Great Central Railway Loughborough Station

Loughborough Central Station was built by the Great Central Railway (GCR) as part of the Railway’s “extension to London”.  The station was built to the GCR’s standard design of stations. It was opened on the 15th March 1899 and closed by British Rail on the 5th May 1969 as part of the Beeching cuts to the British Rail network.  It was taken over by the Main Line Steam Trust (MLST) and reopened in 1974 as a part of the Great Central heritage railway. During the later years of British Rail the station was given minimum maintenance and when taken over by the MLST was in a sorry state.  The station canopy was given some cosmetic restoration by the MLST but by the early part of the 21st century it became apparent that extensive restoration was required if the grade 2 listed canopy was to survive.

Work started in early 2010 with the north end of the station.  As the steelwork was dismantled it became apparent that it was in a much worse condition than early inspections had indicated with many of the cast iron guttering sections cracked and the steel cantilevers severely wasted as a result of blocked drains and corrosive steam engine smoke. 

On inspection by the GCR’s structural engineer the north end cantilever assembly was found to be in a badly wasted condition.   Measurement of the original revealed differences in the length of the two sides of one inch and the various fishplates had been randomly drilled so that the rivets were not in line. Able Engineering fabricated a new assembly with a small number of original parts utilised.  The new assembly was fully welded with 1100 dummy rivet heads welded into place so that the appearance matched the original.

Loughborough Station - Start to Completion