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!

Festive HST Valenta Action

Prototype HST Power Car 41001 on the south end of the coaches at Ruddington, Great Central Railway (Nottingham). © 125 Group

Prototype High Speed Train Power Car 41001 and 125 Group’s Mk3 coaches will be working a full day of passenger services at Great Central Railway (Nottingham) on Thursday 28th December, the perfect antidote to Xmas turkey sandwiches and sales overload!

Trains run from GCR(N)’s main station at Ruddington with car parking available, postcode NG11 6JS. The ‘Yellow Timetable’ will be in operation with departures at 1030, 1215, 1400 and 1545.  Tickets can be purchased on-line or on-board the train, for more information see the GCR(N) website www.gcrn.co.uk. ‘Buffet 125’ will be open all day on the train, serving hot snacks, hot and cold drinks plus alcoholic beverages including wine and bottled ale, the 125 Group Sales Stand will also be on-board.

Power Car 41001 has recently been turned and is now on the south end of the coaches (buffer stops end at Ruddington), a GCR(N) locomotive will be on the north end of the set working in top and tail mode. Come and experience southbound Valenta engine thrash on the former Great Central Mainline – we hope you can join us!

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.

Prototype HST running Sat 26th August Great Central Railway Nottingham

Prototype HST power car 41001 at Fifty Steps GCRN ©125 Group

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 August. Services depart from Ruddington station (sat-nav postcode NG11 6JS) at 1030, 1215, 1400 and 1545 running to Loughborough Viaduct and back. The preserved HST will operate top ‘n’ tail with 41001 at the north end of the Mk3 coaches and locomotive 47292 is planned to be at the south end. Tickets are available to buy on the day on-board the train, or in advance on-line from www.gcrn.co.uk which has further information.

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 73s, 92s and 319s often visible. Ruddington station is the base for GCR(N) with many heritage transport exhibits, Rushcliffe Country Park is also nearby including, for the younger enthusiast, an extensive green play area next to the railway line.

‘Buffet 125’ will be open on-board our Mk3 coach 10206, selling hot dogs, 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. Experience a grand summer’s day out with 41001 and its original screaming Paxman Valenta engine!

Retired Southern Engine meets Grandad HST

Locomotive 33035 arrives at Rushcliffe Halt GCRN viewed from the cab of Prototype HST 41001 ©125 Group

Stuck for something to do this Saturday 29th July? Why not bring the whole family to Great Central Railway (Nottingham) where classic former Southern Region loco 33035 will be running top and tail with historic Prototype High Speed Train power car 41001.

Coaching stock will be our sleek Mk3s with big comfy 1st class seats and air-conditioning to keep you cool, plus a Mk2 coach with opening windows for sound effects. On-board the train we have Buffet 125 where our volunteers will be cooking up delicious bacon and sausage baps and hot dogs, with tea and coffee to wash down plus something stronger available too for the grown ups.

The excitement continues off the train this weekend with the fantastic GCR(N) Model Rail Show at our Ruddington base, plus the miniature railway to ride, great for little and big kids! And when you need a rest, relax in the sun at Rushcliffe Country Park where the green children’s play area is right next to our line at Ruddington. More details from www.gcrn.co.uk and www.125group.org.uk