Information on Loughborough

Loughboroughs Great Central Railway goes to war

Posted on 12/06/2008

ticket office at the Great Central Railway

The Great Central Railway is remembering the dark days of World War Two this weekend (14th, 15th June 2008). The event is going to be bigger than ever with a rare amphibious vehicle on display and a demonstration of a working, top secret Enigma code machine.

Hundreds of costumed re-enactors will mingle amongst visitors making it the closest possible experience to time travel without a TARDIS! Where else can you meet Winston Churchill, General Montgomery and General Eisenhower and overhear them planning the D-Day landings? Watch a Spitfire flypast and then swing out to a sixteen piece band?

“For once our historic steam engines are just the set dressing,” joked the line’s marketing assistant, Lynn Hill. “We’ve really pulled the stops out for this event with period vehicles, singers and musicians performing popular 1940s songs, a ‘bombing run’ and even a Royal visit from King George VI.”

There will be a busy service of steam trains – and a diesel specially painted in camouflage colours to move the thousands of people expected around the line to see the many different attractions.

The event has a major educational theme with a schools visiting day lined up on Friday 13th of June. This year Wartime Weekend is codenamed “Operation Overlord” and the D-Day landings, now 64 years ago will be remembered not only at a special Sunday service but also with a parade of navy personnel.

At Rothley station there will be a demonstration skirmish between Allied and Axis troops. Meanwhile each of the Great Central’s stations will be carefully themed.

At Quorn and Woodhouse station on Saturday evening, acclaimed singer Fiona Harrison will perform to the accompaniment of a sixteen piece swing band as troops and civilians jive the night away.

“We think people will be thrilled by the DUKW vehicle,” concluded Lynn “and the chance to see a working Enigma machine. The 1940s event is full of atmosphere and reflection. We hope to host plenty of visitors during the weekend.”