HST Ready for Spring Visits

The Prototype High Speed Train Power Car and our matching coaches are ready for their exciting Springtime visits around the UK. 41001 and Mk3s 11074, 10206 and 12092 have been undergoing routine maintenance and examination at their home base of Ruddington on the Great Central Railway (Nottingham) and are ready to go on-tour.

41001 & 125 Group Mk3s GCR(N) 14th Feb 2016 ©John Bagshaw

Mid Norfolk Railway  –  Friday 1st to Sunday 3rd April 2016    The very first away visit for 41001 and matching three coaches is to the MNR Spring Diesel Gala where they will be the stars of this diesel traction packed 3 day event, working passenger services through the beautiful rolling Norfolk countryside between Wymondham Abbey, Dereham and Hoe. Highlights include operation with the MNR’s own Mk3s making a set of 5 similar vehicles, Saturday and Sunday breakfast trains plus on Friday very special calls at the private Hardingham station complete with run-bys passing the splendidly restored signal box – remember to wave to the signalman! ‘Buffet 125’ will be open for refreshments and hot food at selected times. For more details and to purchase tickets check out the MNR website.

Nene Valley Railway  –  Saturday 9th & Sunday 10th April  2016    We are pleased that 41001 and Mk3s are planned to visit the NVR Diesel Gala, operating passenger services between Yarwell, Wansford and Peterborough NV on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th only. This event features a wide range of visiting locomotives, plus hot food and draught ales will be available from the on-board ‘Buffet 125’.  For full information and to buy tickets, see the NVR website.

St.Philips Marsh Open Day  –  Bank Holiday Monday 2nd May 2016    Prototype power car 41001 is the fore-runner of the enormously successful production Inter-City 125 fleet which is now celebrating 40 years in traffic. Great Western Railway are marking this historic milepost by hosting an open day at Bristol St.Philips Marsh depot, featuring a gathering of locomotives and power cars from operators far and wide, plus pioneer 41001 which will be a static exhibit. Very special power car naming and livery unveiling events make this an open day not to be missed! For more information and to purchase tickets see the Open Day website.

The 125 Group Sales Stand will feature on all of the above visits, come along and speak to the team, purchase HST related merchandise and join up as a member (you can do this on-line too). 41001 and the Mk3 coaches should be departing from Ruddington GCR(N) this Thursday 31st March on the first leg of their tour. We will endeavour to provide advance movement gen on this website and 125 Group facebook and twitter.  PLEASE NOTE : All dates and information supplied in good faith, but as always, may be subject to alteration due to operational circumstances. We can not be held responsible for losses resulting from cancellation of operating days or changes to this programme.

Prototype HST Reincarnated

This weekend for the first time in preservation, Prototype HST Power Car 41001 worked passenger trains coupled to our Mk3 coaches freshly repainted in matching livery, recreating the look of the original 1972 High Speed Train, running in 2016 at Great Central Railway (Nottingham). Everyone at 125 Group is delighted with the result, we hope you agree our retro-image train looks fantastic!

41001 125 Group Mk3s Barnstone Tunnel GCR(N) 1100 Ruddington to Loughborough 14Feb2016 ©Jason Cross

Power Car 41001 and Mk3 coaches First Class 11074, Restaurant Buffet 10206 and Standard Class 12092 operated the GCR(N) timetable on Saturday and Sunday, conveying passengers between Ruddington and Loughborough Viaduct, with classic electro-diesel locomotive E6016 (73110) providing traction for the opposite direction. The coaches had arrived back at GCR(N) on Friday evening following top quality repainting by Wabtec Rail Scotland at their Caledonia Works in Kilmarnock. 125 Group would like to thank everyone who has sent warm words and congratulations, plus a very special thank you to those who have made transformation of the Mk3s and return to Ruddington possible.

41001 is part of the National Collection and is on long-term loan from the National Railway Museum to 125 Group. This last remaining Prototype Power Car was restored to working order by 125 Group between 2011 and 2015 under the ‘Project Miller’ banner, funded by donations and with expert help from kind folk and companies in the railway industry. 125 Group is owner of the Mk3 coaches which we purchased in 2015 to run with 41001. Our long-term aim is to preserve a production Inter-City 125, powered by the original Valenta engine, and to this end we have acquired many major components. We welcome new members and volunteers who share our aims, you can join up on this website and help our cause by subscribing to our Direct Debit scheme which includes free membership and our exclusive quarterly magazine www.125group.org.uk/donate.

The short video clip included here was filmed inside the engine room of 41001 on 14th February and captures the power of Valenta engine S508 opening up along the line.

To sample this for real 41001 and the Mk3s will be running again this coming weekend Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st February at GCR(N), on public passenger trains departing from Ruddington at 1100, 1300 and 1500. All are welcome, tickets can be purchased on the day, we hope to see you! For more details see the GCR(N) website: www.gcrn.co.uk  We have many other operating dates planned, including visits to other heritage railways, see this page of our website for more information www.125group.org.uk/where-to-see-us-in-2016

41001 125 Group Mk3s Stanford Cutting GCR(N) 1300 Ruddington to Loughborough 14Feb2016 ©James Trebinski

Prototype Livery MkIIIs Ready for Passengers

125 Group is pleased to confirm that our freshly repainted shiny Mk3 coaches have safely arrived back at the Great Central Railway (Nottingham). Today the vehicles were hauled by locomotive 37884 from Kilmarnock via the West Coast Mainline to Rushcliffe Halt on GCR(N), from where Prototype HST Power Car 41001 took over, including a run-round at Fifty Steps, arriving home at Ruddington at 1825. 

41001 Mk3s Fifty Steps GCR(N) 12Feb2016 ©125 Group

The coaches have been painted in striking 1970s livery to match 41001, recreating the look of the original Prototype HST. 125 Group would like to publicly thank everyone at Wabtec Rail Scotland Caledonia Works for their skilled work and support.

37884 125 Group Mk3s 5Z37 Dumfries 12Feb2016 ©125 Group

41001 and our Mk3 coaches will be running this weekend Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th February at GCR(N), on public passenger trains departing from Ruddington at 1100, 1300 and 1500. All are welcome, tickets can be purchased on the day, we hope to see you!  For more details see the GCR(N) website: www.gcrn.co.uk

We also have many other operating dates planned, see our website for more information. www.125group.org.uk

41001 Bound for Bo’ness!

Engine Start! ©James Trebinski

More exciting news! Prototype Power Car 41001 will be one of the star attractions at the Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway Summer Diesel Gala, 22nd-24th July. The Valenta scream returns to Scotland!

More details will appear here nearer the time plus check out  www.srpsdiesel.co.uk

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: www.mnr.org.uk/category/events

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