Prototype HST running Sat 26th August Great Central Railway Nottingham

Prototype HST power car 41001 at Fifty Steps GCRN ©125 Group

Prototype High Speed Train Power Car 41001 and 125 Group’s matching Mk3 coaches will be working passenger trains at Great Central Railway (Nottingham) on Saturday 26th August. Services depart from Ruddington station (sat-nav postcode NG11 6JS) at 1030, 1215, 1400 and 1545 running to Loughborough Viaduct and back. The preserved HST will operate top ‘n’ tail with 41001 at the north end of the Mk3 coaches and locomotive 47292 is planned to be at the south end. Tickets are available to buy on the day on-board the train, or in advance on-line from www.gcrn.co.uk which has further information.

The GCR(N) route is just under 10 miles long, after departing from Ruddington trains reverse at Fifty Steps then run southbound calling at Rushcliffe Halt station, continuing through the scenic Nottinghamshire countryside to Loughborough Viaduct, which has no station but affords a great view over the Midland Mainline and looks down into Brush Locomotive Works, with class 73s, 92s and 319s often visible. Ruddington station is the base for GCR(N) with many heritage transport exhibits, Rushcliffe Country Park is also nearby including, for the younger enthusiast, an extensive green play area next to the railway line.

‘Buffet 125’ will be open on-board our Mk3 coach 10206, selling hot dogs, sandwiches, hot and cold beverages plus alcoholic drinks including bottled beer, our volunteers will be pleased to serve you. The 125 Group sales stand will also be on the train, with our latest range of merchandise available. Experience a grand summer’s day out with 41001 and its original screaming Paxman Valenta engine!

Prototype HST 41001 for Old Oak Common Open Day

Prototype HST on test at Didcot station, with power car 41001 (43000) nearest the camera, February 1975. ©Dave Hird

125 Group is delighted to announce that Prototype High Speed Train power car 41001 is planned to be one of the star exhibits at Great Western Railway Old Oak Common public open day on Saturday 2nd September 2017, celebrating over 111 years of train maintenance and servicing at this West London depot. On display will be a unique collection of steam, diesel and electric locomotives also merchandise stalls including the 125 Group Sales Stand, children’s activities, fun fair, entertainers plus locomotive naming ceremonies.

Tickets are now on sale and demand is expected to be high for this unique event. All proceeds will go to the depot’s chosen charity Place2Be, providing mental health support for children and whose patron is the Duchess of Cambridge. To view full information about the open day, including how to get there and to buy tickets on-line, see the event website www.oocopenday.com

Old Oak Common has an illustrious history, including being home to iconic Inter-City 125s since introduction. The prototype HST is no stranger to Old Oak, it was based at the depot in 1975/6 during Western Region passenger service trials. After withdrawal, power car 41001 entered the National Collection, 125 Group became custodians in 2012 and we restored it back to working order under the ‘Project Miller’ banner. The historic power car is now based at GCR(N) Ruddington where it works public trains together with our matching Mk3 coaches.

Please note that 41001 is advertised in good faith but is subject to transfer rail movements. Should problems arise we can not be held responsible for losses (and disappointment!) arising from non-appearance. The 125 Group team are very much looking forward to this fantastic event and hope to see you there!

East Midlands Trains marks ten year charity partnership with Railway Children

The Pickering Paxman charity railtour at Whitby with power car 43082, staff and volunteers from Railway Children, EMT, BLS and 125 Group. Funds raised from the special train have since increased to £30,000! Photo ©Tony Shaw

Ten-year partnership between East Midlands Trains and Railway Children charity celebrated with special train service ‘The Pickering Paxman’ on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR)

Cheque presentation of £30,000 raised by the railtour made at London St Pancras to mark decade-long partnership

A special train on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway was recently chartered by East Midlands Trains to celebrate the tenth anniversary of its partnership with Railway Children, successfully raising £30,000 for the charity.

Staff and volunteers from East Midlands Trains, North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR), the 125 Group, Branch Line Society and Railway Children were out in force on Saturday 15 July to ensure the event’s success. The special service ran from Derby via Chesterfield, Sheffield and York on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR), from Grosmont to picturesque Pickering and then onward to Whitby. It is believed that this was the first time in Pickering’s history that the iconic High Speed Train has visited the ancient market town.

The route took in stunning scenery across Derbyshire and Yorkshire, where films such as Harry Potter and famous television shows like Heartbeat have been filmed. Once on the NYMR, there was a special rededication naming ceremony to mark the decade-long relationship between East Midlands Trains and Railway Children.

Jake Kelly, Managing Director for East Midlands Trains, said: “Everyone involved had been looking forward to the big day and the opportunity to raise money for such a good cause. All of the prep work we’d put in with our operations partner Direct Rail Services paid off as the day went like clockwork, and the support from the 125 Group, Railway Children and Branch Line Society was fantastic.”

Presentation of cheque for £30,000 to Railway Children at St.Pancras 1st August with (left to right) Ian Mortimer Branch Line Society Treasurer, Darren Ward East Midlands Trains Head of Drivers, Jake Kelly EMT Managing Director and Anuradha Chandran Head of Corporate Partnerships at Railway Children, not forgetting EMT power car 43046! ©Geoff Plumb

Anuradha Chandran, Head of Corporate Partnerships at Railway Children, said: “Railway Children were delighted to celebrate the 10th anniversary of our partnership and greatly appreciate the incredible support of East Midlands Trains, North Yorkshire Moors Railway, the 125 Group and Branch Line Society.“

All funds raised through our valuable partnership with East Midlands Trains and their customers will have a very real impact on the lives of vulnerable children in the UK, India and East Africa. Just £5.95 will allow us to feed a child in India three meals a day for a week and £25 would be enough to take a child off the streets in East Africa and get her home safely.”

Chris Price, General Manager of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, said: “Although we run a wide range of locomotives ourselves, it was an historic occasion to welcome two stunning class 43’s to our heritage line and a unique opportunity for passengers to experience the North York Moors National Park from a special High Speed Train service.”

Retired Southern Engine meets Grandad HST

Locomotive 33035 arrives at Rushcliffe Halt GCRN viewed from the cab of Prototype HST 41001 ©125 Group

Stuck for something to do this Saturday 29th July? Why not bring the whole family to Great Central Railway (Nottingham) where classic former Southern Region loco 33035 will be running top and tail with historic Prototype High Speed Train power car 41001.

Coaching stock will be our sleek Mk3s with big comfy 1st class seats and air-conditioning to keep you cool, plus a Mk2 coach with opening windows for sound effects. On-board the train we have Buffet 125 where our volunteers will be cooking up delicious bacon and sausage baps and hot dogs, with tea and coffee to wash down plus something stronger available too for the grown ups.

The excitement continues off the train this weekend with the fantastic GCR(N) Model Rail Show at our Ruddington base, plus the miniature railway to ride, great for little and big kids! And when you need a rest, relax in the sun at Rushcliffe Country Park where the green children’s play area is right next to our line at Ruddington. More details from www.gcrn.co.uk and www.125group.org.uk

Ride the Prototype HST Saturday 29th July

Prototype HST reduces speed for the station call at Rushcliffe Halt GCRN ©125 Group

Prototype High Speed Train Power Car 41001 and 125 Group’s matching Mk3 coaches will be working passenger trains at Great Central Railway (Nottingham) on Saturday 29th July. Services will depart from Ruddington station (sat-nav postcode NG11 6JS) at 1100, 1300, 1500 running to Loughborough Viaduct and back, plus a bonus train at 1650 to Rushcliffe Halt and return. The preserved HST will operate top ‘n’ tail with 41001 at the north end of the Mk3 coaches and ‘Crompton’ locomotive 33035 coupled to a Mk2a open coach at the south end. Tickets are available to buy on-board the train on the day, or in advance on-line from www.gcrn.co.uk which has further information.

The GCR(N) route is just under 10 miles long, after departing Ruddington trains reverse at Fifty Steps then run southbound calling at Rushcliffe Halt station, continuing through the scenic Nottinghamshire countryside to Loughborough Viaduct, which has no station but affords a great view over the Midland Mainline and looks down into Brush Locomotive Works, with class 73s, 92s and 319s often visible. Ruddington station is the base for GCR(N) with many heritage transport exhibits, and regular bus links to Nottingham mainline station, Rushcliffe Country Park is also nearby. This weekend is the GCR(N) Model Rail Show and the miniature railway will also be giving rides.

‘Buffet 125’ will be open on-board our Mk3 coach 10206, selling hot dogs, bacon and sausage baps, hot and cold beverages plus alcoholic drinks including bottled beer, our volunteers will be pleased to serve you. The 125 Group sales stand will also be on the train, with our latest range of merchandise available. We hope you can join us for a summer’s day out with 41001 and its original screaming Paxman Valenta engine!