125 Group is very pleased to announce purchase of an additional Mk3 coach, Restaurant First Modular (RFM) 10202. This kitchen / buffet vehicle will be used to support our operations at Great Central Railway Nottingham (GCRN), providing backup to our existing catering coach 10206.
10202 was previously owned by Arriva and, despite several years in storage at Long Marston, is in good condition, painted in British Rail blue/grey livery, with a fully equipped kitchen. The vehicle was built in 1976 as High Speed Train TRUK kitchen car 40504, part of the Inter-City 125 fleet and converted to locomotive hauled stock in the mid 1980s. The coach has arrived at our operating base GCRN Ruddington, following road transfer from Long Marston, courtesy of Reid Freight Services. 10202 joins our existing Mk3 fleet of 11074, 10206, 12087 and 12092 (all operational with working air-conditioning) plus 12065 and 12134 (under restoration).
The operational coaches run on regular passenger timetable days at GCRN powered by prototype HST power car 41001. All trains have a Buffet 125 service on-board, offering hot and cold drinks, wine and real ale, bacon and sausage baps, hot dogs, burgers and cold snacks from our existing RFM 10206, and served by our volunteers. We recently operated a private ‘Cream Tea’ charter for a 75th Birthday, with 60 covers. Once commissioned 10202 will provide backup and enable us to expand catering operations.
Some restoration is required to return 10202 to operational use, including full electrical and air systems testing and commissioning, replacement wheelsets, plus a deep external and internal clean. This work will be carried out by our volunteer engineering team at GCRN Ruddington, with activities taking place mostly in sidings out in the open.
Gary Heelas, Chairman 125 Group said, “Catering on board our rolling stock provides a valuable income for 125 Group and having a second RFM vehicle is vital to ensure we keep the money stream coming in should we have issues with one of the vehicles. We hope to have 10202 in traffic within a few months for visitors to GCRN at Ruddington.”
125 Group is raising money to build a HST Depot at GCRN Ruddington to enable maintenance and restoration of our existing fleet and future production power car acquisitions to be carried out under cover, protecting our vehicles and volunteers from the ravages of the weather. We welcome private donations and corporate sponsorship for the depot building. More information is available at www.125group.org.uk/depot