We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Another great steam railway”

Great Central Railway
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed July 16, 2014

Called in on our way back from Newark. Left car at Rothley, where there is free parking in station yard and set off down line behind their lovely red engine to Leicester, from where we did a round trip back and had some excellent refreshments in the cafe in the yard.. As a volunteer on the Severn Valley Railway it was good to meet another group of friendly and helpful volunteers working this railway and the only double lined preserved railway in Britain. Well worth a visit and travel back in time.

Thank swallowman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (1,077)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year

736 - 740 of 1,077 reviews

Reviewed July 16, 2014

Along with our two friends we spent a very pleasant couple of hours on the railway having lunch.
The food was excellent, service very attentive making the whole experience very enjoyable.
Unfortunately the weather was one of the hottest days of the year and one of the party was taken ill at the end of trip. One of the GCR team, Nadine, was unbelievably helpful, she could not have been more caring and for us her help really did make the day. Thank you GCR........we will return!

1  Thank Richard F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 15, 2014

We have used and enjoyed the railway for years and our grand-daughter is now old enough to enjoy it and learn from it
Buying tickets for all the family can seem a bit expensive but you get a lot for your money, especially if you choose an event day with lots of activities and displays at the various stations.
Car parking is sometimes crowded, but we've always found space within a few minutes walk.
For the steam enthusiast, lots of others to talk to, and great photo ops.
Do check the timetable if you want a particular steam engine. Diesels don't have the same romance for me!

Thank J&JBLeics
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 13, 2014

Just back in from a family day on the railway. I am not railway enthusiast, have no idea about that sort of thing. But we have just had the most fantastic day. The family hired a carriage, the one that does the buffet rather than the dining car. It has lots of low armchairs around the edge of it, which was great, we could all talk to each other and move around. The buffet was absolutely brilliant. Had expected sausage rolls and stuff on sticks. Instead got chilli con carne, smoked salmon, goats cheese, pasta salad and some really amazing puddings. What made this brilliant though were the staff. In a way that was not obtrusive the manager came in from time to time to explain history of the line, where we were, and other things. The person managing the food and drinks was quality customer service epitomized. Nothing was too much trouble - many top class restaurants could learn a thing or two here. If you want a different experience for a special family occasion, without exception we all loved this day out

1  Thank 588Lighthouse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2014

I hadn't travelled on this line since it extended to Leicester North and decided to have a round trip from Leicester North to Loughborough on the midweek Wednesday service a few weeks ago. Being a retired ex BR employee, I read up on whether I could use my safeguarded travel facilities on the ATOC website and found that these were accepted.
On arrival at Leicester North, there was a notice on a board near the gate confirming that I could travel for £8 with my card and on entering the platform, I was surprised to find the station buildings locked and shuttered, including the toilets, with the only clue that trains were running being the fact that the gate was open. This was not a good impression to any first time visitor and the only people around were a couple of gardeners working on the flower beds. One of them spoke to me and confirmed that tickets had to be purchased on the train which duly arrived a few minutes later hauled by a steam engine.
Somewhere on route, an elderly ticket collector came into the coach collecting fares and I presented my travel card and asked for a reduced rate return to Loughborough. He took one look at it and said that he had never seen one before and promptly but politely asked me for the full fare - £15. Although I was politely insistent that a reduced fare was advertised, he told me he could not issue a reduced ticket and that I would have to 'nip up the stairs and sort it out' when we got to Loughborough. He even questioned what was the good to the railway of a reduced fare but I was too polite to tell him that had it not have been advertised, I might not have considered travelling and therefore the GCR wouldn't have had my money. I paid up and on arrival at Loughborough, I duly 'nipped upstairs and sorted it out' and got the balance of my fare back.
I know this is a volunteer railway but there were three members of staff in the booking office at Loughborough, surely one of them could have been seconded to Leicester to man the office there? If not, then could the GCR please ensure that it's volunteer ticket collectors are fully aware of what concessions are available to everybody, not just senior citizens or Friends of the GCR.
Interestingly, on a separate visit to photograph the trains a few days later, the notice on the gate had disappeared and fares notices at Rothley station also made no mention of privilege facilities, so if you are a safeguarded ex BR worker and wish to travel on this line, check the ATOC website, then check with the GCR and finally if you have to purchase a ticket on the train and the staff are not compliant, offer to pay at Loughborough. At least they seem to know what they are doing there!
£15 for an adult may be good value when there are two or more steam trains in action, but on a Wednesday with only one engine in steam and a rather shabby looking DMU forming the other service, it is hardly so.

1  Thank 1C49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Great Central Railway also viewed

Loughborough, Leicestershire
Loughborough, Leicestershire
Lutterworth, Leicestershire
Loughborough, Leicestershire

Been to Great Central Railway? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing