HST Diagrams Summer 2017

GWR HST power car 43010 emerges from Narberth tunnel on the scenic Pembroke Dock branchline, on service 1L90 1455 Pembroke Dock-Paddington, 1st August 2015. ©125 Group

Up to date High Speed Train diagrams are now available on the 125 Group website, showing full listings of services for each passenger TOC for all days of the week. 2017 will be the last summer of full HST operation on Great Western Railway, with the first new Hitachi units planned to enter traffic later this year. Summer Saturdays see HSTs straying off the main Intercity routes to visit scenic branch lines and seaside resorts including GWR to Weymouth and Pembroke Dock, EMT to Skegness, XC to Paignton and Penzance plus daily GWR to Newquay, these workings are all included in the diagrams, available from our website homepage HERE.

HST withdrawals will soon be upon us, 125 Group needs your help raising funds to preserve a Production HST to join Prototype 41001. Please subscribe as a member or sign up to our regular donations scheme and receive free membership, details HERE.

Meet HST designer Sir Kenneth Grange on-board The Somerset Explorer

Sir Kenneth Grange with his namesake GWR High Speed Train power car 43002 ©125 Group

125 Group is delighted to announce that our Honorary President Sir Kenneth Grange, distinguished industrial designer of the High Speed Train nosecone and Inter-City 125 original livery, will be VIP guest on-board ‘The Somerset Explorer’ Great Western Railway charity railtour on Saturday 13th May, raising funds for Weston-super-Mare Hospice.

In addition to the HST, Sir Kenneth also designed many everyday items including the Kenwood food mixer, Kodak instamatic camera, Wilkinson razor and London taxi, and was recently interviewed on BBC ‘Desert Island Discs’. Sir Kenneth will be available for photographs at Paddington before the railtour departs, and will travel on-board the outward journey, walking through the train meeting passengers, pleased to give autographs and selfies in return for a donation to charity. This is a rare opportunity to meet the man behind the look of the iconic Inter-City 125.

Celebrity power cars 43002 ‘Sir Kenneth Grange’ (Inter-City 125 original livery) and 43185 ‘Great Western’ (INTERCITY Swallow livery) with green GWR coaches are planned to work the train (subject to operating conditions on the day). A full buffet service will be available plus the on-board 125 Group Sales Stand.

*** UPDATE  –  ALTERATION TO RAILTOUR TRAINPLAN ***

Due to operational reasons, the High Speed Train can no longer run all the way to Minehead as originally planned, this has resulted in a change to some of the itinerary. The railtour will still run from London Paddington depart 08.36/arrive 18.57, Ealing Broadway 08.44/18.46, Reading 09.14/18.19 and Didcot 09.34/18.02, these times are unchanged.

The special will continue onto the scenic West Somerset Railway and will now terminate at Bishops Lydeard. Passengers have the option of joining a special connecting service to Minehead and back hauled by Diesel Hydraulic class 52 locomotive D1010 Western Campaigner, arriving back into Bishops Lydeard to connect into the return HST. Alternatively, passengers may remain on the HST for an extra return trip from Bishops Lydeard to Taunton and back, tickets will be valid. Other off-train, bus tour options are available. GWR apologise for the late notice change of plan.

Full Details and Tickets still available – See GWR Eventbrite Website HERE

Questions about Existing or New Bookings – Contact the Organiser HERE

Special Offer for 125 Group Members plus one accompanying person, £25.50 discount off the adult standard class fare giving a price of £41.00. Enter the promotional code of HST_Group_41 when booking. Note: This cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer, is valid for the HST all day option only, and a current 125 Group membership card must be presented on-board to validate this special offer.

GWR Charity HST to Minehead

125 Group is very pleased to help support this special High Speed Train charity railtour:

The Somerset Explorer – Saturday 13th May 2017

Great Western Railway with Visit Somerset, West Somerset Railway and Buses of Somerset, a special HST (hoped to be celebrity power cars 43002 & 43185 with green livery set) will work the charity railtour, raising funds for Weston-super-Mare Hospice to celebrate the life and work of Bob Smart, the former chairman of Visit Somerset who sadly passed away last year.

There will be the GWR buffet car with GWR souvenirs available and the 125 Group Sales Stand on-board.

Various ticket options are available:

‘Explorer Option’:  Paddington depart 08.36/ arrive 18.57, Ealing Broadway 08.44/18.46, Reading 09.14/18.19, Didcot 09.34/18.02 via Frome and onto the WSR and through to Minehead (13.00/14.50) returning via Taunton Platform 2 and crossover at Taunton East JnWeston-super-Mare and booked Bristol TM Down Through Line in the Up direction.

There is the option of travelling to and from Paddington but leaving the train at Frome at 10.33 for a luxury coach or open top bus on a mystery land cruise re-joining at Weston 17.00.

Part Fare ‘Round Robin’ option for passengers joining the train at Frome from the 08.36 train from Swindon via Melksham, leaving at Weston for service train connections to the 18.32 Westbury to Swindon and 18.40 Westbury to Frome. Coach connections are also available to connect at Frome/Weston.

There are no pay on the day tickets, only on-line bookings are available (but with various options for group and staff fares etc).

Full details and ticket bookings available here: http://wsr_explorer.eventbrite.co.uk/?s=73482104

SPECIAL OFFER: For 125 Group members plus one accompanying person, early bird £25.50 discount – adult standard class only and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer, VALID for the HST all day option ONLY, enter promotional code:  HST_Group_41
Current 125 Group membership card must be presented on-board to validate this special offer.

HST 40th Celebrations at York NRM

43002 ‘Sir Kenneth Grange’ at York NRM ©125 Group

Today’s High Speed Train 40th Anniversary public event at York National Railway Museum saw hundreds of enthusiasts celebrate the birthday of the most successful British train ever – the Inter-City 125. Great Western Railway’s specially reliveried power cars 43002 in original ‘flying banana’ blue and yellow, and 43185 wearing ‘INTERCITY Swallow’ were the traction star attractions. Nose-cone designer and 125 Group Hon President Sir Kenneth Grange was VIP guest, in his speech thanking the engineers who made possible this iconic train. The ceremonial focus of this memorable day was the handover of a designated mounted ’40 YEARS’ plaque from GWR to the NRM. 125 Group is very pleased to have assisted with planning and was delighted to take part. Thank you to Great Western Railway for supporting such a successful day, thanks also to the National Railway Museum for hosting, and to everyone who came along to join in the party!

Stylish ’40 YEARS’ pin badges of the same design as worn by 43002 and friends, plus other official HST40 merchandise is available to buy from the 125 Group website shop HERE with all proceeds going towards our preservation efforts.

Sir Kenneth Grange signs his design! Filming in progress for BBC Arts at York NRM. ©125 Group

Official HST40 Merchandise

Celebrate the 40th Year of the High Speed Train by wearing the stylish official 40 YEARS 1976/2016 enamel pin badge, or drink your tea from a smart GWR St.Philips Marsh Open Day mug. We also have Programmes from the historic Depot Open Day on 2nd May, these are limited edition and numbered. The 125 Group On-Line Shop is the place to buy these items – all now in stock and ready for dispatch. Badges £6 each, Mugs £8 each, Programmes £4 each, all prices include postage and packing. These are all official HST40 merchandise.

Want to get your hands on these fabulous items this weekend? All will be available from the 125 Group Sales Stand on-board Preserved Prototype HST running at Great Central Railway (Nottingham) on Sunday 3rd July, more details HERE.