Bound for Craigy – Record Breaking Fundraiser!

Virgin Trains Power Car 43300 leads the ‘Bound for Craigy’ charity railtour around York Avoiding Line past the Regional Operations Centre, Saturday 18th March 2017. ©Robin Patrick

In celebration of the 40th anniversary of the iconic High Speed Train, the Branch Line Society marked this milestone by chartering a special train, in conjunction with Virgin Trains East Coast (VTEC), 125 Group and the Preserved Locomotive Enthusiasts Group. Over £43,000 was raised on the day for the charity Railway Children, which supports children at risk on the streets in the UK, India and East Africa who run away from home or are forced to leave due to poverty, violence or neglect.

Starting from the newly renovated Kings Cross station, the special Inter-City 125 chartered by the Branch Line Society took rail fans from London to Edinburgh and back on March 18, 2017. Ticket-holders travelled in style, enjoying an array of food and drinks as they journeyed along the famous East Coast Main Line, also taking in the Blyth and Tyne route plus very unusual visits to Bounds Green and Craigentinny maintenance depots.

Those on board the nine-coach High Speed Train, included its original designer and godfather of British modernism Sir Kenneth Grange. Not just train designer royalty, Sir Kenneth is also the designer of the celebrated Kenwood Mixer, the 21st century revamp of the Anglepoise lamp, and the classic ‘Venner’ parking meter, not forgetting Kodak’s Instamatic camera. Sir Kenneth is now Hon President of 125 Group, the enthusiasts’ society which aims to preserve one of the iconic trains when they are finally taken out of service.

Sir Kenneth said: “Four decades on, the high speed train remains the backbone of the rail network and has had a major impact on the general life of most people in this country. I think it’s still fair to say that the Inter-City 125 remains one of my proudest achievements and it has given me a great deal of pleasure to share this anniversary with so many other HST fans for such a good cause.”

Kev Adlam, Fixtures Secretary, Branch Line Society, said: “Thank you to everyone from Virgin Trains, 125 Group, PLEG, East Midlands Trains, Network Rail and Rail Gourmet that made Saturday’s special train such an interesting, enjoyable and record breaking railtour.

“At over 800 miles it was the longest distance travelled by a one day railtour in the Society’s 62 year history, and we believe the new UK record holder for a one day charity railtour in terms of funds raised. The atmosphere on board was amazing, and for the total revenue to be over £43,000 is red hot.”

Bound for Craigy Cheque Presentation at Newcastle, (from left): VTEC Edinburgh Driver Ross Clark, VTEC Newcastle Driver Hugh Cowan, Dave Ellis (Corporate Partnerships Manager, Railway Children), Sir Kenneth Grange, David Maidment (Founder of the charity Railway Children), Katie Mason (Events Manager, Railway Children).

Dave Ellis, Corporate Partnerships Manager at Railway Children, said: “The High Speed Train stands as testimony to the excellence of British Rail engineering and the genius of the industrial designer Kenneth Grange who created the aerodynamic front cab and nosecone of the Inter-City 125, giving the train its iconic shape. 

“It has been a fantastic experience to celebrate the 40th anniversary of one of the world’s most successful trains. Thanks to the support of the Branch Line Society, Virgin Trains, 125 Group, PLEG, East Midlands Trains, Network Rail, Rail Gourmet and enthusiasts, over £43,000 has been raised to help us in our fight to change the lives of street children, which is a huge achievement.”

Further information available through the Railway Children press office on 07932 725267 or andrew@acolliscommunications.com

About Railway Children
Railway Children is a leading children’s charity fighting for vulnerable children who live alone at risk on the streets, where they suffer abuse and exploitation. In the UK, society often denies their existence, and in other countries the problem is so prevalent that it has become ‘normal’.

Children and young people run away or are forced to leave home where they suffer poverty, violence, abuse and neglect. They find themselves living on the streets because there is nowhere else to go and no one left to turn to. The problems they face on the streets are often even worse than those they endured at home. Every day we fight to change their story.

Railway Children races to reach children as soon as they arrive on the streets and intervene before an abuser can. Our pioneering work in the UK, India and East Africa enables us to get to street children before the streets get to them. 

For more information on how you can get involved, visit www.railwaychildren.org.uk

High Speed Train 40th anniversary event raises money for Railway Children charity

Dave Ellis (Railway Children), Mark Coney, Darren Ward (EMT), Alan Kemp (GCRN), Donna Adams (EMT), Phil Stanway (GCRN), Alex Wood (125 Group) with 43045 at Nottingham. ©GCRN

• Event helped to raise £1,350 for Railway Children

• Cheque presented to the Railway Children at Nottingham station in front of a power car by the 125 Group, the Great Central Railway (Nottingham) and East Midlands Trains

The Railway Children charity was presented with a cheque for £1,350 today (Tuesday 6 December) by fundraisers from the 125 Group, the Great Central Railway (Nottingham) and East Midlands Trains.

The money was raised at a special event that took place at the Great Central Railway (Nottingham) last month where a visiting East Midlands Trains HST ran throughout the day to mark its 40th anniversary. It was the first time that this formation of train operated on this line and proved to be very popular with visitors. The chosen charity for the day was Railway Children and in addition to receiving a percentage of the ticket sales, Railway Children also sold themed Christmas cards and other items on the day to help raise valuable funds for the charity.

Darren Ward, Head of Drivers for East Midlands Trains, who helped to mastermind East Midlands Trains involvement in the event, said, “I’m delighted to be able to present the cheque to the Railway Children after such a special day of fundraising. Our HSTs remain a firm favourite with many people, and along with the rest of the industry we wanted to celebrate their heritage and at the same time raise some valuable funds for one of our favourite charities.”

Dave Ellis, Corporate Partnerships Manager at Railway Children, said, “Railway Children are extremely grateful for the support generated and would like to thank everybody involved in helping to make the day the incredible success it was. Over the last 20 years we have reached more than 270,000 children, who would have otherwise been completely alone and vulnerable on the streets. It’s incredibly fitting that the HST, such an icon of the UK rail industry and so integral during the last 40 years, helped in creating such fantastic support for Railway Children. If I had to pick one single highlight of the day, other than the fantastic amount raised for Railway Children, It would have to be seeing Mr Tim Shoveller out on the ground getting his hands dirty!”

Phil Stanway, Director of Great Central Railway Nottingham, said, “We would like to thank East Midlands Trains for the support given to both ourselves and 125 Group that not only enabled us to round off our operating year in style with a tribute to 40 Years of the HST with 41001, 43048 and 43082 but also enabled us to raise quite a substantial amount for one of East Midlands Trains’ charity partners. This was all possible thanks to the hard work by East Midlands Trains and 125 Group along with our operations team to make it happen.”

Gary Heelas, Chairman of 125 Group, said, “It was great to see several hundred people enjoying themselves on the Great Central Railway (Nottingham) and joining in the celebrations of the 40th anniversary of 125mph HST services in the UK. We’re grateful to East Midlands Trains for the loan of 43048 and 43082 plus the two coaches, as well as the train crew who provided their services for free. We’re also thrilled that the Railway Children charity was able to join us and do some fundraising, including a raffle to which all those involved contributed to. We look forward to working with everyone again soon!”

For more information about Railway Children, visit railwaychildren.org.uk

125 Group at Warley Show This Weekend

43048 Loughborough GCRN 19th Nov 2016 ©125 Group

HSTs@40 – Thankyou!
Thanks to everyone who came along to the HSTs@40 event at Great Central Railway (Nottingham) last weekend, when visiting East Midlands Trains power car 43048 and two coaches operated a whole day of services with our own Prototype HST power car 41001 and matching Mk3s. ‘Paxman Power Super Saturday’ was a great success with crowds of enthusiasts and families enjoying Britain’s most successful train under a blue sky, at the same time raising funds for Railway Children. Huge thanks to East Midlands Trains for supporting and making the event possible.

Warley National Model Railway Exhibition
The roving 125 Group sales stand will be at the Warley Show this weekend Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th November. We will have a range of 125 Group and official HST40 merchandise available, including art prints, plus desk and wall calendars for 2017 featuring your favourite traction. Venue is the NEC Birmingham, located at Birmingham International railway station. The event features 90 layouts, over 150 trade stands, preservation societies, modelling demonstrations and a full size centrepiece loco display. We look forward to seeing you on Stand A40. Full details at the Warley Show website:  www.thewarleyshow.co.uk

Join 125 Group
We welcome new members who are interested in HSTs and wish to support our cause. Members exclusively receive our quarterly magazine ‘One Two Five’ (click for sample copy) packed with news stories about current mainline operations and our preservation progress. Membership is only £17 for 12 months or sign up to our regular donation scheme from £5 per month. Join up on-line:  www.125group.org.uk/group-membership

Paxman Power Super Saturday

41001 Soapy-suds ©125 Group

Join us tomorrow Saturday 19th November at Great Central Railway Nottingham for HSTs@40, a unique celebration of the Inter-City 125 High Speed Train. Featuring public runs by Prototype Power Car 41001 with its screaming Paxman Valenta engine, working trains together with East Midlands Trains’ Paxman VP185 powered power car 43048 ‘T.C.B. Miller MBE’.

Preserved 41001 has been receiving a wash and brush up ready for the big day. The visiting East Midlands Trains power cars and coaches will be running empty from Derby Etches Park depot on Saturday morning to GCRN Ruddington, and back again late afternoon. Schedules and links to live reporting courtesy of Realtime Trains below:

5Z01 07+34 Derby Etches Park – Hotchley Hill / Rushcliffe Halt which will continue to Ruddington:
www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/J72427/2016/11/19/advanced

5Z02 17+05 Hotchley Hill /Rushcliffe Halt which will start from Ruddington at 16+30:
www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/J72426/2016/11/19/advanced

A charity raffle will take place on-board, with exciting prizes including a cab ride on 41001, two 1st class tickets with East Midlands Trains, a first class ticket for a forthcoming Branch Line Society railtour plus many more!

Power Car 43082 will be on display at Ruddington and open for cab visits for most of the day. Funds raised from the event will benefit charities Railway Children and 125 Group. Services operate between 1000 and 1552, trains will feature Buffet 125 serving hot and cold food including bacon and sausage breakfast baps, hot dogs and burgers. Hot and cold drinks plus real ale will also be available. The full timetable is available at www.125group.org.uk with further details of the event at www.gcrn.co.uk

Special Guests and EMT Power Cars for GCRN HST40 event This Saturday

East Midlands Trains teams up with the Great Central Railway (Nottingham) to celebrate 40 years of the High Speed Train

  • Special event to take place on Saturday 19 November
  • East Midlands Trains working in partnership with the 125 Group and the Great Central Railway (Nottingham)
  • Event will help to raise some valuable funds for the charity Railway Children
  • Commemorative plaque to be unveiled on East Midlands Trains power car
  • Guest appearance by Stagecoach Rail Managing Director , Tim Shoveller, who will be helping to shunt trains for the day

East Midlands Trains will be teaming up with the Great Central Railway (Nottingham) and the 125 Group to mark the 40th anniversary of the High Speed Trains (HSTs).  A special event will take place at the Great Central Railway (Nottingham) on Saturday 19 November where a visiting East Midlands Trains HST will be doing trips throughout the day.

The HST, which will be made up of power car 43048, plus two coaches attached to a prototype power car (41001) and the 125 Group’s three Mk3 coaches, will be doing four round trips on the Great Central Railway (Nottingham) throughout the day. It will be the first time this formation of train has operated on this line and it is expected to be very popular with visitors.

The event will run from 10am until 5pm at the Great Central Railway (Nottingham), which is located on Mere Way in Ruddington and day tickets for the event are priced at £12. The chosen charity for the day is Railway Children and in addition to receiving a percentage of the ticket sales, Railway Children will also be selling railway themed Christmas cards and other items on the day to help raise valuable funds for the charity. Power car 43082 which carries the Railway Children name will also be on display at Ruddington and open for cab visits for most of the day.

Special Guests will include two retired engineers who were key to the development of the High Speed Train which was designed in the East Midlands back in the early 1970s: Ron Whalley produced the revolutionary brake control system which enabled the train to stop rapidly from 125mph, and Greg Lilleker who led the commissioning of the Prototype HST and mainline tests including a record-breaking 143mph run. In a ceremony at 1115 at Ruddington station, a plaque will be unveiled on the side of East Midlands Trains power car 43048 to commemorate the 40th year of HST operation.

In addition, there will be a special appearance from Tim Shoveller, Managing Director of Stagecoach Rail, who will be getting his hands dirty and helping to shunt trains around. Chris Wright, new Director of Engineering for East Midlands Trains and a selection of East Midlands Trains Managers and Drivers will also be volunteering on the day to help ensure that as well as helping to celebrate 40 years of the HSTs, the event raises as much money as possible for Railway Children.

Darren Ward, Head of Drivers for East Midlands Trains, who helped to mastermind East Midlands Trains involvement in the event, said: “Our HSTs remain a firm favourite with many people, and along with the rest of the industry we wanted to celebrate their heritage and at the same time raise some valuable funds for one of our favourite charities.

“We’re all looking forward to playing our part in Saturday’s event and it’s a great opportunity to get our Rail Managing Director, Tim Shoveller, out getting his hands dirty! We’d like to thank the Great Central Railway (Nottingham) and the 125 Group for letting us take part in such a great event.”

Gary Heelas, Chairman of the 125 Group, added: “We’re thrilled to team up with our good friends at East Midlands Trains again and are very grateful for the loan of 2 HST power cars and 2 Mk3 coaches for the day to join our own Mk3 fleet and prototype power car 41001.  “We’re also delighted that East Midlands Trains could also invite their nominated charity, Railway Children, along to do some pre-Christmas fund raising.   With five warm coaches, a full buffet service and two generations of Paxman engines as well it promises to be an excellent day.”

Dave Ellis, Corporate Partnerships Manager at Railway Children, said “We are so grateful for the invitation to be part of this exciting celebration and to share something more of our work with those involved. We would like to express our gratitude to East Midlands Trains, Great Central Railway (Nottingham) and the 125 Group for the wonderful opportunity to be involved in helping mark this important anniversary year.

“Over the last 20 years, we have helped over 270,000 vulnerable street children across East Africa, India and the UK and any funds raised at this event will go towards helping us continue this valuable work.”

For more information about the event visit www.gcrn.co.uk or www.125group.org.uk.