Farewell East Midlands Trains!

125 Group would like to say a massive Thank You to East Midlands Trains for 11 years of support and friendship, helping us grow from an enthusiast group into a fully fledged preservation group and registered charity, still the only one focused on the Inter-City 125.

Project Miller – our restoration of the National Railway Museum’s Prototype HST Power Car 41001 from static museum exhibit to fully working iconic treasure – received help from many companies in the railway industry but East Midlands Trains’ massive input hosting 41001 at Neville Hill and giving expert guidance was key. Three very special events ‘The Screaming Valenta’, ‘HSTs@40’ and ‘The Screaming Valentas’ all featured EMT HSTs running with 41001 at GCRN, providing entertainment to thousands of enthusiasts of all ages. Numerous other railtours, also run by volunteer EMT staff in their own time, took their HST fleet where no Inter-City 125 had gone before, all raising money for charitable causes including 125 Group, for which we are most grateful.

As East Midlands Trains draws to a close, we send best wishes to the excellent staff at all levels who are transferring to the new operator, starting a new exciting chapter with East Midlands Railway. We look forward to working with you in the future!

Happy 90th Birthday Sir Kenneth!

Illustrious Inter-City 125 Designer and 125 Group Honorary President Sir Kenneth Grange celebrates his 90th Birthday today (17th July).

Grange’s prolific work in Industrial Product Design over half a century has included Kenwood food mixers, Kodak cameras, Anglepoise lamps, Parker pens and the TX1 London taxi cab, however the creation which has given him most pleasure is the Inter-City 125. This instantly recognisable design has endured for over 40 years, its iconic nosecone becoming the defining image of an express train both in the UK and around the world in countries which have never seen a 125.

Knighted in 2013 for services to design, 125 Group was delighted in May 2014 when Sir Kenneth became our Honorary President, he has been actively supporting us on-board railtours and at fund-raising events ever since.

Inter-City 125 liveried power car 43002 which carries the name ‘Sir Kenneth Grange’ is on display at Swindon STEAM Museum today and tomorrow only (17/18th July), launching a six month exhibition of GWR High Speed Train nameplates. Withdrawn from service, 43002 is eventually making its way into retirement at York National Railway Museum.

Sir Kenneth Grange himself however, now in his ninth decade, is still practising and lecturing today. Happy Birthday Sir Kenneth from everyone at 125 Group!

EMT Hospitality for 41001

Today Saturday 29th June, Prototype HST Power Car 41001 is being hauled from Derby Etches Park Depot to Leeds Neville Hill Depot where repairs will be carried out to its Paxman Valenta engine which has a failed cylinder compression ring. We are extremely grateful to East Midlands Trains for moving 41001 and hosting this historic vehicle at their depots, enabling the power car to be worked on under cover, with highly skilled staff and great facilities on-hand.

41001 is the original High Speed Train Power Car, built in 1972 as the forerunner of the immensely successful Inter-City 125. Owned by the National Railway Museum, 125 Group became custodians in 2012 and restored the power car from static museum exhibit to full working order under ‘Project Miller’, much of this work was carried out at Neville Hill. Now based at Great Central Railway (Nottingham), before being taken out of traffic in early May, 41001 had been operating reliably for almost five years. Neville Hill was 41001’s home in 1973/4 during ECML high speed testing and has been at the centre of HST maintenance ever since. Sincere thank you to the kind people of East Midlands Trains, especially Derby Etches Park and Neville Hill Depots for their help.

41001 is being hauled by East Midlands Trains power car 43484 on transit move 5Z50 08+19 Derby Etches Park Depot to Neville Hill Depot via Derby, Duffield, Chesterfield 08/59, Beighton Jn 09/09, Swinton 09/55, Moorthorpe 10/03, Wakefield Westgate 10/17, Leeds 1040-1115, arriving Neville Hill Depot at 1124. The full live schedule courtesy of Realtime Trains can be found HERE.

These are the planned timings, traction and routing, all of which can change at short notice on the day subject to operational constraints, and may run early or late. 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 we can not be held liable. 125 Group is custodian of 41001 which is owned by the National Railway Museum.

For the detailed behind the scenes story of 41001 and our fleet of Mk3 coaches, join 125 Group and receive our exclusive quarterly magazine. Signing up to our monthly donation scheme includes free membership and really helps our preservation efforts. Join HERE.

Mk3s Running this Saturday at GCRN

This coming Saturday 29th June, 125 Group’s Mk3 coaches including INTERCITY livery freshly repainted TSO 12134 will be running passenger trains at Great Central Railway (Nottingham) which is also holding its annual Model Railway Show.

Services depart from Ruddington GCRN station, Yellow Timetable B operates on these dates:
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.
Traction will be Brush Type 2 Class 31 locomotive D5830 (31463) running top and tail with a locomotive from the GCRN home fleet. 125 Group’s sleek, air-conditioned Mk3 coaches provide comfortable seating, perfect for railway enthusiasts and all the family, whatever the weather.

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 complete route, which is almost 10 miles long, 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 the train, serving 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 serve you. The 125 Group sales stand will also be on the train, with latest merchandise available, including copies of our fantastic new book ‘Inter-City 125 Haynes Workshop Manual’.

Ruddington station (sat-nav postcode NG11 6JS) is the operating base for GCRN with car parking and bus links to Nottingham and Loughborough. This year’s Model Railway Show features the largest ever selection of visiting layouts plus a large range of trade stands. More details from GCRN available HERE.

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.

TGS 44000 for 125 Group

125 Group is very pleased to announce the latest addition to our fleet of Mk3 Coaches, Trailer Guards Standard (TGS) 44000. This HST vehicle will be used to support our passenger operations at Great Central Railway Nottingham (GCRN).

44000 has been very kindly donated by leasing company Porterbrook and following road transfer from storage in Long Marston, has arrived at our operating base GCRN Ruddington. Previously the coach was in service with Great Western Railway and wears their smart base green colour. The vehicle is in good internal and external condition.

44000 was built by British Rail Engineering Limited (BREL) at Derby Litchurch Lane Works. When Inter-City 125 was first introduced in 1976, the guard’s office was located in the power cars. TGS vehicles were later added to provide more passenger capacity and to give a smoother, quieter ride for the guard. 44000 is the original TGS, constructed in 1980 to lot number 30953, unique to this vehicle.

We are extremely grateful to Porterbrook for their generous donation. 44000 joins our existing Mk3 fleet of 10202, 10206, 12087, 12092 and 12134 which have all been restored to full working condition by our team of volunteers. Meanwhile, two of our existing vehicles are leaving the fleet. Mk3b FO 11074 is departing GCRN Ruddington for pastures new. Spares vehicle TSO 12065 has been stripped of all useful components and will shortly be disposed of. To find out more and keep informed as our fleet continues to evolve, join up as a member of 125 Group!

Help us achieve our goal of preserving a production Inter-City 125 power car complete with original Paxman Valenta engine. Sign up to our monthly donation scheme HERE, which includes free membership with four quality exclusive magazines delivered to you each year, detailing our preservation efforts and with informed articles on the current HST scene.