Mk3 Coach Restoration Progress

125 Group Mk3 TSO 12087 on test at Rushcliffe Halt GCRN with 56097 and 5376, 15/10/2017. ©K.Baldwin
Working lights inside Mk3 TSO 12087 ©B.Webber

125 Group is delighted to announce major restoration progress with the first of our recently purchased Mk3 coaches at Great Central Railway (Nottingham).

Tourist Standard Open (TSO) 12087 has been the focus of initial efforts. Following completion of roof repairs to make the vehicle watertight, a replacement brake distributor was installed plus some rectification work to PASSCOM pipework, allowing brakes and air systems to be tested and commissioned. Electrical work was then tackled, the coach has been treated to a new set of batteries, individual circuits were livened up and checked, including the lights. 12087 was then placed (locked out of use) at the end of the GCR(N) service train consist on Sunday 15th October and completed 60 miles of fault free running. During the last trip, our engineers allowed the Motor Alternator and Air-Conditioning System to operate on the move from Ruddington to Rushcliffe Halt, which all functioned normally, the batteries charging healthily at 109.3 volts.

Prior to acquisition by 125 Group, the vehicles had been stored out of use for many years. This major progress in less than two months has been possible through the dedication and determined efforts of our volunteers. Further work required to 12087 includes a new buckeye coupler and external door, toilet restoration plus some attention to flooring and carpets. We plan for the coach to re-enter public service on Saturday 4th November and look forward to welcoming passengers on-board!

Mk3 Loco-Hauled action at GCR(N)

125 Group’s Mk3 Coaches at Ruddington GCR(N) © 125 Group

125 Group’s Mk3 coaches will be running public services at Great Central Railway (Nottingham) hauled by classic diesel locomotives while Prototype HST power car 41001 is away at Old Oak Common. Sleek prototype liveried matching FO 11074, RFM 10206 and TSO 12092 will be in service on these dates:

Sunday 15th October 2017  –  GCR(N) Blue Timetable with departures from Ruddington at 1100, 1300 and 1500 hauled top and tail by 56097 and 47765.

Sunday 22nd October 2017  –  GCR(N) Yellow Timetable with departures from Ruddington at 1030, 1215, 1400 and 1545 hauled top and tail by 47292 and 47765.

Buffet 125 available on-board serving drinks and snacks plus 125 Group Sales Stand will be open on the train. Locomotives subject to confirmation, for more details see GCR(N) website HERE.

Happy 41st Birthday HST!

High Speed Train power car W43014 leads the 13.00 Paddington to Swansea Inter-City 125 service into Reading station, 4th Dec 1976. © Richard Clayton

41 Years Ago today, 4th October 1976 saw the launch of regular 125mph passenger running in the UK when the 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 41 years the iconic HST has become a firm favourite with railway passengers, staff and enthusiasts however big changes are now afoot with the impending introduction of new generation trains to Great Western and East Coast Main Lines.

125 Group is working hard raising funds to achieve our goal of preserving a production HST powered by the original Valenta type engine. Established in 1994 we are now a registered charity with a proven track record, having restored prototype 41001 from static museum exhibit to working order, Sir Kenneth Grange is our Hon President. If you are interested in HSTs then please support our cause by joining us, members receive our exclusive quarterly magazine with detailed behind the scenes information on our preservation activities plus informed articles on the changing HST scene. Membership is £17 for 12 months or sign up to our direct-debit scheme for as little as £5 per month, this really helps our preservation efforts and includes free membership. JOIN HERE!

Old Oak Common Open Day Success

Prototype HST power car 41001 in the Heavy Maintenance Facility at Old Oak Common Open Day, with no.1 bogie removed and positioned alongside. ©125 Group

Old Oak Common public open day on 2nd September was a fantastic success with crowds of visitors enjoying the huge collection of diesel and steam motive power on show. Our prototype HST was displayed in the Heavy Maintenance Facility on lifting jacks with number 1 bogie removed. The 125 Group team were on hand to explain the history and operation of 41001, it is always a pleasure for our volunteers to share the story of this unique power car. Other highlights included cab visits to INTERCITY liveried 43185 and the naming of 43093 ‘Old Oak Common HST Depot 1976-2018’ with dramatic bodyside design featuring ‘Legends of the Great Western’, plus the sun shone for most of the day!

A massive thankyou to the GWR organising team and many staff who worked so hard to make this excellent event such a success. Thanks also to everyone who bought tickets for the open day, raising funds for depot’s chosen charity Place2Be which provides mental health support for children. Thank you to all who came along to the 125 Group Sales Stand and purchased merchandise and joined up as new members.

GWR power car 43093 named ‘Old Oak Common HST Depot 1976-2018’ at the open day, complete with dramatic bodyside graphic design. ©125 Group

The Prototype Power Car will remain at Old Oak Common for the time being, the depot is hosting some inspection work, for which we are most grateful to Great Western Railway. 125 Group continues raising funds not only to maintain 41001 and our Mk3 coaches but also to reach our goal of preserving a Production Inter-City 125. If you are interested in HSTs then please support our cause by joining us, members receive our exclusive quarterly magazine with detailed behind the scenes information on our preservation activities plus informed articles on the changing HST scene, a full sample issue can be viewed on our website HERE. Membership is only £17 for 12 months or sign up to our direct-debit scheme for as little as £5 per month and receive free membership. JOIN HERE!

Visit 125 Group Sales Stand at Old Oak Common

Prototype Power Car 41001 is one of the star exhibits at Old Oak Common open day. During 1975 the Prototype HST was based at the depot while on Western Region passenger service trials, seen here at Didcot E Jn on a Weston-Super-Mare to Paddington service 2nd July 1975. ©Robin Patrick

New Exclusive HST World Speed Record 30th Anniversary Artwork and Mugs

Be sure to visit the 125 Group Sales Stand at Old Oak Common open day where we have a wide range of High Speed Train merchandise available including our NEW EXCLUSIVE World Speed Record HST Artwork and Mugs celebrating the 30th Anniversary of power cars 43102 and 43159 reaching 148.5mph on 1st November 1987, setting the world speed record for diesel traction which still stands today. Produced for us by Stuart Black, the high quality artwork and mug are priced at £9 each item. Don’t miss out, come and see us on stand O0 (that’s Oscar – Zero in phonetic alphabet!)

Open Day Tickets Still Available

Tickets are still available on-line for Great Western Railway Old Oak Common public open day Saturday 2nd September 2017, celebrating over 111 years of train maintenance and servicing at this West London depot. Prototype High Speed Train power car 41001 is one of the star exhibits plus a unique collection of steam, diesel and electric locomotives, sales stands, children’s activities, fun fair, entertainers plus locomotive naming ceremonies. This will be a very special event and the weather forecast is sun sun sun (at the moment!) Full information about the open day, including how to get there and to buy tickets on-line, all on the event website www.oocopenday.com