Prototype HST Bound for Bo’ness

HST Bubblebath ©125 Group

This weekend Prototype HST Power Car 41001 and 125 Group’s matching Mk3 coaches will be starring at the Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway Summer Diesel Gala, hauling passenger trains on the south bank of Firth of Forth between Bo’ness and Manuel. This will be the first time for 41001 working public trains in Scotland, the historic Valenta powered HST will be running on all three days Friday 22nd, Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th July. This exciting event will also feature other visiting locos plus the home diesel fleet. More information, including ticket prices and a link to the special timetable loco roster are available at the B&KR website HERE.

Our volunteers have been busy preparing the HST ready for the trip from its home base Great Central Railway (Nottingham) to Scotland. Traction for the mainline movements is planned to be 20189 + 20205, below is a summary of the booked workings with live schedule links courtesy of Realtime Trains:

Wednesday 20th July 2016

0Z20 14+56 Tyseley – Hotchley Hill/Rushcliffe Halt (arrive 17+36) via Nuneaton, Leicester, Loughborough South Jn 16/56. 20189 + 20205.

5Z41 16+30 Ruddington – Hotchley Hill/Rushcliffe Halt (arrive 17+15) via Fifty Steps (reverse), power car 41001 hauling Mk3 coaches 11074+10206+12092.

5M20 20+05 Hotchley Hill/Rushcliffe Halt – Derby (arrive 22+38) via Loughborough South Jn 20/45, Humberstone Road (run round/reverse). 20189 + 20205 hauling 41001, 11074, 10206 and 12092.

Thursday 21st July 2016

5S20 08+24 Derby – Bo’ness Junction Exchange Siding via Chesterfield, Beighton Jn, Moorthorpe, Milford, York Avoiding Line, East Coast Mainline, Newcastle, Dunbar, Monktonhall Jn, Millerhill, Suburban Line, Falkirk High, Cadder Down Passenger Loop (run round/reverse), Falkirk High, booked to arrive Bo’ness Junction Exchange Siding 23+32. 20189 + 20205 hauling 41001, 11074, 10206 and 12092. Note this movement is booked to be recessed in many loops for a great deal of time, see schedule for the full timing details.

Please note, as always, all of this information is provided in good faith but these movements, traction and consists can change at short notice on the day subject to operational constraints, the trains may run early or late or be cancelled.

Welcome to 125 Group

A warm welcome to 125 Group, especially if you have come here after seeing us on TV! We are the High Speed Train Inter-City 125 enthusiast and preservation group, formed in 1994 by a small band of enthusiasts with the aim of sharing news and information on the fleet. Our objective is to preserve a production HST powered by the original Valenta engine, to this end we have acquired a large number of major components. Through this work and our restoration of 41001 we have developed a good relationship with the railway industry and grown to over 400 members. We have recently become a registered charity and are delighted to have 125 designer Sir Kenneth Grange as our Honorary President.

125 Group took the last surviving prototype HST power car 41001 on long term loan from the National Railway Museum in 2012 and under the ‘Project Miller’ banner, in honour of the BR Chief Engineer behind the original HST, we restored it from a static exhibit to full working order for use on preserved railways. In recognition of this we were pleased to be presented with the Railway Heritage Committee 2014 Modern Traction Award. Thanks to our benefactors, volunteers and the kind help of the railway industry, 41001 is now a regular performer at its home base the Great Central Railway (Nottingham). 125 Group is owner of three Mk3 coaches, which we have repainted in matching livery, hauled by 41001 recreating the look of the Prototype HST. Our team of twenty active volunteers maintain and operate the train, including a buffet bar serving drinks and delicious hot food prepared on-board.

This website has a wealth of information about the HST, here you will find up-to-date Operating Diagrams and Power Car Fleet List, plus news about future operating dates for our Prototype HST. We also have a wide range of 125 related items on sale in our On-line Shop, including mugs, DVDs, professionally produced artwork and official HST 40 YEAR merchandise.

Join Us! We are delighted to welcome new members who are interested in HSTs and wish to support our cause. Members exclusively receive our quarterly magazine ‘One Two Five’ which is packed with news stories about current mainline operations and detailed behind the scenes information on our preservation progress. Join now on this website, membership is only £17 for 12 months.

New Hitachi IEP units are being built and tested NOW, with introduction planned next year. Some HST withdrawals are very likely in the near future and 125 Group is ready to step in and save at least one power car from the scrapyard. We have launched our ‘Direct Debit’ scheme to help boost our preservation funds, donate from £5 per month and receive free subscription to 125 Group.

HST Diagrams Summer 2016

GWR HST at Penally heading for Pembroke Dock ©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. This year will be the last of full HST operation on Great Western Railway, with the first new Hitachi units planned to enter traffic during 2017. Summer Saturdays see HSTs straying off the mainlines to visit seaside resorts including GWR to Weymouth and Pembroke Dock, EMT to Skegness, plus daily GWR to Newquay supplemented by XC at weekends, these workings are all included in the diagrams. 125 Group needs your help raising funds to preserve a production HST, to join Prototype 41001. We currently have stylish HST40 badges in stock with the same design featured on the side of 43002 ‘Sir Kenneth Grange’, these have already become collectors items, click HERE.

Official HST40 Merchandise

Celebrate the 40th Year of the High Speed Train by wearing the stylish official 40 YEARS 1976/2016 enamel pin badge, or drink your tea from a smart GWR St.Philips Marsh Open Day mug. We also have Programmes from the historic Depot Open Day on 2nd May, these are limited edition and numbered. The 125 Group On-Line Shop is the place to buy these items – all now in stock and ready for dispatch. Badges £6 each, Mugs £8 each, Programmes £4 each, all prices include postage and packing. These are all official HST40 merchandise.

Want to get your hands on these fabulous items this weekend? All will be available from the 125 Group Sales Stand on-board Preserved Prototype HST running at Great Central Railway (Nottingham) on Sunday 3rd July, more details HERE.

Sunday 3rd July GCR(N) Valenta Action

The Best Looking Train in Preservation © 125 Group

Prototype High Speed Train Power Car 41001 and 125 Group’s sleek matching coaches will be in public service at Great Central Railway (Nottingham) this Sunday 3rd July. Trains depart from Ruddington at 1030, 1215, 1400 and 1545, operating top ‘n’ tail with 41001 at the south end of the MkIII coaches and class 73 E6016 at the north end. Tickets available to buy on the day, also on-line from the GCR(N) Website.

Great Central Railway (Nottingham) has something for all the family. The GCR(N) route is just under 10 miles long, passing through scenic countryside ending up at Loughborough Viaduct, which has no station but affords a great view over the Midland Mainline plus an exclusive elevated look into Brush Locomotive Works, with class 73s and 92s often visible. Ruddington station (sat-nav postcode NG11 6JS) is the base for GCR(N), with a Model Railway, rides on the Miniature Railway, plus Heritage Road Transport Collection. Rushcliffe Country Park is also nearby.

On-board the HST ‘Buffet 125’ in 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 HST 40 Year Anniversary merchandise including mugs, badges and commemorative souvenir programmes from the recent Bristol St.Philips Marsh HST open day. Plus of course 41001’s classic Paxman Valenta engine will be screaming for your entertainment – we hope you can join us!