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

 

Three more Mk3 Coaches join 125 Group Fleet

Mk3 coaches 12087 and 12065 on arrival at Ruddingtron GCRN © 125 Group

125 Group is very pleased to announce we have completed purchase of three additional Mk3 locomotive-hauled coaches. The vehicles were previously owned by Direct Rail Services and had been in storage at Barrow Hill. All three are Tourist Standard Open (TSO) AC2G type, individual vehicles numbers are 12065 (‘one’ base livery with National Express branding), 12087 and 12134 (both in unbranded Virgin livery). The coaches will be based at Great Central Railway Nottingham and restored by 125 Group volunteers, using skills and experience gained with our existing fleet.

The coaches have all now arrived at Ruddington following road transfer from Barrow Hill, courtesy of Reid Freight Services. They will join the air-braked fleet at GCRN and supplement our existing three Mk3s 11074, 10206 and 12092, making possible a longer train powered by Prototype HST Power Car 41001. The additional coaches will also provide reserve and spares cover enabling individual vehicles to be stood down for maintenance. We are excited about these new acquisitions which will enable 125 Group to expand operations ahead of our ultimate goal of preserving a Production High Speed Train.

Prototype HST 41001 on site for OOC111 Open Day

47828, 41001 and 57604 arrived at Old Oak Common. © 125 Group

Prototype High Speed Train power car 41001 has safely arrived at Old Oak Common ready for the open day this Saturday 2nd September, following rail transfer from home base Great Central Railway Nottingham. 41001 and 125 Group crew powered the move from Ruddington GCRN last Sunday hauling 47828 and The Class 37 Loco Group’s 37003 as far as Rushcliffe Halt where 57604 and Rail Operations Group took over for the run to Old Oak, dropping off 37003 at Leicester. Thanks to ROG for their usual professional service.

Tickets are still available for the public open day, celebrating over 111 years of train maintenance and servicing at this historic West London depot. On display will be a unique collection of steam, diesel and electric locomotives also merchandise stalls, including the 125 Group Sales Stand, children’s activities, fun fair, entertainers plus locomotive naming ceremonies. All proceeds will go to the depot’s chosen charity Place2Be, providing mental health support for children and whose patron is the Duchess of Cambridge.

To view full information about the open day, including how to get there and to buy tickets on-line, see the event website www.oocopenday.com