Great Central Railway Salutes Valiant Volunteers
More than three hundred volunteers attended a dinner event at Leicester's King Power stadium. The aim was to celebrate all who give their time to the line and was personally supported by the Directors. The evening culminated with the presentation of the long service awards to people who have loyally served the project.
Chief Executive Andy Munro said, "As we started adding up the numbers, we couldn't believe how many people have been committed to the railway for so long. In total, sixty six people have been volunteers for forty years or more. Combined, that's an extraordinary two thousand six hundred years of service. It is the sort of record many companies can only dream of, so it was absolutely right that we salute their dedication. Along with all of our volunteers, it's their effort which continues to keep the Railway alive".
The original Great Central Railway finally closed in 1969. That year, a number of people met in the waiting room at Leicester Central station to discuss how a section of the line could be preserved as a home for large steam locomotives. At the dinner some of those founding fathers were present, meaning they are approaching half a century of service.
They come from all walks of life and work right across the railway from restoration of priceless heritage to running the trains, all of which will be on show at the Railway’s Winter Gala this coming weekend 27-29th January.
Andy continued "we have around seven hundred volunteers at the GCR from all age groups and its great to see young people working alongside more experienced engineers and volunteers. People are passionate about volunteering and helping to shape the future. With major developments coming down the line in the years ahead, there is a real buzz of excitement in the air. It's a great time to get involved and experience the passionate team spirit."
The Great Central is developing a heritage lottery funded museum at its southern terminus in conjunction with the National Railway Museum and Leicester City Council. It is also working to create and eighteen mile heritage railway across the East Midlands.