Great Central Railway

One of the thing I love most about travelling is the accidental discoveries you make along the way. One of my favourites is the Great Central Railway, the UK’s only double track, main line heritage railway found after a quest for a decent cup of tea and a sandwich.

On a driving trip through the UK, one of petrol and food stops was an unremarkable English town, Loughborough. After filling up the car I wondered around to find a decent something to eat and somewhere to eat it. Ask a local! “Why don’t you try the tea rooms down at the station?” Sounded fine. After a brief walk I descended the stairs of the station, found the tea room and ordered a little something. “Would you like to eat it it on the train?” “Sure”. Shortly afterwards the gentleman behind the counter said “you will be in the car behind the locomotive”.

So went out onto the charmingly retro platform to wait for the “train”. What a train! A long black steam locomotive thundered its ways down the line. I had stumbled upon one the best heritage railways in the world. Four beautifully restored stations, all finished in a 1950s retro style, serve the line that runs between Loughborough and Leicester in the centre of England.

Diesel, steam locomotive and railcars run a regular service between the towns with a fantastic buffet service on some of the services.

Even if trains aren’t your thing its great way to step back in into the 1950s and a fantastic lesson that the traveller should always look a little further.

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