‘The Grand Farewell’ Charity Railtour

125 Group is very pleased to support this forthcoming charity railtour marking the end of Grand Central operating High Speed Trains and celebrating ten years of the company. ‘The Grand Farewell’ on Sunday 17th December, will originate in the North East and head over the Pennines, covering routes which rarely see an Inter-City 125.

The Branch Line Society is delighted to announce an unusual HST charity charter train in conjunction with Grand Central (GC), traversing much sought-after curves, loops and sidings! The six-coach train will be powered by two GC liveried Class 43 power cars. There will be an on-train raffle with proceeds donated to 125 Group, whilst profits from the charter will be split evenly between Railway Benefit Fund and Railway Children. There will be a Buffet Car serving a wide range of sandwiches, drinks, snacks and light refreshments. At least two real ales are expected to be available for sale. First Class passengers will benefit from an at seat service with breakfast of porridge and a hot breakfast roll, lunch of soup and sandwiches and an afternoon cream tea, accompanied by complimentary tea, coffee, fruit juice, water and snacks throughout the day. Standard Plus passengers will travel in a declassified First-Class coach offering an enhanced passenger environment, additional space and a free voucher for a hot drink from the Buffet Car. Grand Central has been operating three HST sets since the commencement of passenger operations on 18th December 2007, and these will be returned to Angel Trains for re-deployment in the near future. This charter marks the end of the first chapter of operations and celebrates the 10th birthday of Grand Central. Subject to availability, free Wi-Fi will be available throughout the train. The 125 Group Sales Stand will also be on-board.

For full details of the railtour including planned route and to buy tickets on-line or by post, go to the Branch Line Society website:  www.branchline.uk/current-fixtures.php

Please note that all bookings are being handled by the Branch Line Society, if you have any queries about itinerary or ticketing arrangements then contact the BLS via the website link above, please do not contact Grand Central or 125 Group direct. 125 Group is very grateful to the railtour organisers for the donation of raffle proceeds towards our preservation fund – Thank you!

East Midlands Trains marks ten year charity partnership with Railway Children

The Pickering Paxman charity railtour at Whitby with power car 43082, staff and volunteers from Railway Children, EMT, BLS and 125 Group. Funds raised from the special train have since increased to £30,000! Photo ©Tony Shaw

Ten-year partnership between East Midlands Trains and Railway Children charity celebrated with special train service ‘The Pickering Paxman’ on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR)

Cheque presentation of £30,000 raised by the railtour made at London St Pancras to mark decade-long partnership

A special train on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway was recently chartered by East Midlands Trains to celebrate the tenth anniversary of its partnership with Railway Children, successfully raising £30,000 for the charity.

Staff and volunteers from East Midlands Trains, North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR), the 125 Group, Branch Line Society and Railway Children were out in force on Saturday 15 July to ensure the event’s success. The special service ran from Derby via Chesterfield, Sheffield and York on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR), from Grosmont to picturesque Pickering and then onward to Whitby. It is believed that this was the first time in Pickering’s history that the iconic High Speed Train has visited the ancient market town.

The route took in stunning scenery across Derbyshire and Yorkshire, where films such as Harry Potter and famous television shows like Heartbeat have been filmed. Once on the NYMR, there was a special rededication naming ceremony to mark the decade-long relationship between East Midlands Trains and Railway Children.

Jake Kelly, Managing Director for East Midlands Trains, said: “Everyone involved had been looking forward to the big day and the opportunity to raise money for such a good cause. All of the prep work we’d put in with our operations partner Direct Rail Services paid off as the day went like clockwork, and the support from the 125 Group, Railway Children and Branch Line Society was fantastic.”

Presentation of cheque for £30,000 to Railway Children at St.Pancras 1st August with (left to right) Ian Mortimer Branch Line Society Treasurer, Darren Ward East Midlands Trains Head of Drivers, Jake Kelly EMT Managing Director and Anuradha Chandran Head of Corporate Partnerships at Railway Children, not forgetting EMT power car 43046! ©Geoff Plumb

Anuradha Chandran, Head of Corporate Partnerships at Railway Children, said: “Railway Children were delighted to celebrate the 10th anniversary of our partnership and greatly appreciate the incredible support of East Midlands Trains, North Yorkshire Moors Railway, the 125 Group and Branch Line Society.“

All funds raised through our valuable partnership with East Midlands Trains and their customers will have a very real impact on the lives of vulnerable children in the UK, India and East Africa. Just £5.95 will allow us to feed a child in India three meals a day for a week and £25 would be enough to take a child off the streets in East Africa and get her home safely.”

Chris Price, General Manager of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, said: “Although we run a wide range of locomotives ourselves, it was an historic occasion to welcome two stunning class 43’s to our heritage line and a unique opportunity for passengers to experience the North York Moors National Park from a special High Speed Train service.”

Pickering HST railtour – Pay on the day Seats Available

43051 at Glaisdale on a railtour in 1989. Photo Copyright Richard Allen

Seats are still available on ‘The Pickering Paxman’ East Midlands Trains  / Branch Line Society HST charity special to Pickering and Whitby on Saturday 15th July. The railtour runs from Derby depart 05:55 / arrive back 21:19, Chesterfield depart 07:06 / (does not stop on return), Sheffield depart 07:21 / arrive back 20:13 and York depart 08:28 / arrive back 19:07.

Featuring unusual lines, plus haulage by shunting locos 08417 + 08899 on the first leg of the railtour from Derby onto Etches Park depot.

Standard class tickets are available to buy on the day from coach E on-board the train. Accompanied under 18s 50% reduction. No unaccompanied under 18s.

Full fare £81, Discount rate for BLS & 125 Group members / Railway Industry Staff / NRM Volunteers & Employees £69.

‘Mini Paxman’ Derby-Etches Park depot-Chesterfield one way only single £29

‘Wensleydale Paxman’ Mini Paxman plus travel to AND from York – handy if you are travelling to the Wensleydale Railway diesel weekend and loco 60044! £39

Join us for this historic first visit of a High Speed Train to Pickering on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, raising funds for the charity Railway Children, fighting for street children at home and abroad.

Cab Ride auction raises £2,000 for Samaritans!

East Midlands HST storms Duffield / Cab Interior – Main Image ©John Weaver

The East Midlands Trains Inter-City 125 VIP Cab-Ride charity auction closed today with a winning bid of £2,000! Massive congratulations to Philip the successful bidder and to ‘Samaritans’ who will be receiving this very useful charitable donation, helping their valuable work, check out their website HERE. Sincere thanks to everyone who has taken part, and to East Midlands Trains for making the wonderful prize available!

EMT HST Cab Ride & Nameplate up for grabs in Charity Auction

125 Group is delighted to promote these two East Midlands Trains charity silent auctions, with fantastic prizes!

CHARITY SILENT AUCTION – ITEM 1

An accompanied VIP footplate ride experience for two people on an East Midlands Trains HST. All money raised going to ‘Samaritans’. **Minimum reserve £400**

As an exclusive offer for 125 Group members, East Midlands Trains are offering the opportunity for a lucky bidder to experience the wonders of a VP185 powered High Speed Train footplate experience in exchange for a charitable donation to Samaritans; an amazing charity that works closely with the rail industry to provide training for rail industry employees to aid them in identifying and helping vulnerable members of the public.

The winning bidder and a friend/relative will be accompanied by the East Midlands Trains Head of Drivers who will act as your guide for the day whilst you enjoy a drivers eye experience in the cab a production HST at speeds up to 125mph. This is a rare treat that normally falls into a ‘Money can’t buy’ category… but for you it can, and comes with an added charitable feel-good factor! How much is this once in a lifetime opportunity worth to you? Or maybe you would like to win this as the ultimate present for a friend? Surely this is an opportunity not to miss?!

A mutually agreeable date will be formalised with the winning bidder, as will the format for the day regarding start time/location and services to be covered. Examples of previous charity footplate rides have involved a full return trip along the amazing Midland Mainline between Nottingham and London, but we will make this bespoke for you.

Bids should be submitted by email to darren.ward@eastmidlandstrains.co.uk stating ‘125 Group footplate ride’ in the header. The body of the email need only state the amount of the bid, contact details (Name, email, phone number) and 125 Group Membership Number. Anybody submitting a bid must be over 18 and have the funds available to pay into a ‘Just Giving’ site at the close of the auction. Children aged 8 and over are eligible to participate in the footplate ride, however they must be well behaved and accompanied by an adult friend/relative. Full details of requirements for the day will be explained in more detail prior to the event.

The highest bid as of 12.00 Friday 2 June will be the winner. Contact will be made directly with the winner via the details provided. Details of the day out will also be shared in a future issue of 125 Group members magazine ‘One Two Five’. Not a member of 125 Group, or has your membership expired? You can join up or renew on this website, it takes just a few steps, start by clicking HERE.


CHARITY SILENT AUCTION – ITEM 2

A genuine ‘Railway Children – The Voice for street children worldwide’ nameplate, carried by 43082 since 13 September 2009. All money raised going to ‘Railway Children’. **Minimum reserve £500**

This auction is open to all. 43082 was originally named ‘Railway Children – The Voice for street children worldwide’ during the Neville Hill open day on 13 September 2009. It has since been one of East Midlands Trains most travelled power cars, having visited Dereham as part of the ‘MidNorfolk Marauder’ railtour, Oxenhope as part of the ‘Worth Valley Wanderer’ railtour, and was on show at GCR-N Ruddington for the 40 year celebrations last November. In fact its association with one of the rail industry’s most loved charities means it is one of the most requested power cars for tours and events, and the attractive nameplate design has been admired by many.

In recognition of our continued relationship with the Railway Children charity, we have agreed to have some new names cast with the revised charity strap-line ‘Railway Children – Fighting for street children’ . This means we have to find a new home for the battle-worn originals, and one of these is on offer via this silent auction.

The winning bidder will be presented with the nameplate and a letter from East Midlands Trains confirming authenticity and ownership. We will also provide electronic copies of official photographs show-casing some of 43082s highlights whilst bearing the plate on offer. Bids should be submitted by email to darren.ward@eastmidlandstrains.co.uk stating ‘125Group 43082 nameplate’ in the header. The body of the email need only state the amount of the bid and contact details (Name, email, phone number). Anybody submitting a bid must be over 18 and have the funds available to pay into a ‘Just Giving’ site at the point of the close of the auction. Arrangements will need to be made for the winner to collect the nameplate from an East Midlands Trains location, or be willing to pay an additional cost for delivery (Please note that this is a weighty item!)

The highest bid as of 17.00 Saturday 15th July will be the winner. Contact will be made directly with the winner via the details provided in the email.


So what’s stopping you … ?  Get bidding!  Thanks for your support!