Today marks 39 years since the start of HST squadron service on the Western Region. The new timetable of 4th October 1976 introduced regular 125mph running for the first time on British Rail, with HSTs slashing journey times offered by the existing locomotive-hauled trains.
Back in the 1970s, Industrial Designer Sir Kenneth Grange produced the styling of the Inter-City 125 and you can meet the man responsible for the look of this iconic train, this coming Saturday 10th October on-board the ‘First Devon and Exeter Explorer’ HST Special from London Paddington. This charity railtour in aid of First Devon and Exeter Prostate Cancer Fund will be taking a GWR HST into unusual territory, through to Buckfastleigh on the South Devon Railway and the freight branch to Heathfield.
Sir Kenneth, 86, who is Honorary President of 125 Group, will be available for a chat and to sign autographs in return for a donation to this worthy cause. The 125 Group sales stand will also be on-board with a range of HST related merchandise. Our friends at the Branch Line Society are handling bookings for the railtour, ‘pay on the day’ fares will be available, for full details see their website www.branchline.org.uk/events.php