Prototype HST to Headline K&WVR Gala

We are delighted to announce, with thanks to the National Railway Museum, that Prototype HST Power Car 41001 will headline the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway Diesel & Mixed Traffic Gala, Friday 3rd to Bank Holiday Monday 6th May. The unique locomotive will work public services between Keighley and Oxenhope, hauling five of 125 Group’s Mk3 coaches, recreating the look of the Prototype High Speed Train. The Gala will also feature other guest locomotives and the K&WVR resident fleet, for more details see the K&WVR website HERE.

The Prototype HST was built in 1972 and during testing between York and Darlington in 1973 smashed the UK rail and world diesel speed record reaching 143.2mph. It was the fore-runner to the hugely successful InterCity 125 Production HST fleet which revolutionised long distance UK rail travel. 41001 is part of the National Collection, restoration was funded and carried out by 125 Group under the ‘Project Miller’ banner after the power car had spent over 25 years as a static exhibit at York NRM. The power car is fitted with a ‘screaming’ Paxman Valenta engine of the type which originally powered all HSTs.

As always, plans are made and this information is provided in good faith, however all arrangements in railway preservation are subject to alteration in the event of changing circumstances, for which 125 Group can not be held liable.

HST February Running at GCRN

SATURDAY 16th, SUNDAY 17th, SATURDAY 23rd, SUNDAY 24th FEBRUARY 2019

The Prototype High Speed Train will be running passenger services on these dates at Great Central Railway (Nottingham). Featuring historic HST Power Car 41001 which broke the world record for diesel trains in 1972 reaching 143mph, still powered by the ‘screaming’ Valenta original type engine. Coaches will be 125 Group’s sleek, air-conditioned Mk3s which provide comfortable seating with plenty of tables, perfect for railway enthusiasts and all the family, whatever the weather.

Services depart from Ruddington station, the GCRN Yellow Timetable B operates on these dates, new for 2019:
1045 and 1445 departures from Ruddington to Loughborough High Level, 90 minute return trip.
1245 and 1345 departures from Ruddington to Rushcliffe Halt, 50 minute return trip.

English Electric Class 20 locomotive D8154 / 20154 is planned to be working top’n’tail with 41001 on all four dates.

After departing from Ruddington, all trains reverse at Fifty Steps (no station) then run southbound along the former Great Central Mainline through the scenic Nottinghamshire countryside calling at Rushcliffe Halt station. The route continues through Barnstone Tunnel to Loughborough High Level, which has no station but affords a great view over the Midland Mainline and looks down into Brush Works, with locomotives for overhaul often visible.

Our traditional ‘Buffet 125’ will be open on-board, serving (subject to availability) a selection of delicious breakfast baps and other hot foods, cold snacks, hot and cold beverages plus alcoholic drinks including bottled ciders, beers and wine. Our volunteers will be pleased to advise on availability and delighted to serve you. The 125 Group sales stand will also be on the train with a wide range of merchandise available. We look forward to welcoming you on-board.

Ruddington station (sat-nav postcode NG11 6JS) is the base for Great Central Railway (Nottingham) 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. Train tickets can be purchased on the day or from the GCRN website which has more information HERE.

Our first book ‘125-The Enduring Icon’

We are delighted that 125 Group’s first book will be published in late June 2018 and is now available to pre-order. ‘125 – The Enduring Icon’ is 100% HST and tells the story of the last forty-five years of the InterCity 125 in a new and very factual way.

Using a largely photographic format, supplemented by detailed text sections and captions, the whole history is covered to ensure the fullest possible picture of the operational life of HSTs from inception up to the end of 2017. Chapters cover the early days, the business impact on InterCity, developments through privatisation, extremities of operation, the engine developments and enhancements, and the preservation story of the prototype. Superb photographs illustrate the whole story, with significant detail of the evolving fleet.

Written and collated by 125 Group, and with a foreword by our Hon President, Sir Kenneth Grange, this 96 page soft-cover book promises to be the highlight publication of 2018 and is one that should be on every HST enthusiast’s shelf. With a launch date in late June 2018, you can pre-order your copy HERE on our website. Guaranteed dispatch by post immediately following publication and receipt of stock from the publishers. Price is £14.99 + UK Postage and Packing of £3.00 = Buy Price £17.99

125 Group’s profits from this important publication go straight to our preservation funds. By purchasing ‘125 – The Enduring Icon’ direct from our website you will be helping us achieve our aim of securing a Production HST, thank you for your support.

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 InterCity 125 enthusiast and preservation group, formed in 1994 by a small band to share news and information on the fleet and with the long-term aim of preserving a HST. The iconic train is still going strong today, the mainstay of many InterCity routes. 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 550 members. We are now a registered charity and are delighted to have 125 designer Sir Kenneth Grange as our Honorary President.

125 Group has a proven track record, in 2012 we took the last surviving prototype HST power car 41001 on long-term loan from the National Railway Museum 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 we were presented with the Railway Heritage Committee 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 six Mk3 coaches which our engineering team have also restored with four in traffic, three of which are in matching livery to 41001 recreating the look of the Prototype HST. Our team of around twenty-five 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 and up-to-date 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 our excellent forthcoming book ‘125-The Enduring Icon’ available for pre-order.

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 informed articles 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 class 800 series units are already in service, with many more planned over the next two years. 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.