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Tuesday 2nd November 2021 Great Central Railway, Swithland Sidings, Swithland, Leicester LE7 7SE

A full day of photography at the GCR using 8F Class 48305 at the head of a lengthy mixed goods train

Join us for a full day of steam action at the Great Central Railway in March utilising Stanier 8F Class No.48305 at the head of a lengthy mixed goods formation reminiscent of main line scenes from the 1950s-60s


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About this event

Continuing our theme of Stanier locomotives at work hauling authentic train formations on double track, we are offering the first of two days at the Great Central Railway with British Railways black-liveried 8F Class 2-8-0 No.48305 heading a lengthy goods train. Our formation will comprise the GCR’s van train, to the rear of which will be added up to ten further wagons to make up a train of circa twenty-five wagons and brake van.

Numbers on this charter will be limited to 25 photographers only. This is because, if we still need to observe an element of social distancing, we want to ensure the wellbeing of our participants which has to be our prime concern. Though we hope to be through the worst of the Covid-19 situation by then, if there is any lingering virus concern then following by car will be an added advantage. We will start the day from Swithland so please drive direct to Swithland - there is some parking within the yard and plenty more at the roadside, though please park sensibly as this is a busy road. We will have our very important safety briefing prior to photography getting under way.

We expect the Butler Henderson Cafe to be open at Quorn during the day and we will be able to take advantage of this facility around mid-day when the locomotive returns to Loughborough for servicing.

No.8305 (BR 48305) was built at Crewe Works from where it emerged in November 1943. The locomotive worked from a number of sheds across the Midlands including Wellingborough, Northampton, Northwich and Crewe South before being withdrawn from Speke Junction depot at Liverpool in January 1968. No.48305 was sent to Woodham Brothers scrapyard at Barry in South Wales but, rather than being cut up as scrap, was rescued for preservation and arrived at the GCR in November 1985. The locomotive was returned to traffic on 25th February 1995. Over the years, the 8F worked at a number of heritage railways before returning to the GCR on a permanent basis. The most recent overhaul was completed in 2019.

The 8F class were regular performers hauling trains over the Great Central route in British Railways days, and 48305 will make a splendid sight at the head of our lengthy goods train. We hope you will wish to join us at the Great Central Railway in March for a much-needed injection of live steam action.

Currently all of our events will run in line with our Covid-19 policy that follows government guidelines. You can find our Covid-19 policy information page here.

Images are for illustration purposes

Event requirements


  • Camera
  • Lenses
  • Camera protection - rain covers etc

Other things you should bring

  • Snacks


  • All levels welcome


  • Low

Other essentials

  • Sturdy outdoor shoes
  • Warm clothing
  • Wet weather gear

Event location

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