This section features a wonderful set of photographs generously provided by Steve Richards.
Steve was a member of Loughborough University Railway Society and was fortunate to ride on a brakevan trip organised by the society in 1973 through Nottingham and on southwards to Ruddington. This was shortly before this section of the GCR closed completely, when trains were able to reach Ruddington using the new chord at Loughborough off the Midland Main Line.
Steve’s photographs from the whole route of the journey are shown here since most scenes have changed almost out of all recognition, which makes them important historically.
The start of the brakevan trip at Raleigh sidings, Nottingham, with the class 25 locomotive.
View from the brakevan as the train enters Nottingham Midland station from the west.
Just to the east of Nottingham Midland station the train passed the former Great Northern London Road Low Level station, then in use as a goods depot. Fortunately, most of it still survives, having been converted to a fitness centre.
This is a fine view of the overall roof of the former Great Northern London Road Low Level station
The train is now reversing westwards along the GN viaduct to join the GCR at Weekday Cross Junction. Most of this area has changed completely, with redevelopment and a new main road going through. At far left is the Great Northern goods warehouse which just survives as a roofless skeleton.
Here the train is approaching the platform of the Great Northern London Road High Level station, where the buildings had been razed.
The front of the Great Northern London Road Low Level station, then in use as a goods depot, from the train as it passes through the High Level station.
The train is about to join the Great Central Railway London Extension at Weekday Cross Junction. The GCR main line can be seen heading south on its long viaduct, crossing the Midland station and the Meadows to the river Trent. The train will shortly reverse and head that way.
Having turned round, this is the view of Thurland Tunnel which heads northwards under the streets of Nottingham, originally passing through Nottingham Victoria station which by then had been demolished. By now the tunnel was just used as a headshunt to gain access to the GCR; and the train reversed again inside the tunnel.
The view northwards from the back of the train as it passes across the bridge over the Midland station. This bridge was subsequently demolished but has now been replaced by a bridge in the same position for the Nottingham tram extension.
An incredible view of Nottingham Arkwright Street station being demolished, even as the train passes through. The entrances to the two platforms can be seen in the distance but the platforms have been removed.
View looking northwards of the bridges over the river Trent. The train is travelling over what used to be the main northbound track. The goods lines passed over the left-hand bridge.
Here the train has reached its destination at Ruddington, viewed through the “50-steps bridge”, which still survives. The track heading off to the right is heading into Ruddington
The lines seen here still exist as part of the GCR(N).
© 2001-2017 Text and photographs copyright Nigel Tout, unless otherwise indicated.