HST 41001 Reaches The North Pole

Prototype HST Power Car 41001 at Dereham ready to depart with The Polar Express™ bound for The North Pole. ©125 Group

Prototype 41001 has broken new ground for High Speed Trains by reaching The North Pole. The historic power car hauled The Polar Express™ on the Mid-Norfolk Railway taking children and families from Dereham all the way to The North Pole where Santa was waiting to greet them.

HST Power Car 41001 is part of the National Collection, restored by 125 Group and is helping out on the MNR over the Festive Season. As well as pulling the 9 coach train on selected dates, the power car’s 850 Volt DC electric train supply is keeping the carriages warm and air-conditioned for all the excited travellers. 125 Group drivers and technical staff have also been provided to look after the national treasure.

125 Group is really pleased to be supporting the Mid-Norfolk Railway for their The Polar Express™ train ride operations this Christmas. Travel is strictly limited to Mid-Norfolk Railway The Polar Express™ customers only and no on the door passenger fares will be obtainable. Tickets MUST be booked in advance on the Mid-Norfolk Railway website here: https://midnorfolkthepolarexpressride.com

Screaming Valentas Success!

Volunteers from EMT, BLS, GCRN and 125 Group at Ruddington GCR(N) with 43467 and 41001 ‘The Screaming Valentas’ railtour, 17Nov2018. ©Richard Gennis

A massive Thankyou from 125 Group to everyone involved in making ‘The Screaming Valentas’ railtour such a success!

On Saturday 17th November, East Midlands Trains 6 coach HST with power cars 43423 ‘VALENTA 1972-2010’ and 43467 brought 292 passengers from Derby to Ruddington where Prototype Power Car 41001 replaced 43467 for a grand tour of the Great Central Railway (Nottingham) network. Lesser used lines covered included Rushcliffe Halt Up Loop and Bay Platform where HST Designer and 125 Group Hon President Sir Kenneth Grange joined the train, chatting to passengers and signing autographs.

We are immensely and sincerely grateful to all of the volunteers and staff teams from East Midlands Trains, Branch Line Society, Great Central Railway (Nottingham) and Network Rail for their fantastic efforts and support which made Saturday happen. Hours of preparation and detailed planning through to hard graft delivering the service on the day, giving up their own time to raise over £20,000 for our 125 Group HST Depot Appeal. Huge thanks also to those who donated and bid for some very special auction and raffle prizes, and to everyone who bought tickets to ride ‘The Screaming Valentas’, we hope you enjoyed this adventure as much as we did and look forward to the next one!

The grand total raised by ‘The Screaming Valentas’ for our HST Depot Appeal will be announced soon. We appreciate all contributions, please donate HERE.

‘The Screaming Valentas’ railtour at Loughborough High Level GCRN with Sir Kenneth Grange, HST designer and 125 Group Hon President, in the driving cab, 17Nov2018. ©125 Group

HST 41001 Running 29th & 30th Sept at GCRN

SATURDAY 29TH SEPTEMBER – Yellow Timetable – 1030, 1215, 1400 & 1545 departures from Ruddington
SUNDAY 30TH SEPTEMBER – Blue Timetable – 1100, 1300 & 1500 departures from Ruddington

Historic Prototype HST Power Car 41001 and 125 Group’s sleek Mk3 coaches will be running passenger trains on these dates at Great Central Railway (Nottingham). Services depart from Ruddington station to Loughborough Viaduct and back, times as shown above. Our HST has stepped in at short notice to cover for other unavailable steam and diesel traction, as usual we make every effort to run services but this is subject to availability on the day. Tickets available to buy on the day.

The GCR(N) route is just under 10 miles long, after departing from Ruddington trains reverse at Fifty Steps (no station) then run southbound along the former Great Central Mainline calling at Rushcliffe Halt station, continuing through the scenic Nottinghamshire countryside to Loughborough Viaduct, which has no station but affords a great view over the Midland Mainline and looks down into Brush Locomotive Works, with class 43s, 73s, 92s and 319/769s often visible.

Buffet 125 will be open on-board our Mk3 coach RFM 10206, selling snacks, hot and cold beverages plus alcoholic drinks including wine and bottled beer, our volunteers will be pleased to serve you. 41001 is powered by the original screaming Valenta type engine and our comfortable carriages are fully heated and air-conditioned, perfect whatever the weather. The 125 Group sales stand will also be on the train and trustees will also be on-hand to talk about our exciting HST Depot Appeal. We look forward to welcoming you on-board.

Ruddington station (sat-nav postcode NG11 6JS) is the base for GCRN with many heritage transport exhibits, miniature and model railways, car parking and bus links to Nottingham and Loughborough. Rushcliffe Country Park is also here and overlooks the line. More information on the GCR(N) website.

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 confirmed:

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 17:41) – Up & Dn Goods (Humberstone Road) – Toton High Level Goods – Ilkeston Jn (reverse) – Toton Centre – Derby P5 (set down 18:53)

FARES:
Standard Class  **FULL**
First Class  **FULL**
Under 18s must be accompanied by an adult and benefit from a £20.00 reduction in all fares.
All ticket bookings are being handled by the Branch Line Society.
https://www.branchline.uk/current-fixtures.php

The railtour is now FULLY BOOKED and regretably we can take no further bookings.

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.

Thank you for your support!

Depot Construction Essential for 125 Group Acquiring HST

Prototype HST with Mk3 catering vehicle 10202 on test at Ruddington GCR(N), 08/09/2018. ©125 Group

125 Group confirmed today (11th September) that it had taken its first steps in readiness for obtaining a High Speed Train (HST). The announcement was made as the group confirmed that £37,448.58 has so far been raised for its HST Depot Appeal. The group needs to raise £100,000 to build a HST Depot at their base at Ruddington on the Great Central Railway (Nottingham).

With the group over a third of the way towards meeting the £100k price tag, building companies have been engaged and plans are currently in development. Production HST power cars are likely to become available in the near future, and 125 Group needs to construct a depot building to properly house and maintain these important vehicles before they are acquired.

The structure is needed to protect their growing fleet from the elements, as well as provide a dedicated under-cover space for volunteers to carry out preservation work. 125 Group recently purchased Mk3 catering vehicle 10202 from Arriva. The carriage is being restored for use on service trains at GCR(N) and has already successfully run over 140 miles on test. 10202 will be used when regular buffet 10206 is under maintenance, profits from on-board catering are a valuable part of the group’s income.

Gary Heelas, 125 Group Chairman, said:

“We’ve been blown away by the fantastic start to our depot appeal. To raise so much in such a short time is a testament to our dedicated members and generous supporters. Without a depot, we will have nowhere to protect any future HST vehicles that we acquire, and going without simply isn’t an option.”

We welcome private donations and corporate sponsorship for our HST Depot Appeal.
More information is available at:  www.125group.org.uk/depot
To discuss corporate sponsorship please contact:  depot@125group.org.uk