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Great Central Railway

Loughborough, United Kingdom
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About Great Central Railway
The Great Central Railway is the UK's only double track, main line heritage railway. It’s the only place in the world where full size steam engines can be seen passing each other – just as it was when steam ruled the rails. Trains run every weekend of the year, bank holidays and selected week days through the summer. In addition, First Class Restaurant Car Services provide five course meals whilst travelling between Loughborough and Leicester. Childhood dreams can come true with a Drive a Locomotive Experience when you can take the regulator on a mighty steam locomotive or notch up on a powerful diesel. We also run many special events, including Steam Galas, Paw Patrol, Bonfire Night, 1940s Wartime Weekend and Santa Specials. The railway is supported by The David Clarke Railway Trust, click here to find out more. The Railway's membership organisation is Friends of the Great Central Main Line (FoGCML).
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Great Central Railway
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AlexTheJock wrote a review Yesterday
Wigston, United Kingdom1682 contributions357 helpful votes
Four middle aged friends booked to dine on the Charnwood Forester and it wasn’t too bad an experience, but could have been made so much better if the staff had been more attentive. The boarding didn’t go so well, as we went to where the tickets stated we should be boarding only to find that we needed to be further down the train, but we were soon on-board and seated at our table. Now let me just state that this was one of the warmest evenings of the year, with the sun shining directly in the windows, so we were desperate for something to drink. It took an absolute age to even get some water, and even then we were told that we could not have ice as they had run out, even though this was the beginning of the evening. It also took ages for our bought drinks to arrive, so not a good start. During the evening we asked different waiters to do some simple things for us, and not one was accomplished, so poorly trained staff who did not carry their duties out with any great degree of diligence. The meal was fine and tasted great, but due to the poor service we received during this meal we all agreed that we wouldn’t have any more of these type of meals on the Great Central Railway.
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Date of experience: July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Belly belle wrote a review Yesterday
6 contributions8 helpful votes
We were booked for the evening dinner trip on the 19th August. Only by chance we heard that all dinners had been cancelled, due to technical issues. No email or any communication has been received from them to advise of the cancellations. Had we turned up next Friday having looked forward to an evening with friends, to celebrate our Golden Wedding anniversary, we would have been extremely disappointed to say the least. This booking was made several months ago and I note from previous reviews the same thing was happening in July, when people actually turned up on the day expecting the deal they had booked. To say we were disappointed is an understatement, since it is such short notice we have had to try to book elsewhere. We understand that these things happen and we are not alone of course, so come on Great Central Railway, pull your finger out and get your act together and refund all affected, an offer of compensation would also not go amiss.
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Date of experience: August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Karen_and_Rich wrote a review Jul 2022
Rugby, United Kingdom51 contributions22 helpful votes
My wife and I had a disappointing experience on this train and agree with Lisa-MarieF's comments. I emailed Great Central so that they were aware of the drop in quality but they declined to reply. I have copied that email below, just so that others are aware. "Good Morning, I am writing to share with you my thoughts on what was in many ways a disappointing experience on your Maharaja Express dining service on Wednesday. I should firstly say that myself and my wife have enjoyed this train for the last 6 years. Although some nice touches have fallen by the wayside in that time (such as the Indian music and dancing on arrival), we have always enjoyed the experience and the food. Last night however, we were extremely disappointed by the food. No disrespect to whoever cooked it but it fell far below restaurant standards which I understand is because you have taken the catering in-house. Whilst I understand the cost pressures you must be under, the core of the event is the food and customers have a right to expect something that they couldn’t have cooked at home. Specifically, the samosas were the nicest thing although not lamb as advertised, the onion bhajis were very dry with little onion (but large), the lamb madras was very bland and the butter chicken was ok. The rice was unbelievably over-cooked and wobbled like a jelly as the train moved! The kulfi was ok but my wife thought the mango tasted “oily”. Seriously, the curries on previous years, particularly when you were using Salims was outstanding, no complaints. In addition, I noticed that many were commenting on the Ladies toilets being unavailable at the return stop at Rothley. I also don’t think it would hurt to make a couple of passes of the line, perhaps to the northern extent also since train dining is best experienced moving! A bit more coal, I understand. Now you can choose to ignore this but I really think you need to raise standards back to where they were. We travel up from Rugby specifically and are now thinking that last night could be the last which is sad. I would be happy to hear you comments on the above. Best Regards"
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Date of experience: July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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David W wrote a review Jul 2022
Leamington Spa, United Kingdom4 contributions2 helpful votes
My wife and I arrived at the station yesterday for The Midlander - billed as first class dining. It was supposed to go from Loughbortough to Leicester and back whilst we ate a two course lunch. On arrival the table plan was on display in the station foyer so we were excitedly looking forward to our journey. When we got to the platform at around 12.30 there was a notice saying the train was being prepared for boarding and was due to depart at 1pm. So we thought everything was ready to go. However, we noticed a group of people talking to a staff member, and on speaking to him we learned that the oven was not working on the train so there would be no lunch. Furthermore, although their website implies that we would be pulled by a steam train we were told it would not be running as it may cause a lineside fire from its sparks. Although the staff member told us we could travel free on any other of their trains we declined as there was no other lunch option. This was extremely disappointing as we had driven over an hour to get to the station. Had the company contacted us in advance to tell us of the problem we would not have wasted time and fuel in getting to Loughborough. Although I checked their website before our journey and when we returned home I could find no mention that lunch was to be cancelled, or any apology. We consider this lack of information very poor customer service and are seeking a full refund plus compensation.
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Date of experience: July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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OBI wrote a review Jul 2022
Sheffield, United Kingdom37 contributions42 helpful votes
We were treated by a family member to the 5 course dinner aboard the Grand Central Railway train which went from Loughborough, via a couple of stops, to Leicester North station. The train was pulled by a Diesel engine. We made the journey, there and back, twice on the evening. My main meal was a large Lamb steak which was well cooked, tender and delicious as were all courses. The serving staff were attentive and friendly. The experience lasted 3 hours and was very enjoyable.
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Date of experience: July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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