The East Midlands 125 Farewell – Thursday 13th May 2021

The Branch Line Society is delighted to announce, in partnership with East Midlands Railway and 125 GroupThe East Midlands 125 Farewell, raising funds for Railway Children and Railway Benefit Fund. Operated by EMR using Mark Three HST coaching stock, our special train is expected to feature two celebrity EMR Class 43 power cars, 43102 and 43274, of course subject to availability.  This is an exciting opportunity to celebrate the life of the high-speed train on the Midland Mainline, and their sterling work to revolutionise services since October 1982.

Our journey will take us from St Pancras International to Bedford and Kettering before taking the diversionary route via Corby and Manton to Leicester. There will be an opportunity for photographs at Leicester before we reverse and return to London once again via Corby.

There will be a charity raffle with a range of fantastic prizes, with all proceeds going to 125 Group. We hope to be able to provide a number of ‘money can’t buy’ auction items too!  

Seating will be allocated in line with Government social distancing guidelines and EMR Coronavirus Travel Information procedures, details of which can be found here: 

https://www.eastmidlandsrailway.co.uk/covid-19

Where possible, families, household groups and those in ‘social bubbles’ from separate households should make a single booking for their entire party. Please rest assured we are committed to creating a safe and welcoming environment on board, whilst adhering to all Public Health regulations. Our team will be following an enhanced programme of cleaning for your safety.

The Buffet Car will not be available but passengers are welcome to bring food and drink on board.  There are a wide range of retail outlets open at St Pancras International.


Our expected mid-afternoon arrival time back in to London will allow for a relaxing journey home, having celebrated the end of an era with our friends from East Midlands Railway.

Please note that all times and routing are indicative until confirmed by Network Rail. Final routing and timings will be confirmed two days before travel and will be enclosed with your e-ticket. As part of our procedures, part fares and pay on the day fares will NOT be available.

Our route in detail:

St Pancras International P1 (PU 10.21) – Bedford – Wellingborough P1 – Kettering P2 – Corby (avoid platform) – Syston North Jn – Leicester P4 (12.05 – 12.19 photo stop / RM) – Syston East Jn – Corby P1 – Kettering P1 – Wellingborough P4 – Bedford – St Pancras International P2 (SD 14.19)

Fares: £43 Standard Class, £125 First Class.

Book here

Mission Complete (Well, Almost…..)

125 Group is delighted to announce the acquisition of a further two MK3 HST trailers, one to join the permanent fleet and one as a spares donor. This brings our HST MK3 fleet to a permanent total of eight vehicles.

The make up of this is a TGS (44000), 3x TS (42111, 42119, 42337), 2x TF (41057 and 41067, which has a disabled toilet), plus 2x TRFB (40730 and 40741). This allows us flexibility in both extra catering capacity and redundancy of the restaurant/buffet vehicle itself.  TS 42120 is anticipated to become the spares donor, but this could be subject to change based on full condition assessments.

Further to this, we have some more exciting news in that we can confirm purchase of HST power car 43044 from Porterbrook. The Trustees would like to extend their thanks to two particular long serving group members who have very generously funded the purchase of this power car – they are both highly dedicated to the cause and 125 Group owes them huge gratitude – thank you!

125 Group’s 43044 stands in the Power Car bay at Neville Hill depot on 18th February 2021

The purchase of 43044 will help us achieve one of our famous core objectives, to own a power car that is powered by the original Paxman Valenta Engine, with a Marston Cooler group. This will join our existing two VP185 power cars, allowing us to show a significant portion of the HST story, but not all of it quite yet – if you’re an MTU fan, you’ll need to wait a little longer!

We would like to extend our sincere thanks to Porterbrook for again supporting us in our aims – there is no doubt we would not have succeeded without their generous support and help. We also extend thanks to our friends at East Midlands Railway for assisting us in the handover of 43044.

Preservation Update – November 2020

Despite a number of challenges during 2020 (including the dreaded COVID-19), 125 Group have been fortunate in being able to continue working towards our aim of preserving HST Powercars and MK3 coaches.

43048, 42111, 40730, 41057 & 43089 at Leicester UKRL

Thanks to the generosity of Porterbrook, we took ownership of 43089 at the end of August. 43089 moved to Leicester and went on temporary hire to DATS in September. This was followed by the transfer of 43048 at the beginning of October. While this was happening, we were also able to secure additional HST MK3 trailers from Porterbrook – TF 41057, TS 42111 and TFRB 40730. These trailers moved to Leicester to join 43089 in early November. 43048 has since joined them, being moved from temporary storage at Long Marston on 18th November.

Our plans for keeping these vehicles safe and operational during the current situation of lockdowns and other COVID restrictions are currently being worked on. Members always get our preservation updates first via email or our OneTwoFive members magazine. You can join online here by direct debit or one-off annual payment to ensure you get the latest 125 Group news first!

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