Ride the Prototype HST

41001 and Mk3s Fifty Steps GCRN ©125 Group

Prototype High Speed Train Power Car 41001 and 125 Group’s matching Mk3 coaches are back at their operating base Ruddington on the Great Central Railway (Nottingham) after yesterday’s transit move from Derby. Thanks to East Midlands Trains Etches Park Depot for looking after our HST and to Rail Operations Group for helping to return home the best looking train in railway preservation!

The preserved HST will be working passenger trains at GCR(N) on Saturday 28th May. Services will depart from Ruddington station (sat-nav postcode NG11 6JS) at 1030, 1215, 1400 and 1545. Trains will operate top ‘n’ tail with 41001 at the south end of the Mk3 coaches. Tickets are available to buy on the day or on-line from www.gcrn.co.uk which has further information.

*** UPDATE *** Brush Type 4, class 47 number 47292 is now confirmed allocated to work the set at the north end.

The GCR(N) route is just under 10 miles long, after departing Ruddington trains reverse at Fifty Steps then run southbound calling at Rushcliffe Halt station, continuing through the scenic Nottinghamshire countryside to Loughborough Viaduct, which has no station but affords a great view over Brush Locomotive Works (with class 73s and 92s often visible) and the Midland Mainline. Ruddington station is the base for GCR(N) with many heritage transport exhibits, and regular bus links to Nottingham mainline station. Rushcliffe Country Park is also nearby.

‘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 our latest commemorative artwork and mugs featuring production power car 43002 ‘Sir Kenneth Grange’. We hope you can join us and experience the wonderful sounds and smells of 41001’s original Paxman Valenta engine!

41001 and Mk3s head for GCR(N)

41001 and Mk3s Hotchley Hill GCRN ©125 Group

After the excitement of attending Bristol St.Philips Marsh open day, the Prototype HST Power Car and 125 Group’s matching coaches will be completing their journey home to Great Central Railway (Nottingham) on Monday 23rd May. 41001 and the Mk3s have been receiving expert attention from the professional folk at East Midlands Trains Etches Park depot.

Under the charge of Rail Operations Group, they are planned to be hauled by 37884 running as 5Z37 departing from Derby at 1510, heading up the Midland Mainline and onto GCR(N). The live schedule courtesy of Realtime Trains is available HERE.

The historic preserved High Speed Train will be running at Great Central Railway (Nottingham) on Saturday 28th May. Passenger services will depart from Ruddington station (sat-nav postcode NG11 6JS) at 1030, 1215, 1400 and 1545. Trains will operate top ‘n’ tail with 41001 at the south end of the Mk3 coaches and either 47292 or E6016 (73110) at the north end. Tickets are available to buy on the day or on-line from www.gcrn.co.uk.

43002 ‘Sir Kenneth Grange’

43002 ‘Sir Kenneth Grange’ at SPM ©125 Group

Today’s public open day at St.Philips Marsh depot was a fantastic success, celebrating 40 years of the High Speed Train. Pioneer Production Power Car 43002 was unveiled in original Inter-City 125 livery and was named ‘Sir Kenneth Grange’ by the man himself, designer of the iconic HST nosecone. Power cars from host Great Western Railway and five visiting operators, including Prototype 41001, made this a very special event marking the historic anniversary in style, at the same time raising funds for the charity Springboard Opportunity Group.

125 Group would like to extend heartfelt thanks to GWR for undertaking the complex planning and executing such a splendid show, and to all of the owners and operators of visiting power cars, locomotives and rolling stock for allowing their vehicles to take part. Congratulations to 125 Group’s Honorary President Sir Kenneth Grange for such a fitting and well deserved naming, and of course to everyone who bought tickets and came along today, braving the rain and enjoying the brief sunshine!

If you have a passion for Britain’s most successful train, join us as a member of 125 Group and help our mission to preserve a Production HST and reinstall the original Paxman Valenta engine. Sign-up online HERE.

Tomorrow Tuesday 3rd May the visiting HSTs will return north in non-passenger convoy, a summary of the planned workings is shown below 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.

0629 St.Philip’s Marsh to Etches Park formed of Virgin Power Car 43300 + NMT Power Car 43013 + Grand Central Power Car 43423 + Prototype Power Car 41001 + 125 Group’s Mk3s 11074+10206+12092 + Virgin Trailer First 41190 + East Midlands Trains Power Car 43048. http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/K96086/2016/05/03/advanced

Prototype Power Car 41001 and 125 Group’s Mk3s 11074+10206+12092 will be stabling at Etches Park Depot.

1330 Etches Park to Heaton, formed of Virgin Power Car 43300 + NMT Power Car 43013 + Grand Central Power Car 43423 + Virgin Trailer First 41190. http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/K96087/2016/05/03/advanced

Update – Virgin Power Car 43300 + Virgin Trailer First 41190 + NMT Power Car 43013 spent Tuesday night at Heaton depot and are now returning home on Wednesday morning as 5Z45 0631 Heaton to Craigentinny, running via Prestonpans, Millerhill, Suburban Line, Haymarket and Edinburgh. http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/O90281/2016/05/04/advanced

Multi-Coloured HST Convoy

HST Convoy ready to depart Rushcliffe Halt GCRN ©125 Group

The convoy of High Speed Train power cars and coaches of many liveries is currently on the last leg of its marathon journey, heading from Rushcliffe Halt GCRN for Bristol and tomorrow’s public open day at St.Philips Marsh depot, celebrating 40 Years of the Inter-City 125. 5Z43 is 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. You can follow its progress courtesy of Realtime Trains here: http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/K96085/2016/05/01/advanced

All on-line tickets for the open day are now SOLD OUT. A LIMITED number will be available on the day with CASH only please, from 10:30am and entry will be managed against capacity on the site. The event is being hosted by Great Western Railway in aid of Springboard Opportunity Group. For more information CLICK HERE.


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.