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The Great Central Railway is Britain's only double track main line heritage railway. It is open at weekends and Bank Holidays throughout the year and daily in June, July and August and during school holidays.
There are four stations along the route and you may board at any of them. They have all been restored to different periods in the main line's history with Loughborough being the largest station and here is reflected the end of the era in the 1960s. Quorn and Woodhouse played a significant part in the embarkation of troops for the D-Day campaign of the Second World War and reflects the 1940s. Rothley station is of the oldest period, restored to the gas lit Edwardian era of the turn of the last century. Leicester North has been rebuilt from scratch in the original Great Central sytle.

In December 2008 Rothley Station won a top prize under the National Railway Heritage Awards. Team members were awarded the National Express Volunteers Award given to projects which restore railway buildings using a large amount of input from volunteers.

Rothley Station is still lit by gas-light.

The Robin Hood coming into Rothley Station, October 2005


Visit the Great Central Railway website for details of special events throughout the year. An Edwardian Evening at Rothley Station, Bonfire Night, Santa Specials, Christmas Day and Boxing Day Specials just to give you a taste of what is there to be enjoyed in the atmosphere of the great days of steam. Days out with Thomas the Tank are always popular with the younger visitors.

The Observation Coach was used on the Kings Cross-Newcastle line in 1937. It is being restored and could be in service on the Great Central Railway in 2006. The Coronation emblem is on the back of the coach.

78019 approaching Rothley Station, October 2005


Ellis's Tea Room opened in May 2008 in the converted Joseph Ellis Coal and Corn Store at the end of the car park opposite the the Booking Office and by the Miniature Railway. It was built in 1899 when the Great Central Railway was opened. Come and meet Megan and her team of helpers.

The original Tea Room. It was extended and re-opened in January 2012.

Open 7 days a week 10am-4.00pm so why not come and enjoy tea and hand-made cakes? Perhaps followed by a trip on a steam train?

The original tearoom with Linda Poole

A great place for walkers to stop for lunch

It's a very friendly tea room and there is seating outside.

Just watch the steam trains whilst you enjoy your tea and cake. To see what is there to tempt you please click on the following link:

You can contact the tea room direct on 01509 632343 or e-mail ellis@gcrailway.co.uk


Enjoy the luxury of First Class Dining whilst steaming slowly through the Leicestershire countryside. Traditional luncheons on Saturday and Sunday, dinner on Saturday evenings and additional evenings throughout the year.

92212 in full steam approaching Rothley Station, October 2005


Drive an express train on the main line, experience the power of a big locomotive for yourself. Treat yourself for a special occasion or give a gift voucher to celebrate a special event.

The Mail Train runs at special events, this is the letter box where passengers could post their mail from the platform.

Take a look inside the Left Luggage Office at Rothley Station

An historical luggage label.

This poster is by the Ticket Office but you can read the 1912 newspapers with all the reports on the ill-fated Titanic in front of the fire in the Waiting Room

Inside the Station Master's Office.

The Station Master's Clock inside his office.

The seat bearing the plaque to George Norman Ford is on the platform close to the Ticket Office. He worked mainly in the Dining Car on the Banbury to Newcastle route.

The seat dedicated to George Norman Ford by his family.


Leicestershire and Rutland were chosen for the trial run of the Olympic Flame on the 20th April 2012. As the real flame will be travelling by steam train through Rothley on its journey around the UK then this was the chance to see how it all worked on the Great Central Railway. Tuesday 3rd July 2012 is the day when the Olympic Flame journeys on the Great Central Railway.

Steam Engine 48624 approaching Rothley Station on the 20th April 2012
Photograph by Terry Sheppard

Security on the footplate. 20th April 2012
Photograph by Terry Sheppard

On the next leg to Quorn and Woodhouse station. 20th April 2012
Photograph by Terry Sheppard

For more information and photographs of the day that the Olympic Torch Train travelled through Rothley Station please click on the following link:

For information about the Great Central Railway and the events above phone 01509 230726 or visit the website

Great Central Railway
Great Central Road
Leicester LE11 1RW
All enquiries 01509 230726

Also visit:

To read about the history of the Great Central railway click on the folowing link:

Latest Pictures

Westfield Lane in Winter

Frosty Vines at Kingfishers Pool

Fishing near the old Cossington Lane Bridge in 1954.

Alfred Davies

Cross Green

The 9th century Saxon cross

The Green

Walks around the village

Rothley Station Signal Box

Rothley Station Signal Box

Rothley Station

Rothley Station

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