March 2015 – Mountsorrel Station Completed!

Mountsorrel Station is now complete! Only signage and some painting in the warmer months remains to be done. Track laying has also been completed through the station. A buffer and sand drag have been installed on the other side of the bridge at Bond Lane.

The granite outcrop problem that delayed construction of the station car park entrance was finally dealt with and the entrance is now also complete.

At Nunckley Hill there has been much activity around the Nunckley Trail. Hedge laying has taken place, dry stone walls have been restored, additional trail information boards have been erected and two areas have been set aside for wild flower seed sowing to bring more summer colour and wildlife to the trail.

Sponsorship for hedge bushes, seeds, a wheel barrow and information boards has been secured. More about this in the next update.

The heritage centre project is also taking giant leaps forward. The volunteers have been burning the midnight oil (and in some cases the 3am oil!) to work through the huge list of legal and other details that have to be dealt with before a spade can even go into the ground. Unavoidable delays in these areas have inevitably led to delays in the start of construction work, but we are now very close to the end of the tender process with an anticipated start of work on the ground in April.

Building work will proceed until around October and it is hoped to open the heritage centre in late 2015/early 2016.

Work has started on dismantling the old buildings that will be saved and relocated to form the new heritage centre. The Time Office has already been dismantled and the barn will follow shortly.

Yesterday the volunteers lifted sections of track to allow the point to be installed that will lead into the historical quarry recreation and museum sidings, which are part of the heritage centre project. There was almost a surreal feeling as we were taking track out opposed to laying it! Volunteers will be installing the new point over the coming weeks.

Several new films of the branch line have been updated to the project’s YouTube channel.

The project is about to enter its busiest phase and we need additional volunteers, both to help tackle the physical work on the ground and to help behind the scenes with tasks such as organising services connections, sourcing materials and specialised contractors, etc.

If you can help please get in touch by email.

It had been hoped that the opening of the railway would be early July, but it is looking increasingly likely that this will slip back further as additional work has been identified that needs to be completed before the railway can open. Most noticeable of these is a second safety sand drag siding at the GCR end of the branch line. We have been left with a cost short fall of just under £10,000 to fund this before the line can open. We are appealing for public donations to help raise the shortfall as quickly as possible.

If you would like to make a donation, please send your donation cheque payable to “DCRT” (David Clarke Railway Trust), c/o 112 Balmoral Road, Mountsorrel, Leicestershire LE12 7EW 240 Swithland Lane, Rothley, Leicestershire. LE7 7UE (and write “Mountsorrel Railway” on the back of the cheque).

Many thanks for your support.