It'll cost around £2.8m.
Grand Central Railway plans to construct the next stages of its extraordinary Reunification project towards the end of the year.
Reunification is a project to reconnect two halves of the former Great Central Main Line to London, which was closed in the 1960s.
When complete, it will create an 18-mile line stretching between South Nottingham and Leicester, for use by visitors, passengers and rail industry businesses. Thousands of visitors to the award-winning heritage line’s Winter Gala were among the first to learn of the plan.
Three phases of the seven-phase project - the largest on any UK heritage railway - are now ready for track to be laid on them.
These include a new bridge to carry GCR heritage trains over the national rail network, a refurbished late 1890s bridge over a canal and as of November 2022, the replacement bridge over the A60 road. It represents an investment of many millions of pounds into the area.
An ongoing fundraising campaign means there is more than £1.4m ready to spend on the next phase of the work, which has been called ‘The Factory Flyover’. Subject to successfully securing the relevant permissions, work could begin on-site later this year.
The organisation 'Friends of the Great Central Main Line' has promoted Reunification. Chairman Andy Fillingham said: "This project is all about people power and pushing forward a plan with potential to transform the local area.
"It’s been humbling how much support we have received, not just at home, but around the world. Times are tight but people are still choosing to support the inspirational Reunification scheme. We are very grateful to everyone."
The Factory Flyover is actually two stages of the project combined; a bridge across a factory car park and another to cross Railway Terrace Road in Loughborough.
It’s expected to cost around £2.8m. Once work has started it will continue as far as available funds allow.
In March 2023, there will be a major fundraising drive where every pound donated to the scheme will be matched by another from a donor up to the value of £150,000. 'Money Match March' has run successfully before, but this is the biggest match pot yet offered.
"We want to get building again as soon as possible," Andy continued, "rather than just having money in a bank account fighting inflation, so we’ve decided to do just that. However, we need to raise more money to complete the Factory Flyover.
"'Money Match March' has always been popular with supporters as it’s a chance for their donation to go even further.
"Every pound matters. If we successfully match all the money, our totaliser will leap up to an incredible £1.8m. The more people give, the further we can go with the Factory Flyover."