Prototype HST to Headline K&WVR Gala

We are delighted to announce, with thanks to the National Railway Museum, that Prototype HST Power Car 41001 will headline the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway Diesel & Mixed Traffic Gala, Friday 3rd to Bank Holiday Monday 6th May. The unique locomotive will work public services between Keighley and Oxenhope, hauling five of 125 Group’s Mk3 coaches, recreating the look of the Prototype High Speed Train. The Gala will also feature other guest locomotives and the K&WVR resident fleet, for more details see the K&WVR website HERE.

The Prototype HST was built in 1972 and during testing between York and Darlington in 1973 smashed the UK rail and world diesel speed record reaching 143.2mph. It was the fore-runner to the hugely successful InterCity 125 Production HST fleet which revolutionised long distance UK rail travel. 41001 is part of the National Collection, restoration was funded and carried out by 125 Group under the ‘Project Miller’ banner after the power car had spent over 25 years as a static exhibit at York NRM. The power car is fitted with a ‘screaming’ Paxman Valenta engine of the type which originally powered all HSTs.

As always, plans are made and this information is provided in good faith, however all arrangements in railway preservation are subject to alteration in the event of changing circumstances, for which 125 Group can not be held liable.

HST February Running at GCRN

SATURDAY 16th, SUNDAY 17th, SATURDAY 23rd, SUNDAY 24th FEBRUARY 2019

The Prototype High Speed Train will be running passenger services on these dates at Great Central Railway (Nottingham). Featuring historic HST Power Car 41001 which broke the world record for diesel trains in 1972 reaching 143mph, still powered by the ‘screaming’ Valenta original type engine. Coaches will be 125 Group’s sleek, air-conditioned Mk3s which provide comfortable seating with plenty of tables, perfect for railway enthusiasts and all the family, whatever the weather.

Services depart from Ruddington station, the GCRN Yellow Timetable B operates on these dates, new for 2019:
1045 and 1445 departures from Ruddington to Loughborough High Level, 90 minute return trip.
1245 and 1345 departures from Ruddington to Rushcliffe Halt, 50 minute return trip.

English Electric Class 20 locomotive D8154 / 20154 is planned to be working top’n’tail with 41001 on all four dates.

After departing from Ruddington, all trains reverse at Fifty Steps (no station) then run southbound along the former Great Central Mainline through the scenic Nottinghamshire countryside calling at Rushcliffe Halt station. The route continues through Barnstone Tunnel to Loughborough High Level, which has no station but affords a great view over the Midland Mainline and looks down into Brush Works, with locomotives for overhaul often visible.

Our traditional ‘Buffet 125’ will be open on-board, serving (subject to availability) a selection of delicious breakfast baps and other hot foods, cold snacks, hot and cold beverages plus alcoholic drinks including bottled ciders, beers and wine. Our volunteers will be pleased to advise on availability and delighted to serve you. The 125 Group sales stand will also be on the train with a wide range of merchandise available. We look forward to welcoming you on-board.

Ruddington station (sat-nav postcode NG11 6JS) is the base for Great Central Railway (Nottingham) with many heritage transport exhibits, miniature and model railways, car parking and bus links to Nottingham and Loughborough. Rushcliffe Country Park is also here and overlooks the line. Train tickets can be purchased on the day or from the GCRN website which has more information HERE.

EMT Power Cars to visit GCRN for ‘HSTs at 40’

This year is the 40th Anniversary of the introduction of the Inter-City 125 and to celebrate we are holding a ‘HST40’ event at Great Central Railway (Nottingham) on Saturday 19th November, featuring our own Prototype 41001, matching Mk3 coaches and visiting Production Power Cars courtesy of East Midlands Trains.

Passenger services will operate to a special timetable (to be advised), featuring both Paxman Valenta and VP185 power. Tickets are available on-line or on-board, reduced fares apply for 125 Group members on production of a valid membership card, 1st Class Upgrade available on the day, see www.gcrn.co.uk for further information.

‘Buffet 125’ on-board our Mk3 coach 10206 will be serving hot bacon rolls and burgers, hot and cold beverages plus alcoholic drinks including bottled beer. The 125 Group sales stand will also be open on the train, selling HST40 badges, artwork and other 125 merchandise. Thanks to EMT for their kind support. We hope you can join us and celebrate 40 years of the UK’s most successful train!

Happy 40th Birthday HST!

Power car 43002 leads HST 253 001 at Sydney Gardens, Bath Spa in 1976. ©Richard Clayton

40 Years Ago today, 4th October 1976 saw the launch of regular 125mph passenger running in the UK when the then new fleet of High Speed Trains was introduced on timetabled services between London Paddington, Bristol and South Wales. The streamlined Inter-City 125s transformed long distance rail travel, bringing new levels of comfort and shrinking journey times. Over the past 40 years the iconic HST has become a firm favourite with railway passengers, staff and enthusiasts and is still going strong!

To celebrate this important anniversary, with the support of the railway industry, 125 Group has sponsored the fitment of ‘40 YEARS’ plaques to power cars across the different fleets of HSTs which still operate front-line services countrywide today. A pair of the cast metal plaques has already been fitted to Grand Central’s power car number 43423, Cross Country’s 43321 and Network Rail’s 43013, soon to be joined by Virgin Trains East Coast and East Midlands Trains power cars.

Manufactured by Newton Replicas, the plaques are being fitted to power cars by depot staff at Heaton, Craigentinny and Neville Hill, with the support of Porterbrook Leasing and Angel Trains. At such time as they come to be removed, the plaques will return to 125 Group.

Grand Central CSA Andy Rose and HST Designer Sir Kenneth Grange with 42423 and 40 YEARS plaque ©125 Group

125 Group Chairman Gary Heelas said, “125 Group is pleased to join the railway industry in celebrating the 40th anniversary of the HST. We are grateful to all of the companies and staff involved who have enabled us to display our ‘40 YEARS’ plaques on their iconic trains, which will ultimately support our long term objective of preserving a production Inter-City 125 fitted with original Paxman Valenta engine.”

125 Group’s own preserved Mk3 catering vehicle RFM 10206 also carries an internally mounted ‘40 YEARS’ plaque. This former HST kitchen car TRUK 40507 now provides tasty hot food to travellers behind preserved prototype HST power car 41001 at Great Central Railway (Nottingham).

The ’40 YEARS’ plaque was first produced by graphic designer Paul Gentleman of Great Western Railway and is already mounted on pioneer production power car 43002 which was unveiled repainted in original Inter-City 125 livery at St.Philips Marsh depot open day in May this year. This power car was named ‘Sir Kenneth Grange’ at the same event after the designer of the HST’s iconic nosecone and now 125 Group Honorary President, 125 Group also sponsored these nameplates. Special thanks to GWR for allowing 125 Group to use their design and for playing a leading role in supporting HST40 celebrations this year. #HST40

Buy your own ’40 YEARS’ enamel pin badge and official HST40 merchandise from our on-line shop HERE.

HST 40th Celebrations at York NRM

43002 ‘Sir Kenneth Grange’ at York NRM ©125 Group

Today’s High Speed Train 40th Anniversary public event at York National Railway Museum saw hundreds of enthusiasts celebrate the birthday of the most successful British train ever – the Inter-City 125. Great Western Railway’s specially reliveried power cars 43002 in original ‘flying banana’ blue and yellow, and 43185 wearing ‘INTERCITY Swallow’ were the traction star attractions. Nose-cone designer and 125 Group Hon President Sir Kenneth Grange was VIP guest, in his speech thanking the engineers who made possible this iconic train. The ceremonial focus of this memorable day was the handover of a designated mounted ’40 YEARS’ plaque from GWR to the NRM. 125 Group is very pleased to have assisted with planning and was delighted to take part. Thank you to Great Western Railway for supporting such a successful day, thanks also to the National Railway Museum for hosting, and to everyone who came along to join in the party!

Stylish ’40 YEARS’ pin badges of the same design as worn by 43002 and friends, plus other official HST40 merchandise is available to buy from the 125 Group website shop HERE with all proceeds going towards our preservation efforts.

Sir Kenneth Grange signs his design! Filming in progress for BBC Arts at York NRM. ©125 Group