Additional Mk3 RFM 10202 Acquired

Mk3 RFM 10202 being delivered to 125 Group at GCRN Ruddington, 30/07/2018. ©125 Group

125 Group is very pleased to announce purchase of an additional Mk3 coach, Restaurant First Modular (RFM) 10202. This kitchen / buffet vehicle will be used to support our operations at Great Central Railway Nottingham (GCRN), providing backup to our existing catering coach 10206.

10202 was previously owned by Arriva and, despite several years in storage at Long Marston, is in good condition, painted in British Rail blue/grey livery, with a fully equipped kitchen. The vehicle was built in 1976 as High Speed Train TRUK kitchen car 40504, part of the Inter-City 125 fleet and converted to locomotive hauled stock in the mid 1980s. The coach has arrived at our operating base GCRN Ruddington, following road transfer from Long Marston, courtesy of Reid Freight Services. 10202 joins our existing Mk3 fleet of 11074, 10206, 12087 and 12092 (all operational with working air-conditioning) plus 12065 and 12134 (under restoration).

The operational coaches run on regular passenger timetable days at GCRN powered by prototype HST power car 41001. All trains have a Buffet 125 service on-board, offering hot and cold drinks, wine and real ale, bacon and sausage baps, hot dogs, burgers and cold snacks from our existing RFM 10206, and served by our volunteers. We recently operated a private ‘Cream Tea’ charter for a 75th Birthday, with 60 covers. Once commissioned 10202 will provide backup and enable us to expand catering operations.

Some restoration is required to return 10202 to operational use, including full electrical and air systems testing and commissioning, replacement wheelsets, plus a deep external and internal clean. This work will be carried out by our volunteer engineering team at GCRN Ruddington, with activities taking place mostly in sidings out in the open.

Gary Heelas, Chairman 125 Group said, “Catering on board our rolling stock provides a valuable income for 125 Group and having a second RFM vehicle is vital to ensure we keep the money stream coming in should we have issues with one of the vehicles. We hope to have 10202 in traffic within a few months for visitors to GCRN at Ruddington.”

125 Group is raising money to build a HST Depot at GCRN Ruddington to enable maintenance and restoration of our existing fleet and future production power car acquisitions to be carried out under cover, protecting our vehicles and volunteers from the ravages of the weather. We welcome private donations and corporate sponsorship for the depot building. More information is available at 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

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.

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!

Passenger debut for Mk3 Coach 12087

125 Group Mk3 TSO 12087 arrived at Ruddington GCR(N) having just worked its first passenger train in preservation, the 1800 ‘Firework Spectacular Special’ from Rushcliffe Halt, 04/11/2017. © James Trebinski

125 Group is delighted to announce successful entry to passenger service of Mk3 coach Tourist Standard Open (TSO) 12087, which our volunteers have restored to working order in just over two months since it arrived at Great Central Railway (Nottingham).

12087 ran as part of the consist for the Guy Fawkes weekend GCR(N) Firework Spectacular services on Saturday 4th November, bringing local folk from Rushcliffe Halt to Ruddington for the evening firework display and taking them home again after the event. Passengers enjoyed the deep cleaned saloon, working air-conditioning / heating and air-powered internal doors, not to mention the silky smooth ride of the Mk3!

Restoration has also included roof repairs, replacement brake distributor, electrical work including a new set of batteries, air and electrical systems testing, new buckeye coupler and new vestibule carpets. Efforts will now turn to vehicles 12065 and 12134, which were purchased at the same time, and like 12087, had previously been in storage for many years.

Thankyou to everyone who has recently bought merchandise from our on-line shop, joined 125 Group, or signed up to our Direct Debit regular donations scheme. All of these contributions are greatfully received and go towards our restoration efforts and long term aim of production HST preservation.