Porterbrook Jump-Starts 125 Group HST Depot Appeal

Porterbrook has raced to support the launch of 125 Group’s HST Depot Appeal by agreeing a sizeable donation towards the Project.

Porterbrook has been the owner of many High Speed Train vehicles since its inception in 1995, leasing them for use on the East Midlands routes, the East Coast Mainline, the Great Western railway and Cross Country network (and previously, the West Coast route) and being instrumental in the significant fleet developments made in the last twenty years.

Its long association with the High Speed Train has already seen it provide significant financial and engineering support to 125 Group with its restoration efforts for the National Railway Museum’s prototype car 41001, which 125 Group has fully restored to full operating condition – and operating with some former Porterbrook Mark III coaches.

125 Group now has the very real prospect of Production vehicles becoming surplus in the near future – and recognises that it will not be possible to undertake the necessary maintenance and restoration without some suitable covered accommodation. This has led to the development of plans for a small depot facility at its base at the Great Central Railway Nottingham at Ruddington, which it hopes will become the recognised site of High Speed Train preservation as a working museum base. A registered charity, 125 Group needs to raise £100,000 to allow the development to proceed and protect its assets from the ravages of the English weather.

Porterbrook has generously started the appeal with a sizeable contribution which is very much welcomed by 125 Group and once again demonstrates the willingness and support of the mainstream railway companies for volunteer preservation efforts.

Stephen McGurk, Porterbrook’s Chief Commercial Officer said: “The InterCity 125 is a design icon that transformed long distance rail travel across Britain. It is absolutely right that examples of this world-beating train should be secured for future generations.

“Porterbrook is an asset management business, so we understand the value of having facilities where maintenance and refurbishment can be professionally undertaken; therefore we are delighted to support the 125 Group’s plans to establish a centre of engineering excellence at Ruddington for HSTs in preservation.”

Gary Heelas, Chairman of 125 Group Limited said “We are very pleased that our friends at Porterbrook have made this sizeable donation to kick-start our depot project. We have a long way to go but the provision of this covered space will allow us to maintain and store the vehicles in a dry and relatively clean environment. It will also mean that the hours of free time given by our volunteers will be far more productive, with everything required being in one place.”

125 Group welcomes donations to this exciting project, to contribute and for more information visit: www.125group.org.uk/depot

Prototype HST & 47292 Sunday at GCRN

This coming Sunday 17th June why not join us for our next running day with Prototype High Speed Train Power Car 41001 and 125 Group’s matching Mk3 coaches, stars of the recent Channel 5 TV Documentary ‘Intercity 125 – The Train That Saved Britain’s Railway’.  The iconic HST will be working passenger trains at Great Central Railway (Nottingham) with services departing 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 Brush Type 4, 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

Saturday 5th May kicks-off HST Season at GCRN

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 Saturday 5th May, kicking-off a run of warm weather operating dates Saturday 26th May, Sunday 17th June and Saturday 30th June. Services depart from Ruddington station at 1030, 1215, 1400 and 1545 running to Loughborough High Level and back under the ‘Yellow Timetable’. The preserved HST will operate top ‘n’ tail with 41001 at the south end and a GCR(N) locomotive at the north end.  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 High Level, which has no station but affords a great view over the Midland Mainline and looks down into Brush Locomotive Works, with class 73s, 92s, 319s and HST power cars often visible. Ruddington station (sat-nav postcode NG11 6JS) is the base for GCR(N) with many heritage transport exhibits, miniature and model railways, see GCR(N) website for further information.

‘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. Experience a grand day out riding comfortable air-conditioned Mk3 coaches, powered by 41001 and its original screaming Paxman Valenta engine!

HST and ‘Grid’ action Easter Saturday

Join us on Easter Saturday 31st March for a day of passenger services at Great Central Railway (Nottingham) with the Prototype High Speed Train power car working ‘top and tail’ with mighty class 56 ‘Grid’ freight locomotive 56097. Trains depart from Ruddington station (sat-nav postcode NG11 6JS) at 1030, 1215, 1400 and 1545. Shelter from the holiday weather inside our comfortable Mk3 coaches, with Buffet 125 serving hot drinks and food, plus bottled wine and ale also available.

Our historic Prototype HST power car 41001 was the forerunner of the hugely successful Inter-City 125 fleet which is still running nationwide today. At 125 Group we are always interested to hear passengers’ and memories of the High Speed Train, maybe bring along that old item of classic 125 memorabelia and tell us your story. We hope you can join us for a trip over the scenic former Great Central mainline, tickets available to buy on-board the train on the day or in advance from www.gcrn.co.uk which has further information.

Easter Saturday Prototype HST action at GCRN

Prototype HST at Loughborough Viaduct 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 Easter Saturday 31st March. 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. 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. Tickets available to buy on-board the train on the day or in advance from www.gcrn.co.uk which has 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!