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.

Happy New Year from 125 Group!

A massive thankyou to all individuals, members, monthly direct-debit donors, organisations and companies who have worked with and supported 125 Group during the past year! There have been so many highlights of 2018, here are just a few …

Prototype Power Car 41001 and our Mk3 coaches have continued working regular passenger trains at home base Great Central Railway (Nottingham) throughout the year, both planned and at short notice, with our ‘Buffet 125’ catering volunteers serving tasty food and drink on-board. In February our Mk3 coaches were used for public services hauled by Steam Locomotive 60163 Tornado at GCRN. Over Easter we were followed for two days by film crews making the Channel 5 two-part documentary ‘InterCity 125’ which was first broadcast in May and still available for viewing on-line HERE.  In May we also helped the railway industry celebrate 40 years of HSTs on the East Coast Mainline.

Our first book ‘125 The Enduring Icon’ was published in June to critical acclaim, copies are still available from our on-line shop HERE. July saw us purchasing Mk3 catering coach 10202 from Arriva to provide maintenance back up to our existing RFM 10206, protecting our catering revenue stream. In addition to ongoing maintenance of 41001 and our fleet of Mk3 coaches, our engineering team returned 10202 to service and have recently been busy restoring TSO 12134 for passenger use planned for the new year.

Launch of our HST Depot Appeal took place in June, raising funds with a target of £100,000 to build our own maintenance facility at Ruddington GCRN for our existing fleet and future HST acquisitions. Thank you to everyone who has contributed so far. We welcome donations, more information HERE.

During the year we also operated our first private charter ‘Cream Tea Special’. 41001 and our Mk3s are available for private party hire, plus look out for more public cream tea trains in 2019. We have given talks at railway societies across the nation during the year, the 125 Group sales stand has travelled far and wide including the Warley Model Railway Exhibition, complimenting our increasingly busy on-line shop, all raising funds for our preservation efforts.

The biggest highlight of 2018 has to be November’s ‘The Screaming Valentas’ railtour operated by our kind friends at East Midlands Trains and Branch Line Society, taking an EMT HST from Derby to Ruddington for 41001 haulage over unusual track at GCRN, with 125 Group Hon President Sir Kenneth Grange on-board as VIP guest, raising over £20,000 for our HST depot appeal. Bringing the year to a close, 41001 helped out the Mid-Norfolk Railway with their ‘Polar Express™’ train ride operations, conveying hundreds of happy families and children to visit Santa Claus at The North Pole.

We look forward to a very exciting 2019 which marks 125 Group’s 25th year, as we continue working towards our objective of preserving a production High Speed Train. We welcome new members, join up on-line HERE to support our cause and receive our members only magazine ‘One Two Five’ packed full of behind the scenes detail on our activities, informed articles on the current HST scene, plus a dose of nostalgia. Happy New Year from everyone at 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.

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

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.