Prototype HST 41001 on site for OOC111 Open Day

47828, 41001 and 57604 arrived at Old Oak Common. © 125 Group

Prototype High Speed Train power car 41001 has safely arrived at Old Oak Common ready for the open day this Saturday 2nd September, following rail transfer from home base Great Central Railway Nottingham. 41001 and 125 Group crew powered the move from Ruddington GCRN last Sunday hauling 47828 and The Class 37 Loco Group’s 37003 as far as Rushcliffe Halt where 57604 and Rail Operations Group took over for the run to Old Oak, dropping off 37003 at Leicester. Thanks to ROG for their usual professional service.

Tickets are still available for the public open day, celebrating over 111 years of train maintenance and servicing at this historic West London depot. On display will be a unique collection of steam, diesel and electric locomotives also merchandise stalls, including the 125 Group Sales Stand, children’s activities, fun fair, entertainers plus locomotive naming ceremonies. All proceeds will go to the depot’s chosen charity Place2Be, providing mental health support for children and whose patron is the Duchess of Cambridge.

To view full information about the open day, including how to get there and to buy tickets on-line, see the event website www.oocopenday.com

Prototype HST 41001 for Old Oak Common Open Day

Prototype HST on test at Didcot station, with power car 41001 (43000) nearest the camera, February 1975. ©Dave Hird

125 Group is delighted to announce that Prototype High Speed Train power car 41001 is planned to be one of the star exhibits at Great Western Railway Old Oak Common public open day on Saturday 2nd September 2017, celebrating over 111 years of train maintenance and servicing at this West London depot. On display will be a unique collection of steam, diesel and electric locomotives also merchandise stalls including the 125 Group Sales Stand, children’s activities, fun fair, entertainers plus locomotive naming ceremonies.

Tickets are now on sale and demand is expected to be high for this unique event. All proceeds will go to the depot’s chosen charity Place2Be, providing mental health support for children and whose patron is the Duchess of Cambridge. To view full information about the open day, including how to get there and to buy tickets on-line, see the event website www.oocopenday.com

Old Oak Common has an illustrious history, including being home to iconic Inter-City 125s since introduction. The prototype HST is no stranger to Old Oak, it was based at the depot in 1975/6 during Western Region passenger service trials. After withdrawal, power car 41001 entered the National Collection, 125 Group became custodians in 2012 and we restored it back to working order under the ‘Project Miller’ banner. The historic power car is now based at GCR(N) Ruddington where it works public trains together with our matching Mk3 coaches.

Please note that 41001 is advertised in good faith but is subject to transfer rail movements. Should problems arise we can not be held responsible for losses (and disappointment!) arising from non-appearance. The 125 Group team are very much looking forward to this fantastic event and hope to see you there!

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

Ride the Prototype HST Saturday 29th July

Prototype HST reduces speed for the station call at Rushcliffe Halt 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 Saturday 29th July. Services will depart from Ruddington station (sat-nav postcode NG11 6JS) at 1100, 1300, 1500 running to Loughborough Viaduct and back, plus a bonus train at 1650 to Rushcliffe Halt and return. The preserved HST will operate top ‘n’ tail with 41001 at the north end of the Mk3 coaches and ‘Crompton’ locomotive 33035 coupled to a Mk2a open coach at the south end. Tickets are available to buy on-board the train on the day, or in advance on-line from www.gcrn.co.uk which has further information.

The GCR(N) route is just under 10 miles long, after departing Ruddington trains reverse at Fifty Steps 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 73s, 92s and 319s often visible. Ruddington station is the base for GCR(N) with many heritage transport exhibits, and regular bus links to Nottingham mainline station, Rushcliffe Country Park is also nearby. This weekend is the GCR(N) Model Rail Show and the miniature railway will also be giving rides.

‘Buffet 125’ will be open on-board our Mk3 coach 10206, selling hot dogs, bacon and sausage baps, 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 for a summer’s day out with 41001 and its original screaming Paxman Valenta engine!

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.