Limited Edition ’40YEARS’ Plaques Available

To mark the 40th anniversary of the introduction into passenger service of the High Speed Train, Great Western Railway commissioned a special cast manufactured plaque, which was fitted to 43002 and displayed at the St. Philips Marsh depot open day on May 2nd 2016. Plaques are now being fitted to one HST power car of all other Train Operating Companies.

Now you can also own a part of HST history by purchasing one of these cast plaques! They are metal replicas, but identical to those fitted to the power cars, measuring 30cm by 26cm. Unmounted the price is £240 or mounted on a high quality wooden display board the plaque is priced at £330. These plaques are a LIMITED EDITION and will ONLY be made against confirmed orders, each one being supplied with a certificate of authenticity. They are certain to become very collectible.

Orders can only be placed on the 125 Group Website Shop, and must be received and paid for by 6th November. Plaques are supplied with a choice of red or black painted background at no extra cost. 125 Group members will receive a £10 discount – a good incentive to join up first HERE. Prices include postage and secure packaging to a United Kingdom address. All orders will be acknowledged and details provided about expected delivery dates.

For full details and Order Your Piece of HST History at the 125 Group Website Shop HERE. As with all 125 Group sales items, profits will go towards our preservation efforts.

Happy 40th Birthday HST!

Power car 43002 leads HST 253 001 at Sydney Gardens, Bath Spa in 1976. ©Richard Clayton

40 Years Ago today, 4th October 1976 saw the launch of regular 125mph passenger running in the UK when the then new fleet of High Speed Trains was introduced on timetabled services between London Paddington, Bristol and South Wales. The streamlined Inter-City 125s transformed long distance rail travel, bringing new levels of comfort and shrinking journey times. Over the past 40 years the iconic HST has become a firm favourite with railway passengers, staff and enthusiasts and is still going strong!

To celebrate this important anniversary, with the support of the railway industry, 125 Group has sponsored the fitment of ‘40 YEARS’ plaques to power cars across the different fleets of HSTs which still operate front-line services countrywide today. A pair of the cast metal plaques has already been fitted to Grand Central’s power car number 43423, Cross Country’s 43321 and Network Rail’s 43013, soon to be joined by Virgin Trains East Coast and East Midlands Trains power cars.

Manufactured by Newton Replicas, the plaques are being fitted to power cars by depot staff at Heaton, Craigentinny and Neville Hill, with the support of Porterbrook Leasing and Angel Trains. At such time as they come to be removed, the plaques will return to 125 Group.

Grand Central CSA Andy Rose and HST Designer Sir Kenneth Grange with 42423 and 40 YEARS plaque ©125 Group

125 Group Chairman Gary Heelas said, “125 Group is pleased to join the railway industry in celebrating the 40th anniversary of the HST. We are grateful to all of the companies and staff involved who have enabled us to display our ‘40 YEARS’ plaques on their iconic trains, which will ultimately support our long term objective of preserving a production Inter-City 125 fitted with original Paxman Valenta engine.”

125 Group’s own preserved Mk3 catering vehicle RFM 10206 also carries an internally mounted ‘40 YEARS’ plaque. This former HST kitchen car TRUK 40507 now provides tasty hot food to travellers behind preserved prototype HST power car 41001 at Great Central Railway (Nottingham).

The ’40 YEARS’ plaque was first produced by graphic designer Paul Gentleman of Great Western Railway and is already mounted on pioneer production power car 43002 which was unveiled repainted in original Inter-City 125 livery at St.Philips Marsh depot open day in May this year. This power car was named ‘Sir Kenneth Grange’ at the same event after the designer of the HST’s iconic nosecone and now 125 Group Honorary President, 125 Group also sponsored these nameplates. Special thanks to GWR for allowing 125 Group to use their design and for playing a leading role in supporting HST40 celebrations this year. #HST40

Buy your own ’40 YEARS’ enamel pin badge and official HST40 merchandise from our on-line shop HERE.

HST 40th Celebrations at York NRM

43002 ‘Sir Kenneth Grange’ at York NRM ©125 Group

Today’s High Speed Train 40th Anniversary public event at York National Railway Museum saw hundreds of enthusiasts celebrate the birthday of the most successful British train ever – the Inter-City 125. Great Western Railway’s specially reliveried power cars 43002 in original ‘flying banana’ blue and yellow, and 43185 wearing ‘INTERCITY Swallow’ were the traction star attractions. Nose-cone designer and 125 Group Hon President Sir Kenneth Grange was VIP guest, in his speech thanking the engineers who made possible this iconic train. The ceremonial focus of this memorable day was the handover of a designated mounted ’40 YEARS’ plaque from GWR to the NRM. 125 Group is very pleased to have assisted with planning and was delighted to take part. Thank you to Great Western Railway for supporting such a successful day, thanks also to the National Railway Museum for hosting, and to everyone who came along to join in the party!

Stylish ’40 YEARS’ pin badges of the same design as worn by 43002 and friends, plus other official HST40 merchandise is available to buy from the 125 Group website shop HERE with all proceeds going towards our preservation efforts.

Sir Kenneth Grange signs his design! Filming in progress for BBC Arts at York NRM. ©125 Group

Sir Kenneth Grange heading for York NRM

Sir Kenneth Grange with 43002 ©125 Group

125 Group is delighted to announce that our Honorary President Sir Kenneth Grange, distinguished industrial designer of the High Speed Train nosecone, will be VIP guest at a special public ceremony at York National Railway Museum on Sunday 2nd October to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the introduction of the Inter-City 125 High Speed Train on British Rail back in 1976.

Sir Kenneth will be joined by his namesake original Inter-City 125 liveried power car 43002 plus on show for the first time will be 43185 unveiled in INTERCITY Swallow livery. The power cars will be on display at the NRM for the whole day, the celebration event will commence at 12:30pm until 3pm, where the public will be able to learn about the history of the HST and have a chance to hear first-hand Sir Kenneth’s experiences when designing what is widely considered the most successful British train ever. Entry to York NRM is free, more details HERE.

125 Group is very pleased to contribute to this year’s HST40 events, including assisting GWR with livery diagrams for both power cars, sponsoring the 43002 ‘Sir Kenneth Grange’ nameplates and sourcing the pair of original HST steel swallows which have been fitted to 43185, look out for more exciting HST40 news over the weekend. Official HST40 merchandise including stylish ’40YEARS’ badges, as worn by 43002 and friends, are available to buy on the 125 Group website HERE, with all proceeds going towards our preservation efforts.

43185 at Paddington 16th June 1995 ©125 Group

Great Western Railway’s 43002 and 43185 will be making the special trip from the West Country to York for the event. They are expected to run back to back, under their own power, departing from Plymouth Laira depot early on Friday with schedule 0242 Laira to York NRM via Exeter St.Davids, Bridgwater, Bristol Temple Meads 05/19, Cheltenham Spa 06/18, Bromsgrove, Bordesley Jn, Tamworth, Derby 0858-0929, Chesterfield, Beighton Jn, Swinton 10/52, Pontefract Baghill, Milford 1121-1155, York station 12/20, arriving at York NRM at 1233. Full live schedule courtesy of Realtime Trains here:

The power cars are booked to return from York back to GWR territory departing Sunday evening running with schedule 2000 York NRM to Bristol St.Philips Marsh depot, however this transit is expected to run very early.

Celebrating 40 Years of 125mph Operation

125 Group Chairman Gary Heelas and Chef Leanne Cooke in RFM 10206. ©125 Group

125 Group was pleased to support Great Western Railway in May, by providing its Prototype High Speed Train for the successful charity open day at Bristol St.Philips Marsh depot and by sponsoring the naming of GWR power car 43002 ‘Sir Kenneth Grange’ after designer of the famous nosecone, and now Honorary President of 125 Group. The power car was beautifully restored to original livery and adorned with ‘40 YEARS 1976/2016’ Plaques.

To continue the celebration of 40 years of the iconic HST, and with the further co-operation of GWR, 125 Group is pleased to unveil the same design of 40th Anniversary Plaque on its own Prototype HST operating on the Great Central Railway (Nottingham) based at Ruddington. The plaque will be mounted and displayed inside 125 Group’s Mk3 Restaurant Buffet Car 10206, formerly HST catering vehicle 40507, which provides tasty hot food to travellers behind 41001.

125 Group is also set to work with other current HST operators and owners, to enable the display of further plaques celebrating HST40. Keep your eyes peeled for more plaques soon! #HST40

We would like to acknowledge the efforts and support of Paul Gentleman, Great Western Railway, Newton Replicas and Porterbrook in producing these plaques.

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