Prototype HST Running Days at GCRN

SATURDAY 25TH AUGUST – 1030, 1215, 1400 & 1545 departures from Ruddington
SUNDAY 9TH SEPTEMBER – 1030, 1215, 1400 & 1545 departures from Ruddington

Historic Prototype HST Power Car 41001 and 125 Group’s sleek Mk3 coaches will be running passenger trains on these dates at Great Central Railway (Nottingham). Services depart from Ruddington station to Loughborough Viaduct and back under the ‘Yellow Timetable’. Tickets available to buy on the day.

The GCR(N) route is just under 10 miles long, after departing from Ruddington trains reverse at Fifty Steps (no station) then run southbound along the former Great Central Mainline 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 43s, 73s, 92s and 319s often visible.

Buffet 125 will be open on-board our Mk3 coach RFM 10206, selling hot snacks, sandwiches, hot and cold beverages plus alcoholic drinks including wine and bottled beer, our volunteers will be pleased to serve you. 41001 is powered by the original screaming Valenta type engine and our comfortable carriages are fully air-conditioned, perfect for a hot English summer day. The 125 Group sales stand will also be on the train, with latest merchandise available, including copies of our fantastic book ‘125 Enduring Icon’. Our Trustees will also be on-hand to talk about our exciting HST Depot Appeal. We look forward to welcoming you on-board.

Ruddington station (sat-nav postcode NG11 6JS) is the base for GCRN with many heritage transport exhibits, miniature and model railways, car parking and bus links to Nottingham and Loughborough. Rushcliffe Country Park is also here and overlooks the line. More information on the GCR(N) website.

Additional Mk3 RFM 10202 Acquired

Mk3 RFM 10202 being delivered to 125 Group at GCRN Ruddington, 30/07/2018. ©125 Group

125 Group is very pleased to announce purchase of an additional Mk3 coach, Restaurant First Modular (RFM) 10202. This kitchen / buffet vehicle will be used to support our operations at Great Central Railway Nottingham (GCRN), providing backup to our existing catering coach 10206.

10202 was previously owned by Arriva and, despite several years in storage at Long Marston, is in good condition, painted in British Rail blue/grey livery, with a fully equipped kitchen. The vehicle was built in 1976 as High Speed Train TRUK kitchen car 40504, part of the Inter-City 125 fleet and converted to locomotive hauled stock in the mid 1980s. The coach has arrived at our operating base GCRN Ruddington, following road transfer from Long Marston, courtesy of Reid Freight Services. 10202 joins our existing Mk3 fleet of 11074, 10206, 12087 and 12092 (all operational with working air-conditioning) plus 12065 and 12134 (under restoration).

The operational coaches run on regular passenger timetable days at GCRN powered by prototype HST power car 41001. All trains have a Buffet 125 service on-board, offering hot and cold drinks, wine and real ale, bacon and sausage baps, hot dogs, burgers and cold snacks from our existing RFM 10206, and served by our volunteers. We recently operated a private ‘Cream Tea’ charter for a 75th Birthday, with 60 covers. Once commissioned 10202 will provide backup and enable us to expand catering operations.

Some restoration is required to return 10202 to operational use, including full electrical and air systems testing and commissioning, replacement wheelsets, plus a deep external and internal clean. This work will be carried out by our volunteer engineering team at GCRN Ruddington, with activities taking place mostly in sidings out in the open.

Gary Heelas, Chairman 125 Group said, “Catering on board our rolling stock provides a valuable income for 125 Group and having a second RFM vehicle is vital to ensure we keep the money stream coming in should we have issues with one of the vehicles. We hope to have 10202 in traffic within a few months for visitors to GCRN at Ruddington.”

125 Group is raising money to build a HST Depot at GCRN Ruddington to enable maintenance and restoration of our existing fleet and future production power car acquisitions to be carried out under cover, protecting our vehicles and volunteers from the ravages of the weather. We welcome private donations and corporate sponsorship for the depot building. More information is available at www.125group.org.uk/depot

Porterbrook Jump-Starts 125 Group HST Depot Appeal

Porterbrook has raced to support the launch of 125 Group’s HST Depot Appeal by agreeing a sizeable donation towards the Project.

Porterbrook has been the owner of many High Speed Train vehicles since its inception in 1995, leasing them for use on the East Midlands routes, the East Coast Mainline, the Great Western railway and Cross Country network (and previously, the West Coast route) and being instrumental in the significant fleet developments made in the last twenty years.

Its long association with the High Speed Train has already seen it provide significant financial and engineering support to 125 Group with its restoration efforts for the National Railway Museum’s prototype car 41001, which 125 Group has fully restored to full operating condition – and operating with some former Porterbrook Mark III coaches.

125 Group now has the very real prospect of Production vehicles becoming surplus in the near future – and recognises that it will not be possible to undertake the necessary maintenance and restoration without some suitable covered accommodation. This has led to the development of plans for a small depot facility at its base at the Great Central Railway Nottingham at Ruddington, which it hopes will become the recognised site of High Speed Train preservation as a working museum base. A registered charity, 125 Group needs to raise £100,000 to allow the development to proceed and protect its assets from the ravages of the English weather.

Porterbrook has generously started the appeal with a sizeable contribution which is very much welcomed by 125 Group and once again demonstrates the willingness and support of the mainstream railway companies for volunteer preservation efforts.

Stephen McGurk, Porterbrook’s Chief Commercial Officer said: “The InterCity 125 is a design icon that transformed long distance rail travel across Britain. It is absolutely right that examples of this world-beating train should be secured for future generations.

“Porterbrook is an asset management business, so we understand the value of having facilities where maintenance and refurbishment can be professionally undertaken; therefore we are delighted to support the 125 Group’s plans to establish a centre of engineering excellence at Ruddington for HSTs in preservation.”

Gary Heelas, Chairman of 125 Group Limited said “We are very pleased that our friends at Porterbrook have made this sizeable donation to kick-start our depot project. We have a long way to go but the provision of this covered space will allow us to maintain and store the vehicles in a dry and relatively clean environment. It will also mean that the hours of free time given by our volunteers will be far more productive, with everything required being in one place.”

125 Group welcomes donations to this exciting project, to contribute and for more information visit: www.125group.org.uk/depot

Prototype HST & 47292 Sunday at GCRN

This coming Sunday 17th June why not join us for our next running day with Prototype High Speed Train Power Car 41001 and 125 Group’s matching Mk3 coaches, stars of the recent Channel 5 TV Documentary ‘Intercity 125 – The Train That Saved Britain’s Railway’.  The iconic HST will be working passenger trains at Great Central Railway (Nottingham) with services departing from Ruddington station at 1030, 1215, 1400 and 1545 running to Loughborough Viaduct and back under the Yellow Timetable.

The GCR(N) route is just under 10 miles long, after departing from Ruddington trains reverse at Fifty Steps (no station) 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 43s, 73s, 92s and 319s often visible. 41001 will be at the south end of the train operating ‘top and tail’ with Brush Type 4, 47292 at the north end, as always subject to availability.

On all services ‘Buffet 125’ will be open on-board our Mk3 coach RFM 10206, selling hot snacks, 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. We hope you can join us!

Ruddington station (sat-nav postcode NG11 6JS) is the base for GCR(N) with many heritage transport exhibits, miniature and model railways, car parking and bus links to Nottingham and Loughborough. Tickets available to buy at the station, for more details see www.gcrn.co.uk

125 Group Book Published Friday

Our exciting new book ‘125-The Enduring Icon’ is published this Friday 15th June and we are still accepting pre-orders on our website HERE.

Researched and collated by the 125 Group team, this book provides an accurate record of HST history and is illustrated with diverse images covering the operation and changing look of the iconic train over the past 45 years. With foreword by our Hon President Sir Kenneth Grange, ‘125-The Enduring Icon’ is written by enthusiasts for enthusiasts, if you buy just one HST book this year then make it this one!

Our book is available from several outlets however 125 Group’s profits from this important publication go straight to our preservation funds so to help our aims please
PURCHASE YOUR COPY DIRECT FROM OUR WEBSITE HERE.

Guaranteed dispatch by post immediately following publication and receipt of stock from the publishers, 96 pages softcover.
Price is £14.99 + UK Postage and Packing of £3.00 = Buy Price £17.99