Bristol VIP Sir Kenneth Grange

Sir Kenneth Grange with 41001 ©125 Group

The 40th Anniversary of the High Speed Train will be celebrated in style this Bank Holiday Monday at Great Western Railway’s Bristol St.Philips Marsh public Open Day. Special guest will be Sir Kenneth Grange, designer of the styling and livery of both Prototype and Production HSTs back in the 1970s. This is a rare opportunity to see inside a major train maintenance depot and to meet the man behind the iconic 125 nosecone. Sir Kenneth is Honorary President of 125 Group and will be signing autographs in return for donations to the event charity Springboard Opportunity Group.

Many locomotives will be on view, including 41001 and HSTs of different operators, also at about 11.30 a special livery will be unveiled plus a naming which no 125 fan will want to miss. The non-passenger convoy of Virgin’s 43300 + Network Rail’s 43013 + Grand Central’s 43423 + Virgin’s First Class coach 41190 has arrived safely at Derby Etches Park and transit is expected to continue on Sunday as planned, see previous posting for details.

A few tickets are still available to buy on-line plus there will be a limited number on sale at the gate (cash only), for more information and to book tickets CLICK HERE.

HSTs Head for Bristol

41001 on GCR(N) ‘Mainline’ ©125 Group

High Speed Train power cars of many colours will be departing from all over the UK for Bristol over this weekend, heading for St.Philips Marsh public Open Day on Monday 2nd May.  Prototype 41001 and 125 Group’s Mk3 coaches are also being prepared for the trip from their home base at Ruddington Great Central Railway (Nottingham) to the Great Western Railway.

Tickets are still available for what promises to be a very memorable open day celebrating 40 Years of HSTs. The event is being hosted by Great Western Railway in aid of Springboard Opportunity Group.  For more information and to book tickets CLICK HERE.

This is a summary of the non-passenger convoys planned however please note, as always, this information is provided in good faith but these movements can change at short notice on the day subject to operational constraints, the trains may run early or late or be cancelled. Live schedule links are shown where available courtesy of Realtime Trains.

Saturday 30th April

0750 Craigentinny to Heaton, formed of Virgin Power Car 43300 + Virgin Trailer First 41190 + NMT Power Car 43013.

1339 Heaton to Etches Park, formed of Virgin Power Car 43300 + NMT Power Car 43013 + Grand Central Power Car 43423 + Virgin Trailer First 41190.

Sunday 1st May

5Z42 1619 Etches Park to Hotchley Hill (GCRN Rushcliffe Halt), formed of Virgin Power Car 43300 + NMT Power Car 43013 + Grand Central Power Car 43423 + Virgin Trailer First 41190 + East Midlands Trains Power Car 43048.

Prototype Power Car 41001 + 125 Group Mk3s 12092 + 10206 + 11074 are expected to depart from Ruddington at 1645 heading for Rushcliffe Halt, including a run-round at 50 Steps.

5Z43 1925 Hotchley Hill (GCRN Rushcliffe Halt) to Bristol St.Philips Marsh, formed of Virgin Power Car 43300 + NMT Power Car 43013 + Grand Central Power Car 43423 + Prototype Power Car 41001 + 125 Group Mk3s 12092 + 10206 + 11074 + Virgin Trailer First 41190 + East Midlands Trains Power Car 43048.

The convoy is planned to return north from Bristol early on Tuesday 3rd May.

St.Philips Marsh Open Day

High Speed Train Inter-City 125 ©Barry Johnson

St.Philips Marsh High Speed Train depot in Bristol opens its doors this Bank Holiday Monday 2nd May for a public open day Celebrating 40 Years of the Inter-City 125. Our Prototype power car and matching Mk3 coaches will be on display, along with Production HSTs from many of the current operators, plus varied diesel and steam traction. The unveiling of a special power car livery will take place at about 11.30am with a very special guest. This is a rare opportunity to get up close to your favourite trains, some with driving cabs open for visit.

The 125 Group sales stand will also be on site, along with other trade and food stalls, a free bus shuttle will run from Bristol Temple Meads station. We hope you can join us for what will be a very memorable event which no High Speed Train fan will want to miss! The open day is being hosted by Great Western Railway in aid of Springboard Opportunity Group.  For more information and to book tickets CLICK HERE.

Victorious Nene Valley

41001 125 Group Mk3s Wansford NVR 10Apr2016 ©125 Group

The Prototype HST Power Car and 125 Group’s matching Mk3 coaches have completed a victorious weekend of passenger running at the Nene Valley Railway Spring Diesel Gala, the first ever visit of 41001 to this scenic line. The gala was well attended by locomotives and passengers and the HST proved a very popular attraction, at times there were so many passengers on board that it was difficult to walk through to our ‘Buffet 125’ so apologies to anyone who missed out on the delicious bacon baps and burgers on offer! Highlights included running through to the delightful station at Yarwell Junction, and several pairings with class 50, 56 and 60 locomotives, including a few cases where the Screaming Valenta was left doing all the work – it was our pleasure! Thank you to all who came along to ride on the iconic Prototype HST and for the many compliments about our restoration of 41001 and the Mk3 coaches. The 125 Group team would like to offer special thanks to to all of the staff and volunteers at the Nene Valley Railway for their warm welcome and hospitality.

41001 and the Mk3s are today (Tuesday 12th April) leaving the NVR bound for home – Great Central Railway (Nottingham). The HST is expected to depart from Wansford soon after lunch as part of a non-passenger convoy hauled by locomotive 56098, running with schedule 5Z41 1445 Orton Mere-Hotchley Hill via Peterborough ECML (1505-1507), Melton Mowbray (15/59), Syston East Jn, Syston North Jn (16/20), Loughborough South Jn (16/34) and onto GCR(N). After arrival and shunting at Rushcliffe Halt, 41001 will haul the Mk3s the last leg of the journey back to Ruddington. The full schedule for the movement can be found courtesy of Realtime Trains here:  These are the planned timings, routing and traction, all of which can change at short notice subject to operational constraints, and the train may run early or late or be cancelled.

Valenta comes to Wansford!

Prototype High Speed Train Power Car 41001 and our matching Mk3 coaches have arrived safely at the Nene Valley Railway, ready to star in this weekend’s Diesel Gala where they will be working passenger trains on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th April. During Friday 8th the HST will be on display at Wansford, hopefully in the sunshine!

Start Valenta! 41001 at Wansford NVR 7th Apr 2016 ©125 Group

The gala promises great variety with visiting locomotives 31452, 47192, 47712, 50008, 56006, 56098 and 60066 all now arrived at Wansford, operating base of the NVR. However, the best looking train around 41001 with its screaming Paxman Valenta engine and sleek matching Mk3 coaches are ready to steal the show! Whatever your taste in traction we hope to see you on board the iconic HST, our Buffet 125 will be serving hot sausage and bacon baps and burgers, plus cider and real ale as long as supplies last. The 125 Group sales stand will also be on-board, join up as a member and help our mission to preserve a production Inter-City 125 and put a Valenta back inside that too!

For full information on how to get to the Nene Valley Railway, up-to-date special timetables and traction rosters, also to buy tickets on-line, see the NVR website.