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

Ride the TV Star Power Car!

Star of the recent Channel 5 TV Documentary ‘Intercity 125 – The Train That Saved Britain’s Railway’ Prototype High Speed Train Power Car 41001 and 125 Group’s matching Mk3 coaches will be working passenger trains at Great Central Railway (Nottingham) on Saturday 26th May. Services depart 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 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

Ride 41001 and 47828 at GCRN Sat 24th & Sun 25th February

Prototype High Speed Train Power Car 41001 and 125 Group’s matching Mk3 coaches will be working passenger trains at Great Central Railway (Nottingham) this weekend Saturday 24th & Sunday 25th February. The preserved HST will operate top ‘n’ tail with 41001 at the south end and Brush Type 4 locomotive 47828 in INTERCITY Swallow livery at the north end. Services depart from Ruddington station at 1100, 1300 and 1500 running to Loughborough Viaduct and back. 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 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. Ruddington station (sat-nav postcode NG11 6JS) is the base for GCR(N) with many heritage transport exhibits. Car parking and bus links to Nottingham and Loughborough are available, see www.gcrn.co.uk for further information.

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!

Tornado power for 125 Group Mk3s

Peppercorn A1 Pacific Class Steam Locomotive 60163 Tornado will be visiting Great Central Railway Nottingham and hauling public trains on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th February. Coaching stock will be 125 Group’s sleek Mk3 coaches, three of which are in stunning Prototype High Speed Train livery.

A special timetable will operate with trains departing from Ruddington at 1000, 1200, 1400 and 1600 on both days. Diesel loco 47828 will be coupled to the north end of the rake and will work top ‘n’ tail with Tornado which will be on the south end. Prototype HST power car 41001 will not be in use on this occasion. This will be the first time a steam loco has hauled our Mk3 coaches in passenger service, we hope you can join us for this most unusual event!

‘Buffet 125’ will be open on all trains serving delicious hot food including bacon / sausage cobs, hot dogs, burgers and toasted sandwiches, all freshly prepared on-board in the kitchen of our catering vehicle RFM 10206. Hot and cold drinks, wines and beers including bottled ale, plus cold snacks will also be available.

Special fares apply for these dates and demand is expected to be high with only a limited number of tickets available. For full details and to book on-line, head over to the GCRN website HERE.

Onwards to Another Grand Year!

Clockwise from top left: Presentation of cheque of raffle proceeds from ‘The Grand Farewell’ Grand Central / Branch Line Society railtour, 41001 and 125 Group Mk3s in action at Rushcliffe Halt GCR(N), interior of restored Mk3 coach 12087, ‘Buffet 125’ volunteers serving up tasty fare in kitchen of catering vehicle 10206. © 125 Group

A grand thankyou from 125 Group to Grand Central and the Branch Line Society for kindly donating raffle proceeds from the recent ‘The Grand Farewell’ railtour to our charity. BLS Fixtures Secretary Kev Adlam called in at Great Central Railway (Nottingham) on 41001’s Festive Running Day to present the cheque for £1,365.80 to 125 Group Chairman Gary Heelas. We are very grateful for this donation which brings to a close another very successful year for 125 Group.

Highlights of 2017 have included maintenance and upgrade work on Prototype HST Power Car 41001’s suspension, brakes, wheelslip/slide and speedometer systems, replacement of no.7 axle bearing, plus significant work behind the scenes on maintenance and overhaul procedures for our fleet. During August we completed a major purchase of three additional Mk3 coaches, determined work by our volunteer engineers saw the first of these 12087 restored and carrying passengers just over two months later, complete with working air-conditioning. We treated our catering vehicle 10206 to high quality new flooring in the kitchen and serving area, plus lighting overhaul and panel painting, making the interior as good as new. Public running days continued throughout the year with 41001 and our Mk3 coaches at GCR(N) including the successful Summer Diesel Gala, with our ‘Buffet 125’ catering volunteers serving tasty food and drink on-board. 41001 was also exhibited at Old Oak Common open day, once its home depot. We have participated in many HST railtours including playing a key role in ‘Bound for Craigy’ with our Hon President Sir Kenneth Grange on-board and ‘The Pickering Paxman’, taking passenger HSTs to new territory. We have given talks at railway societies during the year, the roving 125 Group sales stand has travelled far and wide including the Warley Model Railway Exhibition, complimenting our increasingly busy on-line shop, all raising funds for our preservation efforts.

A massive thankyou to all individuals, organisations and companies who have worked with and supported 125 Group during 2017. We look forward to another exciting year in 2018, working towards our objective of preserving a production High Speed Train. We welcome new members, join up on-line HERE to support our cause and receive our members only magazine ‘One Two Five’ packed full of behind the scenes detail on our activities, informed articles on the current HST scene, plus a dose of nostalgia – next issue features a look back on the 10 years of Grand Central HST operation. Happy New Year from everyone at 125 Group!