The Screaming Valentas – Saturday 17th November 2018

A special, low cost railtour with a difference as 125 Group partners with the Branch Line Society and East Midlands Trains (EMT) to take a newly refurbished EMT (ex-Grand Central) six coach HST set from Derby to the Great Central Railway (Nottingham), using the connection off the mainline at Loughborough South Jn.  Traction is expected to be two EMT buffer fitted powercars including 43423 ‘VALENTA 1972-2010’ as far as Ruddington, where one EMT power car will be removed in favour of 125 Group operated prototype powercar, 41001.

First Class passengers will benefit from inclusive hot drinks and light snacks and free Wi-Fi, whilst a range of drinks and light refreshments will be available to purchase from the Buffet Car, including a choice of real ales.  The charter will be raising funds for 125 Group in support of their recently launched HST Depot Appeal.  See www.125group.org.uk for details.  A 125 Group and Branch Line Society sales stand will be provided, with iconic industrial designer Sir Kenneth Grange on hand to autograph your souvenirs and memorabilia.  As usual, a charity raffle will take place with some fantastic prizes on offer.

Timings and routing are provisional and now submitted to Network Rail for validation:

Derby P6 (pick up 08.29) – Chaddesden Sidings (carriage roads 1, 3 or 4 requested) (reverse) – Pilot Line – Derby P7/service platform – Pilot Line – Loughborough South Jn (reverse) – Rushcliffe Up Platform – 50 Steps (reverse) – Ruddington Fields P1

Whilst at GCR(N) a number of unusual moves are planned to include Ruddington Relief Road, Rushcliffe Up Loop in full including use of Rushcliffe bay platform, both sides of 50 Steps Loop and both main platforms at Rushcliffe Halt.

Ruddington Fields P1 – 28 Points (reverse) – Ruddington Fields P2 (reverse) – 50 Steps (reverse) – Loughborough South Jn – Leicester Up & Dn Slow – Knighton Jn (reverse) – Leicester P1 (set down time:TBC) – Up & Dn Goods (Humberstone Road) – Toton High Level Goods – Ilkeston Jn (reverse) – Toton Centre – Derby P5 (set down 18.38)

FARES:

Standard Class  £41.01

First Class  **FULL**

Under 18s must be accompanied by an adult and benefit from a £20.00 reduction in all fares.

TO BUY TICKETS:

All ticket bookings are being handled by the Branch Line Society. To secure your place, head over to their website here: https://www.branchline.uk/current-fixtures.php

Please do not contact East Midlands Trains directly about this railtour, they are not selling tickets. Please direct all enquiries to the Branch Line Society.

We look forward to welcoming you on-board. Thank you for your support!

Rare Class 08 Loco(s) and Etches Park visit added to Pickering Paxman HST Railtour

The first HST visit to the Whitby branch took place on 23 April 1988, the railtour is seen arriving at Battersby on its outward run with 43118 leading. Photo Copyright Richard Allen

With huge thanks to East Midlands Trains and the Etches Park depot team, we are delighted to announce an exciting addition to the Pickering Paxman HST “Railway Children” charity charter on Saturday 15 July 2017.

Departing at an earlier estimated time of 05.30, our 8-car HST will be hauled from Derby station on to Etches Park depot by 2 x Class 08 (both under power). EMT’s own 08899 has been fully confirmed …

*** UPDATE … and use of 08417 is now also CONFIRMED with thanks to East Midlands Trains, LORAM and Network Rail. Both 08899 and 08417 will be crewed and both locomotives will be under power. ***

It is booked that the charter will traverse the old Carriage Wash Road, which has not featured in the various recent BLS charters at Etches Park. The HST set will then return by taking the Pilot Siding (not previously covered) and the Goods Lines including St Mary’s crossover (avoiding Derby station), under its own power, before picking up at Chesterfield Platform 3 at 06.52 (estimated) , then proceeding to Sheffield as booked.

For those who just wish to travel on this short addition, a special advance single fare Derby – Etches Park depot – Chesterfield of £29.00 applies.

For those who wish to travel on the shunters and then on to York (and return) as they are heading to the Wensleydale Railway event (where a Class 60 is expected to feature), a special advance fare of £39.00 applies.

Finally, standard class fares remain available for the entire journey including the shunter special and the journey to North Yorkshire Moors Railway and Whitby (platform 2). First class dining is fully sold out. Those who have already booked will be able to travel on the shunter special at no extra charge. Any passengers who may wish to have an extra hour in bed rather than enjoy the rare line and rare locos will be permitted to travel with the compliments of East Midlands Trains on the 06.27 Meridian service from Derby to Chesterfield platform 1, arriving at 06.45, where they can make the short transfer to platform 3 for the 125 Special.

Note that our visit to Whitby is now AFTER our visit to Pickering.

The updated booking form is available, click HERE.

Bound for Craigy – Record Breaking Fundraiser!

Virgin Trains Power Car 43300 leads the ‘Bound for Craigy’ charity railtour around York Avoiding Line past the Regional Operations Centre, Saturday 18th March 2017. ©Robin Patrick

In celebration of the 40th anniversary of the iconic High Speed Train, the Branch Line Society marked this milestone by chartering a special train, in conjunction with Virgin Trains East Coast (VTEC), 125 Group and the Preserved Locomotive Enthusiasts Group. Over £43,000 was raised on the day for the charity Railway Children, which supports children at risk on the streets in the UK, India and East Africa who run away from home or are forced to leave due to poverty, violence or neglect.

Starting from the newly renovated Kings Cross station, the special Inter-City 125 chartered by the Branch Line Society took rail fans from London to Edinburgh and back on March 18, 2017. Ticket-holders travelled in style, enjoying an array of food and drinks as they journeyed along the famous East Coast Main Line, also taking in the Blyth and Tyne route plus very unusual visits to Bounds Green and Craigentinny maintenance depots.

Those on board the nine-coach High Speed Train, included its original designer and godfather of British modernism Sir Kenneth Grange. Not just train designer royalty, Sir Kenneth is also the designer of the celebrated Kenwood Mixer, the 21st century revamp of the Anglepoise lamp, and the classic ‘Venner’ parking meter, not forgetting Kodak’s Instamatic camera. Sir Kenneth is now Hon President of 125 Group, the enthusiasts’ society which aims to preserve one of the iconic trains when they are finally taken out of service.

Sir Kenneth said: “Four decades on, the high speed train remains the backbone of the rail network and has had a major impact on the general life of most people in this country. I think it’s still fair to say that the Inter-City 125 remains one of my proudest achievements and it has given me a great deal of pleasure to share this anniversary with so many other HST fans for such a good cause.”

Kev Adlam, Fixtures Secretary, Branch Line Society, said: “Thank you to everyone from Virgin Trains, 125 Group, PLEG, East Midlands Trains, Network Rail and Rail Gourmet that made Saturday’s special train such an interesting, enjoyable and record breaking railtour.

“At over 800 miles it was the longest distance travelled by a one day railtour in the Society’s 62 year history, and we believe the new UK record holder for a one day charity railtour in terms of funds raised. The atmosphere on board was amazing, and for the total revenue to be over £43,000 is red hot.”

Bound for Craigy Cheque Presentation at Newcastle, (from left): VTEC Edinburgh Driver Ross Clark, VTEC Newcastle Driver Hugh Cowan, Dave Ellis (Corporate Partnerships Manager, Railway Children), Sir Kenneth Grange, David Maidment (Founder of the charity Railway Children), Katie Mason (Events Manager, Railway Children).

Dave Ellis, Corporate Partnerships Manager at Railway Children, said: “The High Speed Train stands as testimony to the excellence of British Rail engineering and the genius of the industrial designer Kenneth Grange who created the aerodynamic front cab and nosecone of the Inter-City 125, giving the train its iconic shape. 

“It has been a fantastic experience to celebrate the 40th anniversary of one of the world’s most successful trains. Thanks to the support of the Branch Line Society, Virgin Trains, 125 Group, PLEG, East Midlands Trains, Network Rail, Rail Gourmet and enthusiasts, over £43,000 has been raised to help us in our fight to change the lives of street children, which is a huge achievement.”

Further information available through the Railway Children press office on 07932 725267 or andrew@acolliscommunications.com

About Railway Children
Railway Children is a leading children’s charity fighting for vulnerable children who live alone at risk on the streets, where they suffer abuse and exploitation. In the UK, society often denies their existence, and in other countries the problem is so prevalent that it has become ‘normal’.

Children and young people run away or are forced to leave home where they suffer poverty, violence, abuse and neglect. They find themselves living on the streets because there is nowhere else to go and no one left to turn to. The problems they face on the streets are often even worse than those they endured at home. Every day we fight to change their story.

Railway Children races to reach children as soon as they arrive on the streets and intervene before an abuser can. Our pioneering work in the UK, India and East Africa enables us to get to street children before the streets get to them. 

For more information on how you can get involved, visit www.railwaychildren.org.uk