Friday 24 May 2024
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Future of heritage trains in Ruddington secured after new deal

A change to the Articles of Association of the Great Central Railway (Nottingham) Ltd was unanimously approved by shareholders at their Annual General Meeting on the 21st of January.

The vote means a welcome new relationship between supporting charity East Midlands Railway Trust and GCR(N), with the aim of getting heritage trains running sooner and securing the future of nine miles of preserved railway between Loughborough and Ruddington

The key change removed a clause in the articles which prevented any one party from owning more than 10% of the shares issued in GCR(N).

Now, East Midlands Railway Trust, the charity which owns the freehold of the railway, can convert its longstanding loan to GCRN Ltd into share capital to acquire a majority interest in the company.

In the future GCR(N), as it seeks to reopen the line and run trains, will be the commercial arm of the charity. 

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This change injects working capital into GCRN and removes the burden of uncertainty caused by the loan. Individuals are also purchasing new shares in the company.  

Dr David Rae, Chairman of East Midlands Railway Trust, said:

“The Boards of both companies have been working towards this agreement for the past year and we are very relieved to have the support needed from shareholders to conclude it. It means that GCRN Ltd can now work with the backing of EMRT to reopen the railway whilst the Trust safeguards the railway line, track and infrastructure.”

The change follows a £1 million investment in the line to replace a major bridge, renewing the momentum to restart trains and connect with the eight-mile Great Central Railway in Leicestershire.

The boards of EMRT and GCR(N) are united in this aim. Their initial focus will be running trains between their base at the Nottingham Transport Heritage Centre some two and a half miles to Rushcliffe Halt station.  

The two boards will be supported by the LNER (GC) Heritage Trust, the volunteers’ membership organisation which aims to take a more active role.

George Green, director of GCR(N) who chaired the AGM said, “By working together we can get trains running and secure a long-term future for the line, which requires significant investment. I’d like to thank all the shareholders of GCR(N) for supporting the board’s proposals and setting us off in a new direction.”

Andy Fillingham, new Chairman of the LNER (GC) Trust and GCRN Ltd Director, commented, “We look forward to working with East Midland Railway Trust and Great Central Railway Nottingham, to drive forward fundraising and recruitment of volunteers both of which are essential for a long term future.”

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