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Mountsorrel Heritage Centre

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by Johann Marsbar, Sep 21, 2018.

  1. Johann Marsbar

    Johann Marsbar Member

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  2. Johann Marsbar

    Johann Marsbar Member

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    The Ruston narrow gauge diesel loco that has been based on the short demonstration line there is apparently leaving in the near future. It is a 1956 Ruston that was new to the BTC and was used at one of the BR sleeper/PW depots from memory. It was on loan from the Peak Rail based narrow gauge collection, and has, presumably, now been sold on elsewhere.
    Photo is on here, if you haven't seen it before.........
    http://www.heritage-centre.co.uk/visit-us/ruston-diesels/
    A replacement loco, in the form of a 1960 Motor-Rail "Simplex" 4wDM narrow gauge diesel locomotive will be taking its place down in the quarry area.
     
  3. Johann Marsbar

    Johann Marsbar Member

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    Their latest e-newsletter gives 12 provisional dates for Mountsorrel branch passenger services during 2019 - quite an increase from that in 2018. One of them could be steam worked rather than the usual DMU operation.
    Additionally it states that over 80% of the funds needed for the museum extension have been raised, so that will be being built in the new year
     
  4. Johann Marsbar

    Johann Marsbar Member

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    Their e-newsletter which lists the proposed dates of operation for the branch in 2019 has been put on their website now, for those interested.........
    http://heritage-centre.co.uk/newsletters/christmas-2018/
    I believe that they are hoping to start work on the museum (restoration workshop) extension in the New Year as well.
     
  5. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Member

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    The branch is certainly an attraction in it's own right and the Granite Cafe is proving very popular with the local population.
     
  6. Johann Marsbar

    Johann Marsbar Member

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    I've only been there around half-a-dozen times since the Heritage centre complex opened, but certainly the Cafe is always very busy - obviously with "locals" rather than too many visiting enthusiasts - but as such caters (literally) for a different market to the equivalent establishments on the GCR itself.
    If they can get some significant exhibits in the rail museum itself, it will hopefully attract more enthusiasts there. I know there are a couple of things they are looking at in that respect. Freeing up the whole of the existing shed as a display area will give them about a 50% increase in display space.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
  7. Johann Marsbar

    Johann Marsbar Member

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    The foundations have apparently gone in for the building extension to house the restoration workshop and all the buildings steelwork should be in place by the end of this month - weather permitting.
     
  8. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Member

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    That is good news - the Branch certainly keeps getting better!
     
  9. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Member

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    Here is the situation today - DSCF8201.JPG
     
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  10. Johann Marsbar

    Johann Marsbar Member

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    Steelwork should start going up next week, from what I've been told.
     
  11. Johann Marsbar

    Johann Marsbar Member

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    Steel frame for restoration workshop has now been erected and should be clad next week.
     
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  12. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Member

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    Well the shed extension has had the steelwork erected and the cladding built, so it looks like this today! It will increase the shed space by 50% so restoration work will be separated from a display area. There will obviously be quite a sharp curve from a new point to access that new shed road. I do hope that there will be another section added to make the frontage symmetrical though.... DSCF8220.JPG
     
  13. Johann Marsbar

    Johann Marsbar Member

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    I did ask about that when the project was first announced, but the extension as it is at the moment is just on the limit for having a point & trackwork installed to serve it, without considerable changes to the track layout at the site. The pointwork was supposed to be coming from Snibston, so I assume that happened, as there appears to be part of a crossing or otherwise visible in the grass on the left of your photo. I know that there are plans to put another "exhibit" in the area to the left, in front of the shed at some time in the future (assuming they can get it and rebuild it....).
    The area reserved for the proposed "Discovery Centre" - which failed to get Lottery funding last year - would also restrict what trackwork changes you could make at the site. A wagon sized traverser could be a way of serving any future extensions beyond the new part of the building, or you could have a building to exhibit non-rail items .....
    The extension had to be constructed like that to take account of drainage from the new part of the structure, with a wide gutter area between the new and old buildings - which has meant the extension actually being more than 50% extra in area - think its more like 60% without having a search through my computer to find the plans!.
     
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  14. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Member

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    Thanks Johann, I did look closely at that bit of trackwork and it looks to be part of a single slip so I'm not sure where that could be used. I am really impressed with the work done on the "Branch"...... a real community effort.
     
  15. Johann Marsbar

    Johann Marsbar Member

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    Apparently that trackwork isn't anything to do with linking the restoration workshop in with the rest of the layout as its all still at Snibston! Should be being collected next week, apparently.
    On a different matter, watch out for a Press Release which will be made in the coming weeks concerning a significant exhibit heading to the Heritage Centre ..........................
     
  16. Johann Marsbar

    Johann Marsbar Member

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    Presumably a proper Press Release will follow, but this has now been made public, as it is mentioned in their latest Supporters e-newsletter.........

    New Exhibit
    [​IMG]
    The main reason for the railway museum extension was to allow us to keep our exhibits and restoration work separate. We hoped that dedicated cleaner surroundings would make for a better visitor experience as well as improving the environment for the exhibits.

    We also hoped that the creation of extra space and a more professional museum environment would attract more high profile exhibits and we are please that the first of these new exhibits has been announced, namely the last surviving standard gauge steam locomotive to be built at Loughborough’s iconic Brush works. The 0-4-0 saddle tank locomotive was built in 1906 as number 314 and worked at Swansea Docks. It was withdrawn from service in 1964 and presented to the Leicester Museum of Technology in 1968, before going on display at Snibston Discovery Park in 1992. It will be coming to us this summer.



    So far £45,000 has been raised for the new workshop extension, but an additional £5000 is still sought to cover the total costs of the project, if anyone is interested in lending their financial support
     
  17. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Member

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    Good news re the Brush Tank engine, coincidently I visited the Mountsorrel Centre yesterday and the cafe was packed! Obviously it is a popular destination which is good to see.
    The work is continuing on fitting out the interior of the shed extension.
    The branch line is going to be in use on the last Sunday of each month from March through to October and certain Wednesdays (April 17th, 24th and August 7th, 14th) to coincide with School holidays. It is also going to be in use for the GCR "Goods Galore" event May 11th and 12th. There is a very nice display in the small shed alongside the big restoration/display shed, which highlights how the branch line has evolved and been re-built.
     
  18. Johann Marsbar

    Johann Marsbar Member

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    There is a good chance that the service at the end of this month (31/3) may be operated by top/tail steam locos, but the final confirmation/details are still awaited from the GCR.....
     
  19. Railboy

    Railboy New Member

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    Was the signalling upgrade in order to have more running days on the Mountsorrel branch already done?
     
  20. Johann Marsbar

    Johann Marsbar Member

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    From a conversation I had a couple of weeks ago, I understood most of the work had been done, but there were still a few jobs to do before its all fully up and running.
     

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