will be five Travelling Post Office Mail Exchange runs at Quorn & Woodhouse Station on the Saturday, with four taking place on the Sunday, with the TPO Apparatus located just south of the station itself. Three of the runs on the Saturday will be steam hauled, with a special TPO run taking place at around 7.30pm inbetween the BEEREX and evening Dining Train service. The other two TPO runs will be Diesel Hauled, on the Saturday it is expected to be two steam and two diesel.


TPO Apparatus at Quorn & Woodhouse, viewed from the Signalbox

For the first time in 35 years, a Mk1 based Travelling Post Office Vehicle will be dropping mail bags at speed, this has not been done since 1971, the two TPO Vehicles, being Mk1 POS E80301 and LNER POS E70294E will both be performing the mail exchanges at Quorn & Woodhouse Station, along with LNER POT E70268E.


British Railways Designed Mk1 TPO Coach No.E80301, of the POS type (Post Office Sorter), this will be the first Mk1 type coach for 35 years to perform a mail bag drop at speed

During the day there will be two runs made with the historic Mineral Wagon Rake, known as the 'Windcutters', these trains were a regular sight on the Great Central Main Line, running from Annesley to Woodford Halse. Relive the sight of a steam hauled freight train.

There will also be an evening BEEREX train departing Loughborough Central at 7pm in addition to the evening Dining Train departing at 7.30pm. This is to enable passengers to get to the TPO run at Quorn & Woodhouse taking place at approximately 7.30pm. Then catch the Diner for a full round trip.

The Directors Inspection Saloon is likely to be running, which you can travel in for a small supplementary fare which includes tea, coffee and biscuits, as well as a ride in some very comfortable padded leather armchairs, and an all around view of the railway from the windows.


The interior of the Directors Saloon, showing the superb view it offers passengers who ride onboard

A Silver Service Style breakfast will also be served on the first train of the day, passengers must board at Loughborough Central to take advantage of this, as limited places are available, and it is first come first served, so why not skip cooking breakfast yourself, and relaxed in the First Class Restaurant Car coaches whilst the young female stewards serve you a deliciously cooked breakfast.

A similar Silver Service Afternoon Tea is available on an afternoon departure from Loughborough Central, generally between 3pm and 4pm, this is once again serviced in the First Class Restaurant Car coaches, and is ideal for those of you who are feeling peckish, yet don't want to have a late lunch or early supper.

As always, an intensive service will operate with trains passing on the double track up to every 10 minutes at points during the day. This is something which has to be seen to be experienced, with the best location being Quorn & Woodhouse Station, with good views either side of the station to be had looking towards Loughborough to the north and Kinchley Lane Curve to the south.


The double track at Quorn & Woodhouse Station, with 63601 in the station and 5199 approaching with a train from Leicester

As always a full Griddle Car service will be served onboard trains marked 'RB' in the timetable, and subject to confirmation, on trains marked 'RKB' or 'RB2' in the timetable, trains marked 'RMB' will have a limited buffet service available. All other trains will have no buffet service available. However there is a Refreshment Room at Loughborough serving a wide variety of meals, as well as a NAFFI Tea Room at Quorn & Woodhouse, Edwardian Tea Room at Rothley, and a Buffet at Leicester North.


Timetables

The timetables will be available at a later date

The first passenger train of the day is 9.15am, however the first movement of the day is 9.00am.


Fares

Adult: £15
Child/Senior Citizen: £8
Family 1: £25
Family 2: £35
Privilege Rate Adult/Senior Citizen: £10
Privilege Rate Child: £5

Local fares between stations are also available.

Family 1 is for one Adult and three Children
Family 2 is for two Adults and three Children

Heritage Railway Association Passes are not valid at this event, however if you are a member of Main Line Steam Trust or Friends of the Great Central Railway, or if you hold a BR Priv Card, you will get the Privilege rate. Also if you are a member of an organisation which gives GCR Working Members reciprocal travel you will also be entitled to the privilege rate.
 
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Nick

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Just a question how can the directors saloon be a superb view when it's either of the tender of the loco or the MK1 coach behind it :p?
 

Coxster

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Nick said:
Just a question how can the directors saloon be a superb view when it's either of the tender of the loco or the MK1 coach behind it :p?
Not when it is on the back of a train...
 

bunnahabhain

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Or when it runs as a Single Coach on it's own, it's a fully self-contained train featuring a very comfy Brake Compartment, Kitchen Compartment, and two Saloons at each end with a driving panel when propelling back down the line to look at something the directors found interesting. :)
 

bunnahabhain

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Updated to include revised locomotive allocations,

45305 will now replace 63601
D123 will now replace 4141
D5830 is an additional locomotive
 

bunnahabhain

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It shouldnt do, sadly she's not booked a TPO run though, only 45305, D123 and D5830 are booked a TPO run, and I get the 31 hauled run! :D
 

Tomnick

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Indeed, top day today! One of those days that you can really enjoy without the temptation to get stressed instead!
 
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