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!

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.