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

125 Group Book Published Friday

Our exciting new book ‘125-The Enduring Icon’ is published this Friday 15th June and we are still accepting pre-orders on our website HERE.

Researched and collated by the 125 Group team, this book provides an accurate record of HST history and is illustrated with diverse images covering the operation and changing look of the iconic train over the past 45 years. With foreword by our Hon President Sir Kenneth Grange, ‘125-The Enduring Icon’ is written by enthusiasts for enthusiasts, if you buy just one HST book this year then make it this one!

Our book is available from several outlets however 125 Group’s profits from this important publication go straight to our preservation funds so to help our aims please
PURCHASE YOUR COPY DIRECT FROM OUR WEBSITE HERE.

Guaranteed dispatch by post immediately following publication and receipt of stock from the publishers, 96 pages softcover.
Price is £14.99 + UK Postage and Packing of £3.00 = Buy Price £17.99

Our first book ‘125-The Enduring Icon’

We are delighted that 125 Group’s first book will be published in late June 2018 and is now available to pre-order. ‘125 – The Enduring Icon’ is 100% HST and tells the story of the last forty-five years of the InterCity 125 in a new and very factual way.

Using a largely photographic format, supplemented by detailed text sections and captions, the whole history is covered to ensure the fullest possible picture of the operational life of HSTs from inception up to the end of 2017. Chapters cover the early days, the business impact on InterCity, developments through privatisation, extremities of operation, the engine developments and enhancements, and the preservation story of the prototype. Superb photographs illustrate the whole story, with significant detail of the evolving fleet.

Written and collated by 125 Group, and with a foreword by our Hon President, Sir Kenneth Grange, this 96 page soft-cover book promises to be the highlight publication of 2018 and is one that should be on every HST enthusiast’s shelf. With a launch date in late June 2018, you can pre-order your copy HERE on our website. Guaranteed dispatch by post immediately following publication and receipt of stock from the publishers. Price is £14.99 + UK Postage and Packing of £3.00 = Buy Price £17.99

125 Group’s profits from this important publication go straight to our preservation funds. By purchasing ‘125 – The Enduring Icon’ direct from our website you will be helping us achieve our aim of securing a Production HST, thank you for your support.

Welcome to 125 Group !

A warm welcome to 125 Group, especially if you have come here after seeing us on TV! We are the High Speed Train InterCity 125 enthusiast and preservation group, formed in 1994 by a small band to share news and information on the fleet and with the long-term aim of preserving a HST. The iconic train is still going strong today, the mainstay of many InterCity routes. Our objective is to preserve a production HST powered by the original Valenta engine, to this end we have acquired a large number of major components. Through this work and our restoration of 41001 we have developed a good relationship with the railway industry and grown to over 550 members. We are now a registered charity and are delighted to have 125 designer Sir Kenneth Grange as our Honorary President.

125 Group has a proven track record, in 2012 we took the last surviving prototype HST power car 41001 on long-term loan from the National Railway Museum and under the ‘Project Miller’ banner, in honour of the BR Chief Engineer behind the original HST, we restored it from a static exhibit to full working order for use on preserved railways. In recognition we were presented with the Railway Heritage Committee Modern Traction Award. Thanks to our benefactors, volunteers and the kind help of the railway industry, 41001 is now a regular performer at its home base the Great Central Railway (Nottingham). 125 Group is owner of six Mk3 coaches which our engineering team have also restored with four in traffic, three of which are in matching livery to 41001 recreating the look of the Prototype HST. Our team of around twenty-five active volunteers maintain and operate the train, including a buffet bar serving drinks and delicious hot food prepared on-board.

This website has a wealth of information about the HST and up-to-date Power Car Fleet List, plus news about future operating dates for our Prototype HST. We also have a wide range of 125 related items on sale in our On-line Shop, including mugs, DVDs, professionally produced artwork and our excellent forthcoming book ‘125-The Enduring Icon’ available for pre-order.

Join Us! We are delighted to welcome new members who are interested in HSTs and wish to support our cause. Members exclusively receive our quarterly magazine ‘One Two Five’ which is packed with informed articles about current mainline operations and detailed behind the scenes information on our preservation progress. Join now on this website, membership is only £17 for 12 months.

New Hitachi class 800 series units are already in service, with many more planned over the next two years. Some HST withdrawals are very likely in the near future and 125 Group is ready to step in and save at least one power car from the scrapyard. We have launched our ‘Direct Debit’ scheme to help boost our preservation funds, donate from £5 per month and receive free subscription to 125 Group.