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Spring Diesel Gala

What's On...

Whats on

Friday and Saturday – an intensive timetable with three different trains operating the full line to Leicester as well as a local services to Rothley via Rothley Brook, with a variety of locomotives making full use of our double track railway.

Locos will also have layovers at Leicester North in the Bay platform offering the chance for a photograph in your favourite Diesel Loco cab!

Evening services on Friday and Saturday night with pre-ordered hot food available

On Sunday, as well as an intensive mainline service, there will be the opportunity for an excursion to Mountsorrel via the branch line.

There will also be trade stands at Loughborough from the HTTG Group, DPS and 5305 group

Eat and Drink with us

Our Griddle Car will be open and serving up some delicious meals over the weekend including our famous Great Central Breakfast every morning. This will operate in the set marked 'A' on the timetable.

Evening meals will also be available on Friday (a choice of curry) and Saturday Evening (a choice of pies) pre-bookable online when you buy your tickets

A Lounge Car will be found on the set marked ‘C’ on the timetable, where you'll be able to enjoy a selection of real ales, ciders, wines, spirits and soft drinks as well as cold food and snacks, including:

Loughborough Station Refreshment Room, Butler Henderson Cafe at Quorn and Ellis Tearoom at Rothley will also be open between 10am and 4pm daily.

Woodhouse Farm will be providing their farm bred burgers on their BBQ on Loughborough Central Platform

There will also be a selection of up to five ales from local breweries available from the bar located in the End Waiting Room at Loughborough Central, including:

Please note - above subject to availability and not all will be on sale continuously.

Drive an 08 Shunter

Driver for a Tenner (Saturday and Sunday Only)

During this event, we are offering a rare chance to have a go at driving one of our Class 08 locomotives, 13101. You’ll be able to join the locomotive at Loughborough Shed before driving out and back along the Up Through Siding - some red pen track! There’s no need to book in advance, just follow signage at Loughborough on the day.

Saturday - 11am until 4pm

Sunday - 10am until 3pm

Available on a first come, first serve basis. Participants must not be under the influence of alcohol and be aged 18 or older.

Footplate Passes

Experience what it’s like to operate a diesel locomotive. Ride along on the footplate on a one way trip from our Loughborough Central Station to Leicester North and observe the workings of the locomotive up close. There is only one footplate pass available at each of the times listed, the individual must be aged 18 and old, and they can't be under the influence of alcohol.

Locomotives and Heritage Railcars

Image of Class 31 31108 British Rail Class 31 diesel locomotive

Class 31 31108 British Rail Class 31 diesel locomotive

Also known as the Brush Type 2 and previously as Class 30, were built by Brush Traction from 1957 to 1962 – appearing courtesy of the A1A Group

Image of Deltic 55009

Deltic 55009

Alycidon is a diesel locomotive currently owned by the DPS. Alycidon has featured at numerous heritage railways through the 40 years of DPS ownership as well as running on the main line since 2012 – appearing courtesy of DPS

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Class 37 37714

Built by English Electric in 1961. Converted to 37/7 in 1998. Repainted to BR Railfreight Grey (Metals Sector) livery.

Image of Class 37 D6700

Class 37 D6700

Built by English Electric in 1960. Converted to 37/3. Repainted to BR Green with Yellow Panels. On loan from NRM in York

Image of BR Class 45 D123

BR Class 45 D123

“Leicestershire and Derbyshire Yeomanry” Built at Crewe in 1961. Withdrawn 1987. Arrived at the GCR in 1998

Image of Class 50 50017

Class 50 50017

“Royal Oak” Built by English Electric in 1968. Withdrawn in 1991. Arrived at the GCR in in February 2019

Image of British Rail Class 153 Super Sprinter

British Rail Class 153 Super Sprinter

153371 and 153308 British Rail Class 153 Super Sprinter single-coach railcars c

Image of BR Derby Lightweight Railcar

BR Derby Lightweight Railcar

'Iris' Appearing with thanks to the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway.

Image of Test Car 2

Test Car 2

The fascinating Test Car 2, an important vehicle used in railway testing, will also be making an appearance at the gala.

All services, locomotives, exhibits, and other attractions are subject to availability, amendment, or cancellation at any time.


Working timetables for each day of the gala are available below...

Fares and fares notes

Please note that tickets are cheaper when bought online in advance - see fares below

Spring Diesel Gala 2024

1 day
2 consecutive days
3 consecutive days










Friend/Privilege Adult




Friend/Privilege Child




Family (1A + 3C)




Family (2A + 3C)




Booking Office









Friend/Privilege Adult




Friend/Privilege Child




Family (1A + 3C)




Family (2A + 3C)




Fare notes

1. Day returns to Leicester at £30 adults (no senior concession) £15 child are available after 3.30 pm. These tickets can be used as runabouts, without restriction.

2. Registered disabled visitors pay the Day Return to Leicester fare. An accompanying registered carer is offered a free complimentary fare. (If disabled tickets are booked online you will need to visit the booking office and show your ticket and the registered carers ID to be issued with the complimentary carer ticket BEFORE you board a train). These tickets can be used as runabouts, without restriction.

3. Privilege rates at this event apply to:

4. Students (on production of a valid student ID) may travel at the day return to Leicester rate; these tickets can be used as runabouts without time restriction.

5. There is no concessionary rate for senior citizens.

6. Dogs, cycles and large items of luggage are a flat fare of £3 per day

7. Our standard adult runabout fare (valid on all advertised services with standard class accommodation, except reservation only services (including Santa trains)) is £56 - this is valid for use on one day only during the 31 days from date of issue.

8. For a full list of our conditions of carriage, please refer to our website.

While every effort will be made to maintain services, we do not guarantee that trains will arrive/ depart at the times stated. Great Central Railway plc reserves the right to change our product offer or prices at any time without notice. All services, locomotives, exhibits, and other attractions are subject to availability, amendment, or cancellation at any time.

No liability for any loss, inconvenience or delay can be accepted. All railway locomotives release, on occasion, oily deposits into the atmosphere, including cinders from steam locos. We regret that we cannot take responsibility for damage to visitors’ clothing, vehicles or other personal belongings caused by these occurrences.

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