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GCR Winter Gala. 27-29 January 2023

Discussion in 'Galas and Events' started by Johann Marsbar, Dec 8, 2022.

  1. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Part of the furniture

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    It was a bit quieter today so there seemed to be a few seats available on most of the trains and the timekeeping was also better than on the Saturday. It was great to see two freight services as well as the busy passenger services. Thanks also for the previous posters pictures.
     
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  2. Rebeccajane

    Rebeccajane Member

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    It was very busy but we did manage to get a compartment later in the day on Saturday. My 6 year old son loved it which was the main thing
     

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  3. Ben Jenden

    Ben Jenden Member

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    A few of my efforts and a few thoughts on the gala.


    I enjoyed Saturday at the event despite the 75 minute delay of the arrival of 73082 into Loughborough on the penultimate passenger turn of the day. Delays are expected at galas however the timetable slipped already when the S15s 09:00 ex-Loughborough left 8 minutes down which bu the time it left Quorn was down by a further 4 minutes in addition where the delays kept on increasing gradually throughout the day.

    It seems that the timetable doesn't allow for the delays caused by the 5mph and 15mph speed restrictions on the Bridges either side of Quorn (I know they are being replaced next month but the point needs to be raised for future galas).

    Iris was always expected from my understanding to take part at this gala following its arrival last summer, however last years gala was very busy as well as this year's. In my opinion the green and the blue DMU should really double head to cater for the crowds (even if it's dragged by a steam locomotive where available - a bit like the impromptu S15 movement (image attached) and the two Suburban coaches should really be marshalled with set "C" (which they did on Saturday owing to the failure of D123).

    I don't mind paying £33 to only travel two miles to photograph most things at Quorn but any plans of travelling behind anything was somewhat dashed by the packed trains. Thankfully I managed to bag a round trip behind 73082 in the evening and it was certainly a trip to remember for a while.

    Can't wait for the next time I am able to go to the GCR whenever that maybe.
     

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  4. Platform 3

    Platform 3 Member

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    I think if I had read this thread before taking my three year old yesterday then I may not have bothered!

    Thankfully trains on Sunday were not too crowded and we comfortably had a seat on all of them. Trains also ran to time (indeed quite a few were a minute or two early I noticed) so whatever caused Saturday's delays was not an issue by Sunday.

    I wonder whether the lack of major galas in recent years was the cause of the issues? Thanks to Covid and a number of railways scaling back gala plans, plus basically no other railways running major galas between October and March now, the GCR has the field to itself, which if an event captures the imagination can lead to crowding difficulties?

    Sent from my SM-G770F using Tapatalk
     
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  5. MAPLE CHRIS

    MAPLE CHRIS Member

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    Went yesterday and had a good day time keeping was good and there is plenty to see Galas at this time of year are always going to be busy as virtually all railways are closed at this time of year however running a gala at this time of year can be a risk as bad weather can put people off the weather this weekend was perfect not too cold and dry
     
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  6. frazoulaswak

    frazoulaswak Member

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    From my first visit to the GCR for a while on Sunday, in unexpectedly good weather. BR Standard Class 5MT 4-6-0s Nos 73156 and 73082 heading the early afternoon non-stop service from Loughborough Central to Leicester North, seen approaching Rothley station.

    EOS 5D Mark IV_230129_4203.jpg

    Cheers,
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2023
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  7. 49010

    49010 Well-Known Member

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    I enjoyed my visit on Saturday, yes it was crowded but that is a good problem to have, and the beer tent at Quorn was a very acceptable alternative. The mixed freight rake was the highlight for, being a bit of a freight chap, the number and variety of tank wagons was really impressive and there's another in the C&W down at Rothley as well which is terrific. This was the first time I've been able to make it to the GCR in about 10 years, fingers crossed I'll be back again soon. Thanks to everyone who put this on.
     
  8. free2grice

    free2grice Part of the furniture Friend

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    The positive reports of visitor numbers and packed trains will be good news for the railway when considering future winter events. [BJ]
     
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  9. alts1985

    alts1985 Well-Known Member

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    Compilation video from Saturday and Sunday. Despite the crowds making travelling a challenge we had an excellent time, managed to get a compartment to ourselves on the hour late 4pm from Loughborough for a round trip on the Saturday night which was lucky by the sounds of things. Video below photos to follow. Thanks as always to everyone involved in organising the event!

     
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  10. steamingyorkshire

    steamingyorkshire Well-Known Member

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    The Great Central Railway during their Winter Steam Gala, featuring 73082, 73156, 506, 78018, 78019, 92214 and 48305.

    Video Available Here

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  11. 7822WelshSteam

    7822WelshSteam Member

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    I'll probably get a barrage of abuse for saying this. It would be nice if that could be avoided but still... The overcrowding and late-running didn't bother me in the slightest but I was just left wanting more from this gala. I travelled over 2 hours to get there and it was so pedestrian. There wasn't really any thrash at all. The 2 standard 5s had a couple of moments but it was almost as if they were being inspected all day or something. I camped out at the front of Set A for the whole day and it was a little... well... boring. That hasn't been my experience of the GCR in the past. Last year's January gala was quite the opposite and that may have spoilt me for this gala.

    I understand about coal, health & safety and locomotive maintenance but that was the tamest gala I've attended in years.
     
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  12. Ben Jenden

    Ben Jenden Member

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    To be honest if you wanted thrash, GCR isn't really the place. The only bit which I find generates noise is the first few minutes out of Leicester. Sometimes you do get a good amount of noise. 73082 on Saturday night I mentioned earlier was one of the best trips for noise value I had at GCR yet.
     
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  13. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Part of the furniture

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    It must also be remembered that there are TSRs either side of Quorn station until the bridges are replaced in March.
     
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  14. The Italian Tank

    The Italian Tank New Member

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    That should be a good excuse for some enthusiastic acceleration after the slack ;-)

    Perhaps the carriage sets need to be longer? There being a dearth of galas at this time of year, it's always going to be busy.
     
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  15. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Part of the furniture

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    The usual length - 6 coaches is due to the restricted platform length at Loughborough, where they like to keep the engine to the North of the bridge when departing to the South. They have sometimes run longer by adding the veranda coach, but that is usually "manned" so preventing easy access when beyond the platform end.
    Additionally, if the weather had been bad there would have been far fewer passengers, so a difficult call.
     
  16. Steam Valley Productions

    Steam Valley Productions New Member

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    7 shots from the gala. Featuring 92214, 78018, 73156, 73082, 48305




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  17. The Black Hat

    The Black Hat Member

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    I didnt go this time, namely due to distance and some engines not being my interest, but I think the fact that the Winter Gala here done properly and being established draws people back. There is little to nothing on in the calendar at a major line for a month or more either side of this event and as a result it will draw people in like a magnet for those that have been away since Autumn and avoided Santa/Polar season and others that still need to wait for Spring into March/April...
     
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  18. Simon Smith

    Simon Smith New Member

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    I visited for the gala and it was nice to see the railway so well supported! A great selection of locos.

    There are a couple of things that let the event down, one of their USP's is the amount of departures that they have which is clearly pushing their limits and becomes their downfall when things go wrong. I feel if they cut 25% out then it would be more relaxed and generally run to time.

    The other would be they take pride in painting a loco in 10 days however the coaches that Joe public travel on are some of the worst I have been on. They were generally dirty in and out and well overdue some TLC.
     
  19. free2grice

    free2grice Part of the furniture Friend

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    On the other hand, the number of departures from Loughborough indicates that the GCR is alone in offering such an adventurous timetable and for many this is what draws us to the line. As in any gala, things can go wrong but in general the gala is one of the best in the country. <BJ>
     
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  20. misspentyouth62

    misspentyouth62 Well-Known Member

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    I attended the gala on the Friday and was surprised yet encouraged at how busy the trains were with gangways blocked for ticket inspection on 10.15 from Loughborough, griddle breakfasts seemingly order for the day for many. It's good to see a railway doing well at this time of year given so many challenges over costs and cost of living for those visiting.

    On a personal level, I've been visiting GCR since they started out in 1970s and over those years have found myself changing my behaviour as a rover ticket holder. I feel less inclined to try and drag every last mile out of travelling back-and-forth on the premise of getting my money's worth since with very busy loadings, standing on fogged up trains is no longer as enjoyable as standing back and viewing at either Quorn or Loughborough for me. I wonder if the Rover Ticket has had its day? I now buy a rover ticket but am content with a single return journey. Not criticising others but 'camping out' by the gangways or in the front seats isn't necessarily helpful. As far as the GCR are concerned, a good conundrum to have in my view given revenue raised.
     
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