Reliveried 125 Group MkIIIs Return to Ruddington

125 Group’s three MkIII coaches have spent the past two months under the care of Wabtec Rail Scotland at Kilmarnock Works, where they have been professionally repainted using state of the art equipment. Tomorrow the vehicles are planned to return home to Great Central Railway (Nottingham) to be reunited with our matching Prototype High Speed Train Power Car 41001.

First Open 11074, Restaurant First Modular 10206 and Tourist Standard Open 12092 are all owned by 125 Group. The coaches are booked to be hauled south on Friday 12th February by locomotive 37884 under the charge of Rail Operations Group, with schedule 5Z37 0630 Kilmarnock Works – Hotchley Hill, via Carlisle 0846-51, Preston 1122-1204, Crewe 1343-1350, Nuneaton 1518-27, Leicester 15/54, Loughborough South Jn 16/10, continuing onto GCR(N). On arrival at Hotchley Hill / Rushcliffe Halt GCR(N) at 1651, the class 37 should hand over the shiny Mk3s to our power car 41001 for the last leg of the journey home to Ruddington. This is a link to the full live schedule, courtesy of our friends at: Realtime Trains . These are the planned timings, routing and traction, all of which can change at short notice on the day subject to operational constraints, and the train may run early or late!

This Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th February on GCR(N) will be the first workings of the historic power car and coaches together in matching 1970s livery, recreating the overall look of the original Prototype HST. For more details and to book tickets see . We are most grateful to the skilled team at Wabtec Rail Scotland Kilmarnock Works for their expert services, thank you also to ROG for their timely assistance!

Extra HST Dates for Half Term at GCR(N)

Prototype HST Power Car 41001 will be operating extra running days over the next two weekends at Great Central Railway (Nottingham), accompanied for the first time by our freshly repainted Mk3 coaches. The dates are Saturday 13th / Sunday 14th and Saturday 20th / Sunday 21st February, trains depart Ruddington at 1100, 1300 and 1500. The High Speed Train will be operating over these Half Term weekends while resident 8F steam locomotive 8274 is undergoing winter maintenance. Class 73 locomotive E6016 (73110) is planned to be at the other end of the train.

41001 & Mk3s (before repainting) crossing the River Soar on GCR(N) ©’43054′

These will be the first workings of the historic power car and coaches together in matching 1970s livery, recreating the overall look of the original prototype HST. The 125 Group Sales Stand will be open on-board along with Buffet 125 selling teas, coffees & snacks. For more details and to book tickets see the GCR(N) website

Our MkIII coaches 11074, 10206 and 12092 are planned to leave Kilmarnock Works this week, and be hauled south to Ruddington GCR(N) under the care of Rail Operations Group. We will try to provide details of the special movement in advance on the 125 Group web site, facebook page and on our twitter account. Thanks to Wabtec Rail Scotland and ROG for their timely assistance!

Mid-Norfolk Railway first visit for Prototype HST

The Mid-Norfolk Railway and 125 Group are proud to announce the first away heritage railway visit of restored Prototype High Speed Train power car 41001 will be to the Dereham to Wymondham line for the Spring Diesel Gala in early April 2016.

41001 hauling 125 Group’s Mk3s coaches in 2015 prior to repaint into Prototype HST Livery ©125 Group

With its distinctive original type Paxman Valenta engine, 41001 will visit the MNR with 125 Group’s three matching Mk3 coaches, representative of the type that it would have operated with in the 1970s, First Class 11074, Standard Class 12092, and Restaurant-Buffet car 10206. The coaches are currently being re-liveried in the original prototype blue and light grey colours and the visit to the Mid-Norfolk Railway will be the first opportunity to ride on the Prototype High Speed Train away from its home base at the Great Central Railway (Nottingham). 125 Group are the custodians of 41001 which is part of the National Collection.

Prototype HST at White Waltham near Maidenhead September 1975 ©Dave Hird

The diesel gala itself will run from Friday 1st to Sunday 3rd April with an intensive service operating on the 12 mile line between Dereham and Wymondham. There will be other visiting locomotives which will be announced nearer to the event including representatives from other heritage railways and mainline operators.

For event information and how to book tickets, see the MNR website:

The story of how 125 Group restored 41001 under ‘Project Miller’ can be found on our website:

Prototype HST Livery for 125 Group MkIIIs

125 Group is very pleased to announce that our three Mk3 passenger coaches are being painted into British Rail Prototype High Speed Train blue and grey livery to match Power Car 41001.

This professional work is being carried out for us by Wabtec Rail Scotland at Kilmarnock. First Class coach 11074, Second Class 12092 and Restaurant-Buffet 10206 are all being stripped down, prepared and repainted using state-of-the art equipment, to the same high standard as vehicles in use with mainline Train Operating Companies. As well as making the coaches look fantastic, this will provide good protection from the elements for many years in preservation, where we are not always blessed with the luxuries of covered storage space!

The Mk3s were formerly in faded Virgin and ‘one’ liveries from their previous lives as loco-hauled vehicles on the West Coast and Great Eastern mainlines. The coaches were purchased by 125 Group in 2015 to run with last remaining Prototype HST Power Car 41001 which is part of the National Collection and restored to working order by us under the ‘Project Miller’ banner.

Prototype HST at Didcot 1975 ©Dave Hird

41001 and its set of Mk3 coaches are based on the Great Central Railway (Nottingham) and will be making their first public runs together in matching livery from Ruddington on Saturday 26th March, recreating the look of the historic Prototype HST back in the 1970s, complete with authentic sound effects from the power car’s screaming Paxman Valenta engine. The train will be in regular use at GCR(N) during the coming year plus we also have exciting plans to visit some other preserved railways during 2016, look out for announcements very soon!

125 Group would like to extend our sincere thanks to the Wabtec Rail Scotland team at Kilmarnock for their excellent work and support.