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.

Free Bus connects HST to HST

A free bus service will make this year’s Great Central Railway Nottingham Diesel Gala even easier to get to, connecting East Midlands Parkway station on the National Rail network with Rushcliffe Halt on the GCRN route. On both Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd July, the heritage bus will make three morning trips from East Midlands Parkway bringing visitors to the gala, later in the afternoon three runs will take folk back again. The bus timetable enables connections with mainline services at East Midlands Parkway and also connects with GCRN trains at Rushcliffe Halt.

The GCRN Diesel Gala features a wide range of traction hauling two rakes of coaching stock providing an hourly service between Ruddington and Loughborough High Level (no station), with trains calling and passing at Rushcliffe Halt where connections will be held between services. Prototype HST power car 41001 and our matching Mk3 coaches (with Mk2a TSO also attached) will feature along with new arrivals 33035, 45060, 47828, plus resident fleet 47292, 47765 and the return of mighty 56097, with brief appearances by E6016 (73110). All trains will have a buffet car and the 125 Group Sales Stand will also be on-board the HST. More information including diesel gala tickets, other bus routes serving GCRN, plus full diesel gala TIMETABLE and LOCOMOTIVE ROSTER are available on the GCRN website.

National Rail services calling at East Midlands Parkway include Inter-City 125 HSTs operated by East Midlands Trains. On Saturday 1st July only, subject to on-time running, this makes it possible to travel by Production High Speed Train from London St.Pancras to East Midlands Parkway, free heritage bus to Rushcliffe Halt, then enjoy riding classic diesels at the GCRN gala including regular runs by our preserved Prototype HST. On Saturday, HSTs departing from St.Pancras at 08:15, 09:15 and 10:15 have connecting buses at East Midlands Parkway. Return buses from Rushcliffe Halt on Saturday connect with the 1643, 1740 and 1840 HSTs from East Midlands Parkway back to London, making for a grand day out! Many other travel options are available, check out the East Midlands Trains website for National Rail train times and tickets. For details of Saturday EMT services booked for HST operation, refer to our HST diagrams. Please note on Sunday 2nd July there is planned engineering work on the Midland Mainline with buses replacing trains between Bedford and Leicester. This means a HST day out from London to East Midlands Parkway will not be possible on the Sunday, and all EMT HST diagrams will also be amended on this day.

Thanks to our fellow preservationists the Nottingham Area Bus Society who are also based at GCRN Ruddington, for running this free heritage bus service, donations welcome on-board. Important – Please note that all reasonable efforts will be made to maintain connections but these are not guaranteed. GCRN, Nottingham Area Bus Society and 125 Group can not be held responsible for losses resulting from missed connections.

HST Diagrams Summer 2017

GWR HST power car 43010 emerges from Narberth tunnel on the scenic Pembroke Dock branchline, on service 1L90 1455 Pembroke Dock-Paddington, 1st August 2015. ©125 Group

Up to date High Speed Train diagrams are now available on the 125 Group website, showing full listings of services for each passenger TOC for all days of the week. 2017 will be the last summer of full HST operation on Great Western Railway, with the first new Hitachi units planned to enter traffic later this year. Summer Saturdays see HSTs straying off the main Intercity routes to visit scenic branch lines and seaside resorts including GWR to Weymouth and Pembroke Dock, EMT to Skegness, XC to Paignton and Penzance plus daily GWR to Newquay, these workings are all included in the diagrams, available from our website homepage HERE.

HST withdrawals will soon be upon us, 125 Group needs your help raising funds to preserve a Production HST to join Prototype 41001. Please subscribe as a member or sign up to our regular donations scheme and receive free membership, details HERE.

Prototype HST & Scotrail 47765 running at GCR Nottingham this Saturday 27th May

Prototype HST 41001 & Scotrail Liveried 47765 at GCRN – ©125 Group & Mick Barstow

This Saturday 27th May, Prototype HST Power Car 41001 will be working passenger services at Great Central Railway (Nottingham), running top and tail with Scotrail liveried 47765. Coaching stock will be 125 Group’s sleek matching air-conditioned Mk3s, plus classic fresh air Mk2a coach 5376 coupled next to the class 47 locomotive.

Trains will operate to the ‘Yellow Timetable’ with departures from Ruddington at 1030, 1215, 1400 and 1545, the journey takes you almost 10 miles south along the former Great Central mainline to Loughborough High Level which has no station but gives a great view of the Midland Mainline and rolling stock inside Brush Locomotive Works. Each out and back trip takes 1 hour 22 minutes and tickets can be purchased from the friendly Guard on-board the train with fares of £12 Adult / £30 Family (2 Adult + 2 Children) which give unlimited rides all day!

Join us on Saturday and experience 41001’s marvellous original screaming Valenta engine, get out of the hot weather on our cool air-conditioned train complete with Buffet 125 serving hot bacon baps, hot dogs, cheese and ham toasted sandwiches, hot and cold drinks plus alcoholic beverages including wine and bottled ale. The 125 Group Sales Stand will also be open – buy your HST merchandise here.

GCR(N) is a great place to visit for the whole family, our Ruddington base features a hugely popular miniature railway providing rides, Railway Workshops, Model Railway and Road Transport displays courtesy of Nottingham Area Bus Society. Plus Rushcliffe Country Park provides a green children’s’ play area right next to the line. Car parking is available (sat-nav postcode NG11 6JS) and buses connect with Nottingham and Loughborough. Train formation and times provided in good faith but as always subject to operating conditions on the day. For full details on GCR(N) and how to get here, see website HERE.

‘The Pickering Paxman’ Charity Railtour

East Midlands Trains (EMT), in conjunction with the Branch Line Society and 125 Group, is delighted to announce a very special High Speed Train charter on Saturday 15th July 2017 from Derby, Sheffield and York to the beautiful North Yorkshire Moors Railway, in aid of the charity Railway Children.

The railtour will traverse unusual lines along the way and will be formed of an EMT HST: eight Mark 3 vehicles and two EMT Class 43 power cars fitted with VP185 engines, with 43082 ‘Railway Children’ requested. The train will first run to Whitby then back to Grosmont and via the connecting line onto the NYMR and run through to Pickering, a first for a HST. Standard Class and First Class Dining fares available, with discounts for members of 125 Group, BLS and EMT staff.

For full details and to purchase tickets, download the booking form HERE.

****** 1ST CLASS DINING IS NOW FULLY BOOKED – STANDARD CLASS SEATS STILL AVAILABLE! ******