Prototype HST & Scotrail 47765 running at GCR Nottingham this Saturday 27th May

Prototype HST 41001 & Scotrail Liveried 47765 at GCRN – ©125 Group & Mick Barstow

This Saturday 27th May, Prototype HST Power Car 41001 will be working passenger services at Great Central Railway (Nottingham), running top and tail with Scotrail liveried 47765. Coaching stock will be 125 Group’s sleek matching air-conditioned Mk3s, plus classic fresh air Mk2a coach 5376 coupled next to the class 47 locomotive.

Trains will operate to the ‘Yellow Timetable’ with departures from Ruddington at 1030, 1215, 1400 and 1545, the journey takes you almost 10 miles south along the former Great Central mainline to Loughborough High Level which has no station but gives a great view of the Midland Mainline and rolling stock inside Brush Locomotive Works. Each out and back trip takes 1 hour 22 minutes and tickets can be purchased from the friendly Guard on-board the train with fares of £12 Adult / £30 Family (2 Adult + 2 Children) which give unlimited rides all day!

Join us on Saturday and experience 41001’s marvellous original screaming Valenta engine, get out of the hot weather on our cool air-conditioned train complete with Buffet 125 serving hot bacon baps, hot dogs, cheese and ham toasted sandwiches, hot and cold drinks plus alcoholic beverages including wine and bottled ale. The 125 Group Sales Stand will also be open – buy your HST merchandise here.

GCR(N) is a great place to visit for the whole family, our Ruddington base features a hugely popular miniature railway providing rides, Railway Workshops, Model Railway and Road Transport displays courtesy of Nottingham Area Bus Society. Plus Rushcliffe Country Park provides a green children’s’ play area right next to the line. Car parking is available (sat-nav postcode NG11 6JS) and buses connect with Nottingham and Loughborough. Train formation and times provided in good faith but as always subject to operating conditions on the day. For full details on GCR(N) and how to get here, see website HERE.

Easter Saturday HST Valenta action at GCRN

Prototype HST Power Car 41001 and 125 Group’s matching Mk3 Coaches at Barnstone on the scenic Great Central Railway-Nottingham ©Jason Cross

Easter Saturday 15th April sees Prototype HST Power Car 41001 and 125 Group’s matching Mk3 coaches working passenger services for the first time this year at Great Central Railway-Nottingham, following important winter maintenance. The ‘Yellow Timetable’ will be in operation with departures from Ruddington at 1030, 1215, 1400 and 1545, Class 25 locomotive D7629 is planned to be on the south end of the set.

Services depart from Ruddington and head through the scenic Nottinghamshire countryside almost 10 miles southwards to Loughborough High Level where there is no station but the train gives a great view of the Midland Mainline and BRUSH Locomotive Works with class 73s and 92s usually on display. Ruddington station (parking available, sat-nav postcode NG11 6JS) is the operating base of GCRN with attractions for all the family, historic rolling stock under restoration plus a working ride-on miniature railway and model railway to watch, Rushcliffe Country Park is also close by. Trains also call at Rushcliffe Halt in the village of East Leake (sat-nav postcode LE12 6JT) where parking is also available.

Prototype Power Car 41001 is part of the National Collection and was restored to working order by 125 Group under the ‘Project Miller’ banner, GCRN is our home base. 41001 is fitted with a Paxman Valenta engine, the type originally used in all production Inter-City 125s. Join us on Easter Saturday and experience the marvellous screaming Valenta powering our historic HST on the former Great Central mainline!

Hot and cold drinks, also snacks will be available on-board the train, plus 125 Group sales items. Buy your ‘Bound for Craigy’ pin badges and quality HST merchandise here. For more information about tickets, timetables and how to get to GCRN, view their website www.gcrn.co.uk.

Sir Kenneth on a Desert Island

Power Car 43002 ‘Sir Kenneth Grange’ leads GWR service 1A83 1000 Penzance-Paddington along the sea wall at Teignmouth, 21st December 2016. © D.Langham

125 Group Honorary President Sir Kenneth Grange is the guest on BBC Radio 4 ‘Desert Island Discs’ programme, at 11:15am on New Years Day. Sir Kenneth is of course eminent industrial designer of many things including the nosecones of both Prototype and Production High Speed Trains. The show will also be repeated during the week and should be available on the BBC iPlayer here www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b086l4zd

2016 has been a fantastic year for the HST and 125 Group, with many great events celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Inter-City 125, including St.Philips Marsh depot open day in May and HSTs@40 at Great Central Railway (Nottingham) in November, plus 41001’s many visits around the UK. Thanks to all of the railway industry folk and preservation volunteers who have toiled to organise the events and to everyone who has attended, raising funds for some excellent causes.

2017 promises to be an interesting year for the High Speed Train, with the first new replacement Hitachi units scheduled for introduction. If you are interested in HSTs and want to support our preservation cause then why not join 125 Group? Members receive our quarterly magazine ‘One Two Five’, packed with information and informed comment on mainline fleet developments plus the latest exciting news on our Prototype power car 41001. Join here: www.125group.org.uk/group-membership

Happy New Year from all at 125 Group!

Festive HST Action – Weds 28th December

41001 and 125 Group’s matching Mk3 coaches at Ruddington GCR(N) ©125 Group

Wednesday 28th December sees Prototype HST Power Car 41001 and 125 Group’s matching Mk3 coaches working a full day of passenger services at home base Great Central Railway (Nottingham). Come along for a ride and experience living railway history, the original iconic High Speed Train in action – the perfect antidote to turkey sandwiches and sales overload!

Services 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. Prototype Power Car 41001 is currently on the north end of the coaches, Class 25 locomotive D7629 is planned to be on the south end of the set, the first time it has worked passenger trains with the HST.

Why not bring the whole family? Our comfortable train is fully heated and air-conditioned, the bright Mk3 coaches have large picture windows and seats mostly arranged around tables. The journey from Ruddington takes us through the scenic Nottinghamshire countryside almost 10 miles south on the former Great Central mainline. Feeling a little peckish? ‘Buffet 125’ will be open all day on the train, serving hot bacon/sausage baps, burgers, hot dogs, hot and cold drinks plus alcoholic beverages including wine and bottled ale.

The 125 Group Sales Stand will also be open on-board, a great place to spend that Xmas gift money, all in aid of our preservation efforts. A full range of HST merchandise is available, including 40YEAR badges and mugs, plus beautiful line drawing prints of Inter-City 125s.

The miniature railway at Ruddington will also be open for rides – wrap up warm! – the model railway will be open too. For more information about tickets and how to get to GRC(N), view their website www.gcrn.co.uk.

High Speed Train 40th anniversary event raises money for Railway Children charity

Dave Ellis (Railway Children), Mark Coney, Darren Ward (EMT), Alan Kemp (GCRN), Donna Adams (EMT), Phil Stanway (GCRN), Alex Wood (125 Group) with 43045 at Nottingham. ©GCRN

• Event helped to raise £1,350 for Railway Children

• Cheque presented to the Railway Children at Nottingham station in front of a power car by the 125 Group, the Great Central Railway (Nottingham) and East Midlands Trains

The Railway Children charity was presented with a cheque for £1,350 today (Tuesday 6 December) by fundraisers from the 125 Group, the Great Central Railway (Nottingham) and East Midlands Trains.

The money was raised at a special event that took place at the Great Central Railway (Nottingham) last month where a visiting East Midlands Trains HST ran throughout the day to mark its 40th anniversary. It was the first time that this formation of train operated on this line and proved to be very popular with visitors. The chosen charity for the day was Railway Children and in addition to receiving a percentage of the ticket sales, Railway Children also sold themed Christmas cards and other items on the day to help raise valuable funds for the charity.

Darren Ward, Head of Drivers for East Midlands Trains, who helped to mastermind East Midlands Trains involvement in the event, said, “I’m delighted to be able to present the cheque to the Railway Children after such a special day of fundraising. Our HSTs remain a firm favourite with many people, and along with the rest of the industry we wanted to celebrate their heritage and at the same time raise some valuable funds for one of our favourite charities.”

Dave Ellis, Corporate Partnerships Manager at Railway Children, said, “Railway Children are extremely grateful for the support generated and would like to thank everybody involved in helping to make the day the incredible success it was. Over the last 20 years we have reached more than 270,000 children, who would have otherwise been completely alone and vulnerable on the streets. It’s incredibly fitting that the HST, such an icon of the UK rail industry and so integral during the last 40 years, helped in creating such fantastic support for Railway Children. If I had to pick one single highlight of the day, other than the fantastic amount raised for Railway Children, It would have to be seeing Mr Tim Shoveller out on the ground getting his hands dirty!”

Phil Stanway, Director of Great Central Railway Nottingham, said, “We would like to thank East Midlands Trains for the support given to both ourselves and 125 Group that not only enabled us to round off our operating year in style with a tribute to 40 Years of the HST with 41001, 43048 and 43082 but also enabled us to raise quite a substantial amount for one of East Midlands Trains’ charity partners. This was all possible thanks to the hard work by East Midlands Trains and 125 Group along with our operations team to make it happen.”

Gary Heelas, Chairman of 125 Group, said, “It was great to see several hundred people enjoying themselves on the Great Central Railway (Nottingham) and joining in the celebrations of the 40th anniversary of 125mph HST services in the UK. We’re grateful to East Midlands Trains for the loan of 43048 and 43082 plus the two coaches, as well as the train crew who provided their services for free. We’re also thrilled that the Railway Children charity was able to join us and do some fundraising, including a raffle to which all those involved contributed to. We look forward to working with everyone again soon!”

For more information about Railway Children, visit railwaychildren.org.uk