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Main Line Steam Trust

“Major step forward” for the whole Great Central Railway

At their Extraordinary General Meeting held on 5 August, members of the Main Line Steam Trust gave a green light to eighteen months of backstage work, voting overwhelmingly in favour to overhaul the Great Central Railway’s support structure. From now on there will be “one members club, and one charity to support one railway”.

Bob Stephens, the chairman of the Main Line Steam Trust said, “This is fantastic and something we have been working hard for. We shall begin transferring the assets of the MLST into the Great Central’s new support charity, the “David Clarke Railway Trust” quickly. Meanwhile our members will be asked to resign their MLST memberships and join the brand new supporting club, “Friends Of the Great Central Main Line.”

After years of “on the hoof” expansion, which has created an unwieldy and duplicative set of support arrangements the new structure is very simple. There will be one charity, “The David Clarke Railway Trust” which will be able to handle donations (topped up by the 28% government gift aid scheme) and distribute them to projects across the GCR. The new membership group, FOGCML, will take on all of the MLST’s former membership work, including distribution of the award winning Main Line magazine and provision of travel benefits (now guaranteed under the new arrangements, as was never the case before.)

“The Main Line Steam Trust is the reason the railway exists today,” said the railway’s spokesman Tom Ingall. “but now we are moving on. The new arrangements will now take the railway forward and we are beginning a membership drive right with the hope of bringing new supporters to the cause. Another advantage of these changes is it prevents duplicated effort, saving time and money for the business of preservation itself. Following the board changes of 2005 – this is the next step in the railways evolution. We’re having a great 2006 and there is a really positive atmosphere around the whole place at the moment.”

The Main Line Steam Trust will remain in existence as a ‘shadow group’ to collect any bequests which may be forthcoming. However, after a short grace period to allow people to transfer it will no longer provide any members benefits. Members are being urged to transfer to the “Friends of the Great Central Main Line” as soon as possible.

To read further about the Main Line Steam Trust, look here.

To read further about the Great Central Railway, look here.

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