Prototype HST & Scotrail 47765 running at GCR Nottingham this Saturday 27th May

Prototype HST 41001 & Scotrail Liveried 47765 at GCRN – ©125 Group & Mick Barstow

This Saturday 27th May, Prototype HST Power Car 41001 will be working passenger services at Great Central Railway (Nottingham), running top and tail with Scotrail liveried 47765. Coaching stock will be 125 Group’s sleek matching air-conditioned Mk3s, plus classic fresh air Mk2a coach 5376 coupled next to the class 47 locomotive.

Trains will operate to the ‘Yellow Timetable’ with departures from Ruddington at 1030, 1215, 1400 and 1545, the journey takes you almost 10 miles south along the former Great Central mainline to Loughborough High Level which has no station but gives a great view of the Midland Mainline and rolling stock inside Brush Locomotive Works. Each out and back trip takes 1 hour 22 minutes and tickets can be purchased from the friendly Guard on-board the train with fares of £12 Adult / £30 Family (2 Adult + 2 Children) which give unlimited rides all day!

Join us on Saturday and experience 41001’s marvellous original screaming Valenta engine, get out of the hot weather on our cool air-conditioned train complete with Buffet 125 serving hot bacon baps, hot dogs, cheese and ham toasted sandwiches, hot and cold drinks plus alcoholic beverages including wine and bottled ale. The 125 Group Sales Stand will also be open – buy your HST merchandise here.

GCR(N) is a great place to visit for the whole family, our Ruddington base features a hugely popular miniature railway providing rides, Railway Workshops, Model Railway and Road Transport displays courtesy of Nottingham Area Bus Society. Plus Rushcliffe Country Park provides a green children’s’ play area right next to the line. Car parking is available (sat-nav postcode NG11 6JS) and buses connect with Nottingham and Loughborough. Train formation and times provided in good faith but as always subject to operating conditions on the day. For full details on GCR(N) and how to get here, see website HERE.

EMT HST Cab Ride & Nameplate up for grabs in Charity Auction

125 Group is delighted to promote these two East Midlands Trains charity silent auctions, with fantastic prizes!

CHARITY SILENT AUCTION – ITEM 1

An accompanied VIP footplate ride experience for two people on an East Midlands Trains HST. All money raised going to ‘Samaritans’. **Minimum reserve £400**

As an exclusive offer for 125 Group members, East Midlands Trains are offering the opportunity for a lucky bidder to experience the wonders of a VP185 powered High Speed Train footplate experience in exchange for a charitable donation to Samaritans; an amazing charity that works closely with the rail industry to provide training for rail industry employees to aid them in identifying and helping vulnerable members of the public.

The winning bidder and a friend/relative will be accompanied by the East Midlands Trains Head of Drivers who will act as your guide for the day whilst you enjoy a drivers eye experience in the cab a production HST at speeds up to 125mph. This is a rare treat that normally falls into a ‘Money can’t buy’ category… but for you it can, and comes with an added charitable feel-good factor! How much is this once in a lifetime opportunity worth to you? Or maybe you would like to win this as the ultimate present for a friend? Surely this is an opportunity not to miss?!

A mutually agreeable date will be formalised with the winning bidder, as will the format for the day regarding start time/location and services to be covered. Examples of previous charity footplate rides have involved a full return trip along the amazing Midland Mainline between Nottingham and London, but we will make this bespoke for you.

Bids should be submitted by email to darren.ward@eastmidlandstrains.co.uk stating ‘125 Group footplate ride’ in the header. The body of the email need only state the amount of the bid, contact details (Name, email, phone number) and 125 Group Membership Number. Anybody submitting a bid must be over 18 and have the funds available to pay into a ‘Just Giving’ site at the close of the auction. Children aged 8 and over are eligible to participate in the footplate ride, however they must be well behaved and accompanied by an adult friend/relative. Full details of requirements for the day will be explained in more detail prior to the event.

The highest bid as of 12.00 Friday 2 June will be the winner. Contact will be made directly with the winner via the details provided. Details of the day out will also be shared in a future issue of 125 Group members magazine ‘One Two Five’. Not a member of 125 Group, or has your membership expired? You can join up or renew on this website, it takes just a few steps, start by clicking HERE.


CHARITY SILENT AUCTION – ITEM 2

A genuine ‘Railway Children – The Voice for street children worldwide’ nameplate, carried by 43082 since 13 September 2009. All money raised going to ‘Railway Children’. **Minimum reserve £500**

This auction is open to all. 43082 was originally named ‘Railway Children – The Voice for street children worldwide’ during the Neville Hill open day on 13 September 2009. It has since been one of East Midlands Trains most travelled power cars, having visited Dereham as part of the ‘MidNorfolk Marauder’ railtour, Oxenhope as part of the ‘Worth Valley Wanderer’ railtour, and was on show at GCR-N Ruddington for the 40 year celebrations last November. In fact its association with one of the rail industry’s most loved charities means it is one of the most requested power cars for tours and events, and the attractive nameplate design has been admired by many.

In recognition of our continued relationship with the Railway Children charity, we have agreed to have some new names cast with the revised charity strap-line ‘Railway Children – Fighting for street children’ . This means we have to find a new home for the battle-worn originals, and one of these is on offer via this silent auction.

The winning bidder will be presented with the nameplate and a letter from East Midlands Trains confirming authenticity and ownership. We will also provide electronic copies of official photographs show-casing some of 43082s highlights whilst bearing the plate on offer. Bids should be submitted by email to darren.ward@eastmidlandstrains.co.uk stating ‘125Group 43082 nameplate’ in the header. The body of the email need only state the amount of the bid and contact details (Name, email, phone number). Anybody submitting a bid must be over 18 and have the funds available to pay into a ‘Just Giving’ site at the point of the close of the auction. Arrangements will need to be made for the winner to collect the nameplate from an East Midlands Trains location, or be willing to pay an additional cost for delivery (Please note that this is a weighty item!)

The highest bid as of 17.00 Saturday 15th July will be the winner. Contact will be made directly with the winner via the details provided in the email.


So what’s stopping you … ?  Get bidding!  Thanks for your support!

‘The Pickering Paxman’ Charity Railtour

East Midlands Trains (EMT), in conjunction with the Branch Line Society and 125 Group, is delighted to announce a very special High Speed Train charter on Saturday 15th July 2017 from Derby, Sheffield and York to the beautiful North Yorkshire Moors Railway, in aid of the charity Railway Children.

The railtour will traverse unusual lines along the way and will be formed of an EMT HST: eight Mark 3 vehicles and two EMT Class 43 power cars fitted with VP185 engines, with 43082 ‘Railway Children’ requested. The train will first run to Whitby then back to Grosmont and via the connecting line onto the NYMR and run through to Pickering, a first for a HST. Standard Class and First Class Dining fares available, with discounts for members of 125 Group, BLS and EMT staff.

For full details and to purchase tickets, download the booking form HERE.

Meet HST designer Sir Kenneth Grange on-board The Somerset Explorer

Sir Kenneth Grange with his namesake GWR High Speed Train power car 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 and Inter-City 125 original livery, will be VIP guest on-board ‘The Somerset Explorer’ Great Western Railway charity railtour on Saturday 13th May, raising funds for Weston-super-Mare Hospice.

In addition to the HST, Sir Kenneth also designed many everyday items including the Kenwood food mixer, Kodak instamatic camera, Wilkinson razor and London taxi, and was recently interviewed on BBC ‘Desert Island Discs’. Sir Kenneth will be available for photographs at Paddington before the railtour departs, and will travel on-board the outward journey, walking through the train meeting passengers, pleased to give autographs and selfies in return for a donation to charity. This is a rare opportunity to meet the man behind the look of the iconic Inter-City 125.

Celebrity power cars 43002 ‘Sir Kenneth Grange’ (Inter-City 125 original livery) and 43185 ‘Great Western’ (INTERCITY Swallow livery) with green GWR coaches are planned to work the train (subject to operating conditions on the day). A full buffet service will be available plus the on-board 125 Group Sales Stand.

*** UPDATE  –  ALTERATION TO RAILTOUR TRAINPLAN ***

Due to operational reasons, the High Speed Train can no longer run all the way to Minehead as originally planned, this has resulted in a change to some of the itinerary. The railtour will still run from London Paddington depart 08.36/arrive 18.57, Ealing Broadway 08.44/18.46, Reading 09.14/18.19 and Didcot 09.34/18.02, these times are unchanged.

The special will continue onto the scenic West Somerset Railway and will now terminate at Bishops Lydeard. Passengers have the option of joining a special connecting service to Minehead and back hauled by Diesel Hydraulic class 52 locomotive D1010 Western Campaigner, arriving back into Bishops Lydeard to connect into the return HST. Alternatively, passengers may remain on the HST for an extra return trip from Bishops Lydeard to Taunton and back, tickets will be valid. Other off-train, bus tour options are available. GWR apologise for the late notice change of plan.

Full Details and Tickets still available – See GWR Eventbrite Website HERE

Questions about Existing or New Bookings – Contact the Organiser HERE

Special Offer for 125 Group Members plus one accompanying person, £25.50 discount off the adult standard class fare giving a price of £41.00. Enter the promotional code of HST_Group_41 when booking. Note: This cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer, is valid for the HST all day option only, and a current 125 Group membership card must be presented on-board to validate this special offer.

GWR Charity HST to Minehead

125 Group is very pleased to help support this special High Speed Train charity railtour:

The Somerset Explorer – Saturday 13th May 2017

Great Western Railway with Visit Somerset, West Somerset Railway and Buses of Somerset, a special HST (hoped to be celebrity power cars 43002 & 43185 with green livery set) will work the charity railtour, raising funds for Weston-super-Mare Hospice to celebrate the life and work of Bob Smart, the former chairman of Visit Somerset who sadly passed away last year.

There will be the GWR buffet car with GWR souvenirs available and the 125 Group Sales Stand on-board.

Various ticket options are available:

‘Explorer Option’:  Paddington depart 08.36/ arrive 18.57, Ealing Broadway 08.44/18.46, Reading 09.14/18.19, Didcot 09.34/18.02 via Frome and onto the WSR and through to Minehead (13.00/14.50) returning via Taunton Platform 2 and crossover at Taunton East JnWeston-super-Mare and booked Bristol TM Down Through Line in the Up direction.

There is the option of travelling to and from Paddington but leaving the train at Frome at 10.33 for a luxury coach or open top bus on a mystery land cruise re-joining at Weston 17.00.

Part Fare ‘Round Robin’ option for passengers joining the train at Frome from the 08.36 train from Swindon via Melksham, leaving at Weston for service train connections to the 18.32 Westbury to Swindon and 18.40 Westbury to Frome. Coach connections are also available to connect at Frome/Weston.

There are no pay on the day tickets, only on-line bookings are available (but with various options for group and staff fares etc).

Full details and ticket bookings available here: http://wsr_explorer.eventbrite.co.uk/?s=73482104

SPECIAL OFFER: For 125 Group members plus one accompanying person, early bird £25.50 discount – adult standard class only and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer, VALID for the HST all day option ONLY, enter promotional code:  HST_Group_41
Current 125 Group membership card must be presented on-board to validate this special offer.