HST and ‘Grid’ action Easter Saturday

Join us on Easter Saturday 31st March for a day of passenger services at Great Central Railway (Nottingham) with the Prototype High Speed Train power car working ‘top and tail’ with mighty class 56 ‘Grid’ freight locomotive 56097. Trains depart from Ruddington station (sat-nav postcode NG11 6JS) at 1030, 1215, 1400 and 1545. Shelter from the holiday weather inside our comfortable Mk3 coaches, with Buffet 125 serving hot drinks and food, plus bottled wine and ale also available.

Our historic Prototype HST power car 41001 was the forerunner of the hugely successful Inter-City 125 fleet which is still running nationwide today. At 125 Group we are always interested to hear passengers’ and memories of the High Speed Train, maybe bring along that old item of classic 125 memorabelia and tell us your story. We hope you can join us for a trip over the scenic former Great Central mainline, tickets available to buy on-board the train on the day or in advance from www.gcrn.co.uk which has further information.

Easter Saturday Prototype HST action at GCRN

Prototype HST at Loughborough Viaduct 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 Easter Saturday 31st March. Services depart 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. Ruddington station (sat-nav postcode NG11 6JS) is the base for GCR(N) with many heritage transport exhibits, car parking and bus links to Nottingham and Loughborough. Tickets available to buy on-board the train on the day or in advance from www.gcrn.co.uk which has further information.

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!

Tornado power for 125 Group Mk3s

Peppercorn A1 Pacific Class Steam Locomotive 60163 Tornado will be visiting Great Central Railway Nottingham and hauling public trains on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th February. Coaching stock will be 125 Group’s sleek Mk3 coaches, three of which are in stunning Prototype High Speed Train livery.

A special timetable will operate with trains departing from Ruddington at 1000, 1200, 1400 and 1600 on both days. Diesel loco 47828 will be coupled to the north end of the rake and will work top ‘n’ tail with Tornado which will be on the south end. Prototype HST power car 41001 will not be in use on this occasion. This will be the first time a steam loco has hauled our Mk3 coaches in passenger service, we hope you can join us for this most unusual event!

‘Buffet 125’ will be open on all trains serving delicious hot food including bacon / sausage cobs, hot dogs, burgers and toasted sandwiches, all freshly prepared on-board in the kitchen of our catering vehicle RFM 10206. Hot and cold drinks, wines and beers including bottled ale, plus cold snacks will also be available.

Special fares apply for these dates and demand is expected to be high with only a limited number of tickets available. For full details and to book on-line, head over to the GCRN website HERE.

Onwards to Another Grand Year!

Clockwise from top left: Presentation of cheque of raffle proceeds from ‘The Grand Farewell’ Grand Central / Branch Line Society railtour, 41001 and 125 Group Mk3s in action at Rushcliffe Halt GCR(N), interior of restored Mk3 coach 12087, ‘Buffet 125’ volunteers serving up tasty fare in kitchen of catering vehicle 10206. © 125 Group

A grand thankyou from 125 Group to Grand Central and the Branch Line Society for kindly donating raffle proceeds from the recent ‘The Grand Farewell’ railtour to our charity. BLS Fixtures Secretary Kev Adlam called in at Great Central Railway (Nottingham) on 41001’s Festive Running Day to present the cheque for £1,365.80 to 125 Group Chairman Gary Heelas. We are very grateful for this donation which brings to a close another very successful year for 125 Group.

Highlights of 2017 have included maintenance and upgrade work on Prototype HST Power Car 41001’s suspension, brakes, wheelslip/slide and speedometer systems, replacement of no.7 axle bearing, plus significant work behind the scenes on maintenance and overhaul procedures for our fleet. During August we completed a major purchase of three additional Mk3 coaches, determined work by our volunteer engineers saw the first of these 12087 restored and carrying passengers just over two months later, complete with working air-conditioning. We treated our catering vehicle 10206 to high quality new flooring in the kitchen and serving area, plus lighting overhaul and panel painting, making the interior as good as new. Public running days continued throughout the year with 41001 and our Mk3 coaches at GCR(N) including the successful Summer Diesel Gala, with our ‘Buffet 125’ catering volunteers serving tasty food and drink on-board. 41001 was also exhibited at Old Oak Common open day, once its home depot. We have participated in many HST railtours including playing a key role in ‘Bound for Craigy’ with our Hon President Sir Kenneth Grange on-board and ‘The Pickering Paxman’, taking passenger HSTs to new territory. We have given talks at railway societies during the year, the roving 125 Group sales stand has travelled far and wide including the Warley Model Railway Exhibition, complimenting our increasingly busy on-line shop, all raising funds for our preservation efforts.

A massive thankyou to all individuals, organisations and companies who have worked with and supported 125 Group during 2017. We look forward to another exciting year in 2018, working towards our objective of preserving a production High Speed Train. We welcome new members, join up on-line HERE to support our cause and receive our members only magazine ‘One Two Five’ packed full of behind the scenes detail on our activities, informed articles on the current HST scene, plus a dose of nostalgia – next issue features a look back on the 10 years of Grand Central HST operation. Happy New Year from everyone at 125 Group!

Festive HST Valenta Action

Prototype HST Power Car 41001 on the south end of the coaches at Ruddington, Great Central Railway (Nottingham). © 125 Group

Prototype High Speed Train Power Car 41001 and 125 Group’s Mk3 coaches will be working a full day of passenger services at Great Central Railway (Nottingham) on Thursday 28th December, the perfect antidote to Xmas turkey sandwiches and sales overload!

Trains run from GCR(N)’s main station at Ruddington with car parking available, postcode NG11 6JS. The ‘Yellow Timetable’ will be in operation with departures at 1030, 1215, 1400 and 1545.  Tickets can be purchased on-line or on-board the train, for more information see the GCR(N) website www.gcrn.co.uk. ‘Buffet 125’ will be open all day on the train, serving hot snacks, hot and cold drinks plus alcoholic beverages including wine and bottled ale, the 125 Group Sales Stand will also be on-board.

Power Car 41001 has recently been turned and is now on the south end of the coaches (buffer stops end at Ruddington), a GCR(N) locomotive will be on the north end of the set working in top and tail mode. Come and experience southbound Valenta engine thrash on the former Great Central Mainline – we hope you can join us!