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.

Mk3 Coaches for GCR(N) Sulzer Sunday

Join us this Sunday 22nd October at Great Central Railway (Nottingham) when 125 Group’s Mk3 coaches will be on passenger trains hauled by Scotrail 47765 and Large-Logo 47292 running top and tail for ‘Sulzer Running Day’. Services will be operating to the Yellow Timetable with departures from Ruddington at 1030, 1215, 1400 and 1545. Mk3 vehicles 12092, 10206 and 11074 will be in passenger use, Buffet 125 will be available on-board serving drinks and snacks plus 125 Group Sales Stand will be open on the train. Locomotives subject to availability on the day, for more details see GCR(N) website HERE.

Prototype HST power car 41001 is away at Old Oak Common. 125 Group owns six Mk3 coaches: 12092, 10206 and 11074 which are shown in the photograph at Bristol Temple Meads on 1st May 2016, plus recently acquired 12065, 12087 and 12134 which are under restoration at GCR(N) Ruddington. Photo ©125 Group.

Mk3 Coach Restoration Progress

125 Group Mk3 TSO 12087 on test at Rushcliffe Halt GCRN with 56097 and 5376, 15/10/2017. ©K.Baldwin
Working lights inside Mk3 TSO 12087 ©B.Webber

125 Group is delighted to announce major restoration progress with the first of our recently purchased Mk3 coaches at Great Central Railway (Nottingham).

Tourist Standard Open (TSO) 12087 has been the focus of initial efforts. Following completion of roof repairs to make the vehicle watertight, a replacement brake distributor was installed plus some rectification work to PASSCOM pipework, allowing brakes and air systems to be tested and commissioned. Electrical work was then tackled, the coach has been treated to a new set of batteries, individual circuits were livened up and checked, including the lights. 12087 was then placed (locked out of use) at the end of the GCR(N) service train consist on Sunday 15th October and completed 60 miles of fault free running. During the last trip, our engineers allowed the Motor Alternator and Air-Conditioning System to operate on the move from Ruddington to Rushcliffe Halt, which all functioned normally, the batteries charging healthily at 109.3 volts.

Prior to acquisition by 125 Group, the vehicles had been stored out of use for many years. This major progress in less than two months has been possible through the dedication and determined efforts of our volunteers. Further work required to 12087 includes a new buckeye coupler and external door, toilet restoration plus some attention to flooring and carpets. We plan for the coach to re-enter public service on Saturday 4th November and look forward to welcoming passengers on-board!