Grand Central Railtour Update

Grand Central HST with 43123 at Hartlepool, 08/04/2008. ©125 Group

Tickets are still available in Standard Class for ‘The Grand Farewell’ on Sunday 17th December, a very special HST railtour over unusual routes, marking the end of Inter-City 125 operation by Grand Central.

Important Update from organisers the Branch Line Society. As planning has progressed we have identified two possession issues that clash with the route as previously advertised. It will not be possible to include Norton East Jn – Ferryhill South Jn via Stillington or Rotherham Masborough to Beighton Jn. In response to this, and based on customer requests, we are in the advanced stages of adding Sheffield Down Station Siding to the specification, thanks to the kind support of Network Rail and Northern. Our revised bid also protects the Staveley Goods at Barrow Hill, with the intention being to extend the move through to Barrow Hill South Jn. A possession on the Durham Coast also means that we are now well progressed in looking to add Ryhope Grange (No1 Siding) to the itinerary on the outward trip. Further updates will be provided in due course, but we are sure that both of these additions will prove attractive for track enthusiasts!

For full details of the railtour including planned route and to buy tickets on-line or by post, go to the Branch Line Society website:  www.branchline.uk/current-fixtures.php

Please note that all bookings are being handled by the Branch Line Society, if you have any queries about itinerary or ticketing arrangements then contact the BLS via the website link above, please do not contact Grand Central or 125 Group direct. We look forward to seeing you on-board!

‘The Grand Farewell’ Charity Railtour

125 Group is very pleased to support this forthcoming charity railtour marking the end of Grand Central operating High Speed Trains and celebrating ten years of the company. ‘The Grand Farewell’ on Sunday 17th December, will originate in the North East and head over the Pennines, covering routes which rarely see an Inter-City 125.

The Branch Line Society is delighted to announce an unusual HST charity charter train in conjunction with Grand Central (GC), traversing much sought-after curves, loops and sidings! The six-coach train will be powered by two GC liveried Class 43 power cars. There will be an on-train raffle with proceeds donated to 125 Group, whilst profits from the charter will be split evenly between Railway Benefit Fund and Railway Children. There will be a Buffet Car serving a wide range of sandwiches, drinks, snacks and light refreshments. At least two real ales are expected to be available for sale. First Class passengers will benefit from an at seat service with breakfast of porridge and a hot breakfast roll, lunch of soup and sandwiches and an afternoon cream tea, accompanied by complimentary tea, coffee, fruit juice, water and snacks throughout the day. Standard Plus passengers will travel in a declassified First-Class coach offering an enhanced passenger environment, additional space and a free voucher for a hot drink from the Buffet Car. Grand Central has been operating three HST sets since the commencement of passenger operations on 18th December 2007, and these will be returned to Angel Trains for re-deployment in the near future. This charter marks the end of the first chapter of operations and celebrates the 10th birthday of Grand Central. Subject to availability, free Wi-Fi will be available throughout the train. The 125 Group Sales Stand will also be on-board.

For full details of the railtour including planned route and to buy tickets on-line or by post, go to the Branch Line Society website:  www.branchline.uk/current-fixtures.php

Please note that all bookings are being handled by the Branch Line Society, if you have any queries about itinerary or ticketing arrangements then contact the BLS via the website link above, please do not contact Grand Central or 125 Group direct. 125 Group is very grateful to the railtour organisers for the donation of raffle proceeds towards our preservation fund – Thank you!

Passenger debut for Mk3 Coach 12087

125 Group Mk3 TSO 12087 arrived at Ruddington GCR(N) having just worked its first passenger train in preservation, the 1800 ‘Firework Spectacular Special’ from Rushcliffe Halt, 04/11/2017. © James Trebinski

125 Group is delighted to announce successful entry to passenger service of Mk3 coach Tourist Standard Open (TSO) 12087, which our volunteers have restored to working order in just over two months since it arrived at Great Central Railway (Nottingham).

12087 ran as part of the consist for the Guy Fawkes weekend GCR(N) Firework Spectacular services on Saturday 4th November, bringing local folk from Rushcliffe Halt to Ruddington for the evening firework display and taking them home again after the event. Passengers enjoyed the deep cleaned saloon, working air-conditioning / heating and air-powered internal doors, not to mention the silky smooth ride of the Mk3!

Restoration has also included roof repairs, replacement brake distributor, electrical work including a new set of batteries, air and electrical systems testing, new buckeye coupler and new vestibule carpets. Efforts will now turn to vehicles 12065 and 12134, which were purchased at the same time, and like 12087, had previously been in storage for many years.

Thankyou to everyone who has recently bought merchandise from our on-line shop, joined 125 Group, or signed up to our Direct Debit regular donations scheme. All of these contributions are greatfully received and go towards our restoration efforts and long term aim of production HST preservation.

Mk3 Coaches for GCR(N) Sulzer Sunday

Join us this Sunday 22nd October at Great Central Railway (Nottingham) when 125 Group’s Mk3 coaches will be on passenger trains hauled by Scotrail 47765 and Large-Logo 47292 running top and tail for ‘Sulzer Running Day’. Services will be operating to the Yellow Timetable with departures from Ruddington at 1030, 1215, 1400 and 1545. Mk3 vehicles 12092, 10206 and 11074 will be in passenger use, Buffet 125 will be available on-board serving drinks and snacks plus 125 Group Sales Stand will be open on the train. Locomotives subject to availability on the day, for more details see GCR(N) website HERE.

Prototype HST power car 41001 is away at Old Oak Common. 125 Group owns six Mk3 coaches: 12092, 10206 and 11074 which are shown in the photograph at Bristol Temple Meads on 1st May 2016, plus recently acquired 12065, 12087 and 12134 which are under restoration at GCR(N) Ruddington. Photo ©125 Group.

Record Breaker HST Artwork Print & Mug

The Inter-City 125 High Speed Train is holder of the World Speed Record for Rail Diesel Traction, 148.5mph set by power cars 43102 and 43159 between Northallerton and York during test running on 1st November 1987. To mark the 30th Anniversary of this historic achievement, we have a fantastic artwork print and matching mug available for purchase, featuring the two record breaking power cars in the liveries they carried on the day: 43102 in the then new ‘INTERCITY Swallow’ livery, and 43159 painted in ‘Executive’ livery.

Artwork Print – 45cm by 32cm – £12.00          Matching Mug – Dishwasher safe – £11.50

Produced for us by Stuart Black, these high quality items are available from the 125 Group on-line shop HERE. Prices include postage and packing. 125 Group is raising funds to secure a Production HST, which we will power with the original Paxman Valenta type engine, all profits from our on-line shop go towards our preservation efforts.