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.

Hybrid HSTs @40 – Saturday 19th November

EMT and Prototype HSTs ©125 Group

Saturday 19th November will see a special hybrid High Speed Train operating public services at Great Central Railway (Nottingham) to celebrate 40 Years of the iconic Inter-City 125. For this charity event, East Midlands Trains are kindly lending two of their power cars and two Mk3 coaches, funds raised will benefit 125 Group and Railway Children. The special HST formation will consist of an EMT power car at one end of the train, Prototype power car 41001 at the other, and coaches from both EMT and 125 Group in between, the first time such a combination has ever been seen. The hybrid HST will work public trains over the former Great Central Mainline, through the scenic Nottinghamshire countryside, making four return trips between Ruddington and Loughborough High Level. Confirmed Timetable below.

‘Buffet 125’ on-board our Mk3 RFM coach 10206 will be serving hot bacon rolls and burgers, hot and cold beverages plus alcoholic drinks including real ale. The 125 Group sales stand will also be open on the train, selling HST merchandise including badges, power car artwork and DVDs. Tickets are available on-line or on-board, reduced fares apply for 125 Group and GCRN members on production of a valid membership card, also for EMT staff with ID. 1st Class Upgrade available on the day. The second EMT power car will be on display all day at Ruddington, open for cab visits in return for a donation to Railway Children who will also have Xmas cards and other items for sale during the day. We are also expecting some special guests who were part of the original HST story 40 years ago and between 1115 and 1145 there will be an unveiling of a ’40 YEARS’ plaque, sponsored by 125 Group, on an EMT power car to mark this important anniversary year. More on the event, tickets and location here: www.gcrn.co.uk

We are very grateful to East Midlands Trains for their kind support. We hope you can join us and celebrate 40 years of the Inter-City 125 High Speed Train, the UK’s most successful train, while raising funds for Railway Children which does such great work fighting for street children abroad and at home. More information on Railway Children here: www.railwaychildren.org.uk

Celebrating 40 Years of 125mph Operation

125 Group Chairman Gary Heelas and Chef Leanne Cooke in RFM 10206. ©125 Group

125 Group was pleased to support Great Western Railway in May, by providing its Prototype High Speed Train for the successful charity open day at Bristol St.Philips Marsh depot and by sponsoring the naming of GWR power car 43002 ‘Sir Kenneth Grange’ after designer of the famous nosecone, and now Honorary President of 125 Group. The power car was beautifully restored to original livery and adorned with ‘40 YEARS 1976/2016’ Plaques.

To continue the celebration of 40 years of the iconic HST, and with the further co-operation of GWR, 125 Group is pleased to unveil the same design of 40th Anniversary Plaque on its own Prototype HST operating on the Great Central Railway (Nottingham) based at Ruddington. The plaque will be mounted and displayed inside 125 Group’s Mk3 Restaurant Buffet Car 10206, formerly HST catering vehicle 40507, which provides tasty hot food to travellers behind 41001.

125 Group is also set to work with other current HST operators and owners, to enable the display of further plaques celebrating HST40. Keep your eyes peeled for more plaques soon! #HST40

We would like to acknowledge the efforts and support of Paul Gentleman, Great Western Railway, Newton Replicas and Porterbrook in producing these plaques.

Media enquiries: media@125group.org.uk

Bonnie Bo’ness

Prototype HST 41001 at Bo’ness ©125 Group

Prototype Power Car 41001 and 125 Group’s matching Mk3 coaches are headlining the Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway Summer Diesel Gala this weekend. The historic High Speed Train has been entertaining the enthusiasts for the past two days hauling passenger trains from Bo’ness up the stiff climb to Manuel.

Tomorrow Sunday 24th July is the last day of the gala and the Prototype HST is now planned to work the 1220, 1545 and 1900 departures from Bo’ness with our Valenta Power Car leading and hauling the these trains solo to Manuel. Note the 1220 is a new confirmed addition. For details about the B&KR click HERE, we hope you can join us for a trip on the splendid railway behind 41001.

On Monday 25th July 41001 and our Mk3 coaches 11074, 10206 and 12092 will start their homeward journey south, hauled by locomotives 20205 + 20189. The transit is expected to depart from Bo’ness Junction Exchange Siding at approx 0830 bound for York, with onward movement to Ruddington GCRN on Tuesday. More details will be posted here when available.

Valenta Returns to Scotland!

41001 Crossing the Border 21st July 2016 ©125 Group

Prototype Power Car 41001 is now in Scotland, its first visit in preservation, together with 125 Group’s matching Mk3 coaches passed over the border on the ECML at Marshall Meadows at 1801 this evening. The historic HST is heading for the Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway where it will be starring in their Summer Diesel Gala this weekend. The transit is running under schedule 5S20 12+14 York Holgate Sidings – Bo’ness Junction Exchange Siding hauled by superb locomotives 20189 + 20205. Follow progress courtesy of Realtime Trains here: http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/K91057/2016/07/21/advanced.

At the time of posting (2030 Thu) the convoy is running 76 minutes early passing Polmont, having been routed via Edinburgh Waverley station instead of the planned Suburban line. The train is expected to run through to Cadder Loop as booked, we can not be sure if the early running will be maintained or not.  Once at Bo’ness Junction Exchange Siding, the Class 20s will propel the train down the link line and are then expected to haul the HST to Bo’ness itself.

Join us at the B&KR Summer Diesel Gala this weekend and experience 41001’s fantastic Paxman Valenta engine, the screaming type originally fitted to all Inter-City 125s. The HST will be working passenger trains on all three days Friday 22nd, Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th July. More information, including ticket prices and a link to the special timetable and LOCOMOTIVE ROSTERS are available at the B&KR website HERE.