Although the Great Central Railway closed as a through route in 1966, the memory of this once ground-breaking line has been kept alive by what has become one of the country’s greatest preservation projects, as EVAN GREEN-HUGHES describes.
Above: Class 45 D123 Leicestershire and Derbyshire Yeomanry arrives at Rothley heading to Leicester North on March 26 2005. Mike Wild.
Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Britain’s railways were closing at an alarming rate. Competition from the motor car, bus and lorry was sounding the death knell for many branch and secondary lines, which were unable to compete either on price, punctuality or convenience of service while a good portion of long-distance travel was being lost to the developing domestic airline industry.