Great Central Railway (GCR) 15th July 2016
On the back of their successful “mileage” running days in 2015 the Great Central Railway (GCR) organised a series of running days for certain locos during the 2016 season and it was the turn of 31563 on Friday 15th July. Like the previous year the GCR would run 6 round trips but unlike the previous year the last 3 trips would be top & tail to save time and allow the day to finish earlier. The T&T loco was to be 37714, to keep with the English Electric theme and a nice sociable 1230 start was just the job; especially if you’d just come off a night shift!
The griddle car on the load 6 set was in full swing even before the 1230 Loughborough – Leicester north set off and breakfasts were served all afternoon. In the evening a set menu of chilli & rice, chickpea curry & rice or banger’s, mash & Yorkshire pudding were available to order; and were brought to your seat when ready!
31563 was in fine form throughout the day and was helped by having a good driver on it all day. It performed faultlessly, made all the right noises, has excellent field diverts and it nice an loud; its always been one of my favorites in preservation.
37714 was added to the set to T&T the 16:55 departure to Leicester North and stayed on the Leicester North end of the set for the evening. Not having had a 37 for a while, let alone a heavyweight one, I can’t really comment much on how it was but it sounded ok. Unfortunately once the 37 was on the train the crew on the 31 at that point then decided they’d drive it like a 37 with shutting off and powering back up at regular intervals; which is pretty crap from a 31 basher’s perspective!
All in all though a cracking day out, with normal fare applicable, a decent turnout, great food on the train, 5 real ales on sale, plenty of mileage and some good thrash! I look forward to 2017’s mileage day……..
31563 worked the following:
1230 Loughborough – Leicester, 1315 Leicester – Loughborough, 1400 Loughborough – Leicester, 1455 Leicester – Loughborough, 1530 Loughborough – Leicester, 1615 Leicester – Loughborough then
1725 Leicester North – Loughborough, 1835 Leicester North – Loughborough, 1945 Leicester North – Loughborough all with 37714 dead on the rear
37714 worked the following:
1655 Loughborough – Leicester, 1800 Loughborough – Leicester, 1910 Loughborough – Leicester all with 31563 dead on the rear
Some photos from the day: