‘The Screaming Valenta’

The 125 Group Project Miller team is absolutely delighted to announce that yesterday, 15th November 2014, Prototype HST Power Car 41001 hauled ‘The Screaming Valenta’ launch special, celebrating entry to service following restoration, and its first passenger train since 1976.

Prototype HST Power Car 41001 departs from Ruddington GCR(N), starting its first passenger train for 38 years, ‘The Screaming Valenta’, alongside the East Midlands Trains production power car it has replaced, 15th November 2014. Photo Copyright Craig Simmons.

Prototype HST Power Car 41001 departs from Ruddington GCR(N), starting its first passenger train for 38 years, ‘The Screaming Valenta’, alongside the East Midlands Trains production power car it has replaced, 15th November 2014. Photo Copyright Craig Simmons.

This charity special, with all proceeds going to Project Miller, began its journey as a regular East Midlands Trains production High Speed Train, shortened at Etches Park Depot from the normal eight coaches to only six, with power cars 43045 and 43054 at either end of the set. Starting from Derby at 1025, also picking up at Loughborough, the train conveyed invited guests, supporters of Project Miller and 125 Group members. Also on-board was special guest Sir Kenneth Grange, eminent industrial designer of the iconic shape of the prototype and production HSTs and Honorary President of 125 Group.

At Loughborough South Junction the special crossed onto the Great Central Railway (Nottingham), continuing through to Ruddington, where shunting took place and 41001 replaced production power car 43045 on the set. Following speeches from Sir Kenneth and senior railway figures and a champagne toast, passengers re-boarded for the maiden journey. The hybrid HST departed from Ruddington, with the power cars running in full multiple operation, both powering the train. Following reversal at Fifty Steps, the Prototype Power Car led the train on a storming run up the GC Mainline to Loughborough High Level, pausing en-route at Rushcliffe Halt for photographs.

Prototype Power Car 41001 leading an East Midlands Trains HST, working ‘The Screaming Valenta’, its Project Miller charity launch train, during a photo stop at Rushcliffe Halt GCR(N), with nosecone and livery designer Sir Kenneth Grange standing hatted and suited alongside, 15th November 2014. Photo Copyright Richard Gennis.

Prototype Power Car 41001 leading an East Midlands Trains HST, working ‘The Screaming Valenta’, its Project Miller charity launch train, during a photo stop at Rushcliffe Halt GCR(N), with nosecone and livery designer Sir Kenneth Grange standing hatted and suited alongside, 15th November 2014. Photo Copyright Richard Gennis.

‘The Screaming Valenta’ then returned north with 41001 at the rear, still providing traction power. At Ruddington the power cars were swapped back and the train returned to Leicester, Loughborough and Derby, bringing to a close a truly historic day for 125 Group, the High Speed Train and railway preservation. 41001 and the East Midlands Trains HST performed faultlessly throughout the runs, this is the first time a Paxman Valenta has powered a passenger train since this engine type was withdrawn from mainline use in 2010.

We would like to give sincere thanks to everyone who has supported Project Miller so far, 125 Group members, individual donors, many railway industry friends and companies who have so generously given their services. Special thanks to East Midlands Trains who hosted initial restoration at Neville Hill depot and for operating this charity special, crewed by their volunteer staff giving their own time, with all proceeds going to Project Miller and the continued restoration of 41001, which is owned by the National Railway Museum.

The full behind the scenes story of ‘The Screaming Valenta’ will be available only in the 125 Group members’ magazine ‘One Two Five’. To make sure you get your own copy, join 125 Group at our website  www.125group.org.uk

We look forward to 41001 hauling public trains on Great Central Railway (Nottingham) next year and an exciting future for this working historic High Speed Train prototype power car. Railway engineering is expensive, if you would like to contribute towards the continued upkeep of 41001, which is part of the National Collection, then please click on the ‘Donate’ button, Thank You.

Excellent Etches Park!

Thank you to everyone who came to see 41001 at ‘Derby 175′ Etches Park open day on Saturday. The prototype power car was on display coupled back-to-back with East Midland’s trains production power car 43048, which appropriately carries the name ‘T.C.B. Miller MBE’. 125 Group Project Miller volunteers stewarded both cabs and it was a pleasure to talk with so many enthusiastic visitors.

41001 coupled to 43048 at Etches Park open day 13th Sept 2014 © 125 Group

41001 coupled to 43048 at Etches Park open day 13th Sept 2014 © 125 Group

Congratulations to East Midlands Trains, the open day organisers, staff, volunteers and other exhibitors for running such a fantastic event, giving their time raising funds for The Railway Children charity. Special thanks to everyone who purchased merchandise, made donations to Project Miller or, like East Midlands Trains MD David Horne, joined up as members of 125 Group!

During the day we were pleased to start up the Prototype’s Paxman Valenta engine and for the very first time, 41001 was connected in multiple with 43048 and both engines were started from 41001′s cab. We are also delighted that after the show, the two power cars were driven for a short distance on depot, for the first time ever running in multiple, an historic day.

To find out the full story, join 125 Group and receive our members only magazine which includes the latest behind the scenes details on our progress restoring the prototype power car, plus news and features on HST operations past and present. Join Here

On Monday (15th September) 41001 will be making the journey back home to Ruddington where restoration work will continue to make it ready for service hauling trains on the Great Central Railway (Nottingham). The class 20 hauled convoy is planned to depart from Etches Park at 1120 and run via Toton, Butterley (1223-1323), Loughborough South Junction (1410-1415) and onto the GCR(N). Please bear in mind that these are the planned timings and routing but they can change at short notice on the day subject to operational constraints and the train may run early or late. The full schedule and current reporting is available courtesy of the ‘Realtime Trains’ website: Schedule

Visit 41001 at Derby Etches Park

The prototype High Speed Train power car has arrived safely at Derby Etches Park and awaits your visit to the East Midlands Trains depot open day this Saturday!

Yesterday (Weds 10th Sept) 41001 departed from its home base of Ruddington on the Great Central Railway (Nottingham) and made its own way, running solo for the first time, up the former mainline to Hotchley Hill. Here it was met by Devon and Cornwall Railway locomotive 56312 which took the power car running via Leicester and Toton, arriving onto Etches Park depot at 1845.

41001 having just arrived at Etches Park depot, stables in the company of 'Peak' loco D8 and other exhibits for this coming Saturday's open day. © J.Zabernik

41001 having just arrived at Etches Park depot, stables in the company of ‘Peak’ loco D8 and other exhibits for this coming Saturday’s open day. © J.Zabernik

Etches Park open day is part of the ‘Derby 175′ celebrations, marking 175 years of Derby’s railway, and takes place on Saturday 13th September with gates open to the public from 1000.  Prototype HST 41001 is one of the stars of the show and will be positioned next to an East Midlands Trains production power car, giving an ideal opportunity to compare the two designs.  Both will have their cabs open for visitors to explore and Project Miller volunteers will be on-hand to explain the evolution and inner workings of Britain’s most successful train, which has strong links with the City of Derby.

The 125 Group sales stand will also be on site, recruiting members and raising funds to help us complete our restoration of the prototype power car.  Operating conditions permitting, 41001′s classic Valenta engine will be started up from time to time - make a sizeable donation to our restoration fund and you could get to press the ‘engine start’ button!

The open day has something for all the family with over 25 locomotives and trains on show, plus trade stands, demonstrations, unveilings, small fairground rides and more!  Tickets will now be available to purchase on the day, with all proceeds going to The Railway Children Charity.

For more details of the event click on this link:
http://www.eastmidlandstrains.co.uk/tickets-deals/deals-savings/Get-Out-and-About-This-Summer/Cultural-Trips/Etches-Park-Open-Day/

Etches Park Open Day

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On Saturday 13th September 2014 our friends at East Midlands Trains are holding a charity open day at their Etches Park Depot in Derby. 41001 should be attending the event along with the 125 Group sales stand. It is hoped that 41001 will be displayed back to back with an East Midlands Trains HST power car enabling people to view the progress made from prototype to current day. Our engineering and historical experts will be on hand to answer any burning questions or talk you through the power car.

Other exhibits from the preserved world hoping to attend the event are Derby Lightweight DMU ‘IRIS’ from Ecclesbourne Valley Railway and mainline registered D1015 Western Champion. The Midland Railway Centre will be sending a convoy of locos too including Peak D4 and class 25 D7671. Steam locomotives will also be attending the event.

Mainline freight companies are also getting involved, DB Schenker have said they will send either a red or silver liveried Class 67 and Freightliner have also offered a locomotive. Network Rail have promised to send a convoy from their fleet at RVEL opposite Etches Park with Managers Saloon ‘Caroline’ booked to attend along with hopefully a newly re-engineered class 73.

Resident depot Class 08 shunting loco 08899 will also be repainted in LMS style Crimson Lake livery and be named at the event too.

The event will also have the usual trade stands, model rail layouts and local railway history groups.

Project Miller and 125 Group are really looking forward to this great day out that will hopefully raise lots of money for the Railway Children Charity. Tickets are priced at £11 for adults, £7 for children and seniors. Family tickets are also priced available priced at £29 for a family of 4 or 5. Tickets are available as advance only and can be purchased from www.theticketfactory.com

Testing! Testing!

The Prototype High Speed Train Power Car was given a second test run this week to check on recent work by the 125 Group Project Miller Team, which has included attention to the E70 brake control unit, traction control system, driving cab equipment and ETH system.

41001 ran on it’s home line Great Central Railway (Nottingham) from Ruddington to Loughborough with ‘grid’ 56097 and class 73 E6016 in tow acting as load and providing insurance.  Thanks to our friends at GCR(N) for making the ​run possible and to Kiele Baldwin for filming and producing the video.

The testing was broadly successful but work continues on 41001 at Ruddington with the aim of restoring it to reliable working order.  Contributions are very gratefully received, click on the ‘Donate’ button on this page.

41001 Returns!

The 125 Group Project Miller Team are delighted to announce that today (31st May 2014) prototype power car 41001 successfully completed a loaded test run at the Great Central Railway (Nottingham), running under its own power for the first time in preservation. This is a huge achievement and we are most grateful to everyone who has supported the restoration project.

Prototype HST Power Car 41001 on its successful first test run at Ruddington on the Great Central Railway (Nottingham) 31st May 2014 © James Trebinski

Prototype HST Power Car 41001 on its successful first test run at Ruddington on the Great Central Railway (Nottingham) 31st May 2014 © James Trebinski

Following its Spring Tour to the Swanage and Didcot railways, 41001 was hauled back to Ruddington on Tuesday.  Since then the team have been working hard changing the compressor, configuring the final drive to the motors and preparing the power car for traction.

History was made at 10:25am today when 41001′s power controller was moved from ‘Off’ to ‘Notch 1′, brakes released and the power car moved from the yard at Ruddington into Ruddington Fields station.  This is the first time 41001 has moved under it’s own power for 32 years.  After some more solo running around the station area, 56097 and two Mk2 coaches were then attached and the ‘Grid’ hauled the train around the curve to the north end of the line at Fifty Steps.

Prototype HST Power Car 41001 on its successful first test run at Bridge 301 on the Great Central Railway (Nottingham) 31st May 2014 © James Trebinski

Prototype HST Power Car 41001 on its successful first test run at Bridge 301 on the Great Central Railway (Nottingham) 31st May 2014 © James Trebinski

With the power car now at the front, the points were pulled and set for the Great Central Mainline.  After moving off gently, the power car accelerated the train up to full power notch 5, exercising the traction motors and clearing out the exhaust!  Following a brief stop to make sure everything was in order, 41001 continued powering the test train to the end of the line at Loughborough, coming to a stand next to Brush Works.  After celebrations all round, the class 56 took the train back to Fifty Steps and the power car hauled the ensemble back into Ruddington.

41001′s engine S508 performed faultlessly throughout the run, this is the first time a Paxman Valenta has powered a train since the type were withdrawn from mainline use in 2010.

The 125 Group Project Miller team would like to sincerely thank everyone who has supported us, 125 Group members, enthusiasts, individuals, railway industry friends and corporate supporters too many to list but special mention should be made of East Midlands Trains who hosted restoration at Neville Hill depot and Brush Traction, especially Dave Moore who has provided fantastic expert engineering support. Thanks also to our friends at GCR(N) who have made us so welcome at Ruddington, and for their invaluable help with the test run today.

The full behind the scenes story of how we got 41001 moving again will be available only in the 125 Group members’ magazine ‘One Two Five’, join 125 Group to make sure you get your copy.  www.125group.org.uk

Restoration and commissioning will now continue on 41001, including more work on the traction and braking systems, plus rain-proofing and numerous smaller tasks, with the aim of getting the power car fit to haul passenger trains reliably on the GCR(N).  We still have much to do, and railway engineering is expensive, so please help us by clicking on the ‘Donate’ button.

Return to Ruddington

A huge thankyou to everyone who came to see 41001 at the Didcot Railway Centre Diesel Gala over the bank holiday weekend. It was great to welcome so many visitors, some of whom remembered seeing the Prototype High Speed Train in service on the Western Region back in 1975. Special thanks to all who purchased merchandise, joined 125 Group or made donations, which will help us to complete restoration.

41001 at Didcot Railway Centre 24th May 2014 © John Zabernik

41001′s Spring Tour is now over and this morning (Tue 27th May) it will be making the journey back home to Ruddington on the Great Central Railway (Nottingham) where work will continue in earnest to get the power car moving under its own power again. The 125 Group Project Miller team would like to thank everyone at the Swanage Railway and the Great Western Society at Didcot Railway Centre for the warm friendly welcome they have shown us, and it really has been a pleasure to show folk around the prototype power car.

The Deltic hauled convoy with headcode 0Z41 is planned to depart Didcot Railway Centre at 0712 and run via Oxford (07/49), Banbury (08/16), Leamington Spa (08/52), Tyseley (09/15), Landore Street Jn (0923-27), Water Orton (09/50), Nuneaton (1016-26), Leicester (10/55), Humberstone Road (1059-1334), Loughborough South Jn (14/00) and onto the GCR(N), booked to arrive Hotchley Hill at 1440. From here 41001 will be hauled by 47292 back home to Ruddington.

Please bear in mind that these are the planned timings and routing but they can change at short notice on the day subject to operational constraints and the train may run early or late. In particular the layover at Humberstone Road may not take place if there is no freight service occupying the GCR(N) line. The full schedule and current reporting is available courtesy of the ‘Realtime Trains’ website:

http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/R91616/2014/05/27/advanced