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!

Prototype HST Running Days at GCRN

SATURDAY 25TH AUGUST – 1030, 1215, 1400 & 1545 departures from Ruddington
SUNDAY 9TH SEPTEMBER – 1030, 1215, 1400 & 1545 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 under the ‘Yellow Timetable’. 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 319s often visible.

Buffet 125 will be open on-board our Mk3 coach RFM 10206, selling hot snacks, sandwiches, 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 air-conditioned, perfect for a hot English summer day. The 125 Group sales stand will also be on the train, with latest merchandise available, including copies of our fantastic book ‘125 Enduring Icon’. Our 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.

Additional Mk3 RFM 10202 Acquired

Mk3 RFM 10202 being delivered to 125 Group at GCRN Ruddington, 30/07/2018. ©125 Group

125 Group is very pleased to announce purchase of an additional Mk3 coach, Restaurant First Modular (RFM) 10202. This kitchen / buffet vehicle will be used to support our operations at Great Central Railway Nottingham (GCRN), providing backup to our existing catering coach 10206.

10202 was previously owned by Arriva and, despite several years in storage at Long Marston, is in good condition, painted in British Rail blue/grey livery, with a fully equipped kitchen. The vehicle was built in 1976 as High Speed Train TRUK kitchen car 40504, part of the Inter-City 125 fleet and converted to locomotive hauled stock in the mid 1980s. The coach has arrived at our operating base GCRN Ruddington, following road transfer from Long Marston, courtesy of Reid Freight Services. 10202 joins our existing Mk3 fleet of 11074, 10206, 12087 and 12092 (all operational with working air-conditioning) plus 12065 and 12134 (under restoration).

The operational coaches run on regular passenger timetable days at GCRN powered by prototype HST power car 41001. All trains have a Buffet 125 service on-board, offering hot and cold drinks, wine and real ale, bacon and sausage baps, hot dogs, burgers and cold snacks from our existing RFM 10206, and served by our volunteers. We recently operated a private ‘Cream Tea’ charter for a 75th Birthday, with 60 covers. Once commissioned 10202 will provide backup and enable us to expand catering operations.

Some restoration is required to return 10202 to operational use, including full electrical and air systems testing and commissioning, replacement wheelsets, plus a deep external and internal clean. This work will be carried out by our volunteer engineering team at GCRN Ruddington, with activities taking place mostly in sidings out in the open.

Gary Heelas, Chairman 125 Group said, “Catering on board our rolling stock provides a valuable income for 125 Group and having a second RFM vehicle is vital to ensure we keep the money stream coming in should we have issues with one of the vehicles. We hope to have 10202 in traffic within a few months for visitors to GCRN at Ruddington.”

125 Group is raising money to build a HST Depot at GCRN Ruddington to enable maintenance and restoration of our existing fleet and future production power car acquisitions to be carried out under cover, protecting our vehicles and volunteers from the ravages of the weather. We welcome private donations and corporate sponsorship for the depot building. More information is available at www.125group.org.uk/depot