Great Central Railway (GCR) has revealed when passenger trains will start running on its historic tracks once again.
The Leicestershire attraction – which is the UK’s only double track, main line heritage railway – will be operating its first passenger trains for four months on the weekend of July 25 and 26.
However, passengers will notice a number of differences. For this “first stage” of the GCR’s return to operation, trains will depart from Quorn and Woodhouse station.
Trains will then run to the end of the line at Leicester North before returning to Quorn and Woodhouse to complete the journey.
Loughborough Central will not be visited during the journey, and it will also not be possible to board or alight from the train at Rothley or Leicester North stations during this first stage of reopening.
According to GCR, trains are not running to and from Loughborough as cleaning will take place while the trains run between Loughborough and Quorn and Woodhouse, before passengers begin their journey.
Pre-booking online is essential for these trains, and each order will be allocated a single compartment for their group.
All passengers in each compartment must be from the same family group or support “bubble”.
Face coverings must be worn on the station platforms and when boarding the train. Face coverings may be removed when you are seated within your private compartment (although this may change depending on government advice at the time).
The station platform will not be open, except for passengers with valid tickets when boarding and alighting. An efficient queuing system has been arranged for boarding the train to enable social distancing.
Three trains will be running on July 25 and 26:
10am from Quorn and Woodhouse (returning at 10.55)
11.50am from Quorn and Woodhouse (returning at 12.45)
1.50pm from Quorn and Woodhouse (returning at 2.45pm).
Ticket prices are: £11 adult, £8 child (3-16 years), £30 family (2+3), £10 Friends of Great Central Main Line.
If the present local lockdown in Leicester is still in effect on July 25 and 26, visitors living within the lockdown area will not be able to travel. In this case, GCR says it would offer to transfer all affected bookings to another equivalent service on a future date to be agreed.
The Butler Henderson Cafe will be open for refreshments and The Tin Shed Bar will also be open.
Tickets can be booked online via the Great Central Railway website here.