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

Ride the Prototype HST Saturday 29th July

Prototype HST reduces speed for the station call at Rushcliffe Halt 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 29th July. Services will depart from Ruddington station (sat-nav postcode NG11 6JS) at 1100, 1300, 1500 running to Loughborough Viaduct and back, plus a bonus train at 1650 to Rushcliffe Halt and return. The preserved HST will operate top ‘n’ tail with 41001 at the north end of the Mk3 coaches and ‘Crompton’ locomotive 33035 coupled to a Mk2a open coach at the south end. Tickets are available to buy on-board the train on the day, 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 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, and regular bus links to Nottingham mainline station, Rushcliffe Country Park is also nearby. This weekend is the GCR(N) Model Rail Show and the miniature railway will also be giving rides.

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

Special Saturday service to celebrate relationship between East Midlands Trains and Railway Children

East Midlands Trains HST at York – Copyright 125 Group

Rail partners aiming to raise £30,000 for Railway Children charity with special train service on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR)

Staff and volunteers from East Midlands Trains, North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR), Railway Children, the 125 Group and Branch Line Society will be out in force on Saturday 15 July
The special service will start at Derby and call at Chesterfield, Sheffield, York, Pickering and Whitby

East Midlands Trains is putting on a special train on Saturday 15 July to raise funds for the Railway Children charity.

The special service will run from Derby via Chesterfield, Sheffield and York on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR) from Grosmont to picturesque Pickering then onward to Whitby. It is believed that this will be the first time in Pickering’s history that a high speed train has visited.

The route will take in stunning scenery across Derbyshire and Yorkshire where films such as Harry Potter and famous television shows like Heartbeat have been filmed. Once on the NYMR, there will be a special rededication naming ceremony to mark the decade-long relationship between East Midlands Trains and Railway Children.

Jake Kelly, Managing Director for East Midlands Trains, said: “Everyone is really looking forward to the day itself and raising money for such a good cause.

“We’ve been working very hard with our operations partner Direct Rail Services to make sure everything goes smoothly on the day and we’ve had fantastic support from the 125 Group, Railway Children and Branch Line Society.”

Chris Price, General Manager of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, said: “We are really looking forward to the visit of the high speed train, although we run a wide range of locomotives ourselves, it does make a change to welcome two stunning class 43’s to our heritage line.

“Passengers will have the unique opportunity to experience the North York Moors National Park from the high speed train service.”

To purchase tickets for the event from the Branch Line Society, visit www.goo.gl/JuhEgJ

For East Midlands Trains press release visit HERE.

Rare Class 08 Loco(s) and Etches Park visit added to Pickering Paxman HST Railtour

The first HST visit to the Whitby branch took place on 23 April 1988, the railtour is seen arriving at Battersby on its outward run with 43118 leading. Photo Copyright Richard Allen

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Free Bus connects HST to HST

A free bus service will make this year’s Great Central Railway Nottingham Diesel Gala even easier to get to, connecting East Midlands Parkway station on the National Rail network with Rushcliffe Halt on the GCRN route. On both Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd July, the heritage bus will make three morning trips from East Midlands Parkway bringing visitors to the gala, later in the afternoon three runs will take folk back again. The bus timetable enables connections with mainline services at East Midlands Parkway and also connects with GCRN trains at Rushcliffe Halt.

The GCRN Diesel Gala features a wide range of traction hauling two rakes of coaching stock providing an hourly service between Ruddington and Loughborough High Level (no station), with trains calling and passing at Rushcliffe Halt where connections will be held between services. Prototype HST power car 41001 and our matching Mk3 coaches (with Mk2a TSO also attached) will feature along with new arrivals 33035, 45060, 47828, plus resident fleet 47292, 47765 and the return of mighty 56097, with brief appearances by E6016 (73110). All trains will have a buffet car and the 125 Group Sales Stand will also be on-board the HST. More information including diesel gala tickets, other bus routes serving GCRN, plus full diesel gala TIMETABLE and LOCOMOTIVE ROSTER are available on the GCRN website.

National Rail services calling at East Midlands Parkway include Inter-City 125 HSTs operated by East Midlands Trains. On Saturday 1st July only, subject to on-time running, this makes it possible to travel by Production High Speed Train from London St.Pancras to East Midlands Parkway, free heritage bus to Rushcliffe Halt, then enjoy riding classic diesels at the GCRN gala including regular runs by our preserved Prototype HST. On Saturday, HSTs departing from St.Pancras at 08:15, 09:15 and 10:15 have connecting buses at East Midlands Parkway. Return buses from Rushcliffe Halt on Saturday connect with the 1643, 1740 and 1840 HSTs from East Midlands Parkway back to London, making for a grand day out! Many other travel options are available, check out the East Midlands Trains website for National Rail train times and tickets. For details of Saturday EMT services booked for HST operation, refer to our HST diagrams. Please note on Sunday 2nd July there is planned engineering work on the Midland Mainline with buses replacing trains between Bedford and Leicester. This means a HST day out from London to East Midlands Parkway will not be possible on the Sunday, and all EMT HST diagrams will also be amended on this day.

Thanks to our fellow preservationists the Nottingham Area Bus Society who are also based at GCRN Ruddington, for running this free heritage bus service, donations welcome on-board. Important – Please note that all reasonable efforts will be made to maintain connections but these are not guaranteed. GCRN, Nottingham Area Bus Society and 125 Group can not be held responsible for losses resulting from missed connections.