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Railway Archive: The Last Main Line

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The Last Main Line examines the history and continuing social, environmental and economic impact of the Great Central Railway's 'London Extension', which ran between London and North Nottinghamshire between the 1890s and 1960s. S.W.A. Newton: photographer of the GCR's construction

The Last Main Line uses S.W.A. Newton's unique photographic record of the Great Central Railway's construction as a starting point for the story of this major transport undertaking.

Newton's photographs on this site can be bought online.this link opens a new window

Railway lines disappearing into the distance.
Visit the Last Main Line Stories

The stories section of The Last Main Line provides an in-depth illustration of the people who built and worked on the line and the ground-breaking engineering techniques employed.

View the Last Main Line Multimedia

The Last Main Line multimedia page shows video taken from the preserved section of the GCR. There is also an interview with the driver of an engine describing a derailment from 1949.

Visit the Last Main Line Timeline

The Great Central Railway timeline shows key events and images that depict it's conception, decline and rebirth.

View the Last Main Line Maps

Plans and Maps
The GCR plans and maps show the route of the line on OS maps and some early plans, first published in 1901.

To search the thousands of images here, (e.g. tunnel, junction or navvy):

Search the Transport Archive

Some images in The Last Main Line can be bought online through this site - look for the "Buy this photo" link below a large-size image.
Enquiries about all other images in The Last Main Line should be directed in the first place to Leicestershire County Council.

Visit our links page for a list of other websites that relate to railway heritage in general and the Great Central in particular.
About us
The about us section of the Last Main Line contains background information about this project and those who contributed to it.
Link to De Montfort University Link to the New Opportunities Fund Link to the Enrich portal Link to Leicestershire County Council