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

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.

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