41001 Public Launch Weekend

We are delighted that Prototype HST Power Car 41001 will be hauling its first public passenger trains since restoration by 125 Group Project Miller, at the Great Central Railway (Nottingham) on Sunday 24th & Bank Holiday Monday 25th May 2015.

41001_launch_final_2
41001 will be operating ‘top and tail’ with locomotive 56097, hauling a mixed rake of GCR(N)’s Mk2 coaches and 125 Group’s recently acquired Mk3s. Many of the volunteers who have worked tirelessly to bring this historic power car back to life will be present, we look forward to welcoming you and showing off our iconic Valenta powered wonder! Details of fares, timetables and how to get to the Great Central Railway (Nottingham) are available at their website www.gcrn.co.uk

41001 Ready to Depart

Prototype HST Power Car 41001 is planned to return from Neville Hill to its home base at Ruddington GCR(N) tomorrow, following a three week visit for specialist engineering attention, including some heavy lifting work. Thankyou to everyone at the East Midlands Trains Leeds depot for their warm hospitality, help and advice, we are very grateful.

41001 on test at Neville Hill, where like the advert says, 'Great people make great journeys!'

41001 on test at Neville Hill, where like the advert says, ‘Great people make great journeys!’

The transit is planned to run as 0Z41 1736 Neville Hill to Hotchley Hill, hauled by DCR using locomotive 31190, running via Leeds station (17/46), Normanton, Fitzwilliam, Moorthorpe (18/55), ‘The Old Road’, Chesterfield (20/01), Toton, Loughborough (20/43). This is a link to the live schedule, courtesy of the Realtime Trains website: http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/R90200/2015/04/17/advanced
These are the planned timings, routing and traction, all of which can change at short notice on the day subject to operational constraints, and the train may run early (or late)!

For the behind the scenes story on 41001, join 125 Group to receive our members only magazine, and support our long term objective of preserving a production HST. Membership is £17 for 12 months, join here: http://www.125group.org.uk/membership

Valuable Vehicles Delivered

Prototype HST Power Car 41001 successfully made the journey over the weekend from its home on the Great Central Railway (Nottingham) to Neville Hill depot in Leeds. As part of the same series of movements, 125 Group’s new Mk3 coaches were taken from Long Marston to Ruddington on GCR(N).

DCR's 31190 at Rushcliffe Halt on the Great Central Railway (Nottingham), collecting 41001 and dropping off the Mk3 coaches, Sat 28th March 2015.

DCR’s 31190 at Rushcliffe Halt on the Great Central Railway (Nottingham), collecting 41001 and dropping off the Mk3 coaches, Sat 28th March 2015.

On Saturday afternoon 41001 ran solo under its own power on GCR(N) from Ruddington to Rushcliffe Halt, where it was met by Devon and Cornwall Railway’s 31190 which had just arrived with 125 Group’s Mk3 vehicles from Long Marston, with former Anglia Railways 86235 along for the ride. After shunting to release the Mk3s, 31190 hauled the power car to Derby, via a brief stop at Leicester to drop off the electric loco.

31190 pauses at Chesterfield taking 41001 from Derby to Neville Hill, Sun 29th March 2015.

31190 pauses at Chesterfield taking 41001 from Derby to Neville Hill, Sun 29th March 2015.

After spending the night stabled at Derby, 41001 continued its journey on Sunday still under the charge of DCR’s Brush type 2 diesel for the run via Chesterfield, the Old Road, the S&K, Normanton and Leeds to Neville Hill. The power car is planned to be at the East Midlands Trains depot for only a short time for engineering attention before returning to the GCR(N) for the 2015 operating season.

41001 back in familiar surroundings at Neville Hill EMT depot, Sun 29th March 2015.

41001 back in familiar surroundings at Neville Hill EMT depot, Sun 29th March 2015.

Later on Saturday afternoon, GCR(N) resident class 25 D7629 collected our Mk3 coaches from Rushcliffe Halt and took them to their new base at Ruddington. The three vehicles are standard open 12092, first open 11074 and restaurant first buffet 10206. After some remedial work, they will become part of the GCR(N) general operating fleet, working with the air-braked Mk2 coaches, on passenger trains hauled by 41001 and the other locomotives on the railway. We do have plans to re-livery all three of the Mk3s.

125 Group's newly acquired Mk3 vehicles 12092, 11074 and 10206 safely stabled at their new home Ruddington on the Great Central Railway (Nottingham), Sun 29th March 2015.

125 Group’s newly acquired Mk3 vehicles 12092, 11074 and 10206 safely stabled at their new home Ruddington on the Great Central Railway (Nottingham), Sun 29th March 2015.

We are delighted that the weekend movements of 41001 and the Mk3s ran so well, with all vehicles safely delivered. 125 Group / Project Miller are very grateful to our fellow preservation volunteers at the Great Central Railway (Nottingham) for their valuable help and assistance with the movements, also to the DCR team who undertook the mainline work so professionally, sincere thanks to you all.

 

Weekend Preserved HST Movements

This weekend sees 41001 off on its travels from Ruddington for a short visit to Neville Hill East Midlands Trains depot at Leeds for specialist engineering attention, also three MkIII coaches which have been purchased by 125 Group are being moved from Long Marston to the Great Central Railway (Nottingham) for future use with 41001. Mainline movements are being carried out by our friends at Devon and Cornwall Railways.

41001's Valenta engine is run up at its home base of Ruddington GCR(N) during preparations for its spring holiday to Yorkshire.

41001′s Valenta engine is run up at its home base of Ruddington on the Great Central Railway (Nottingham) during preparations for its spring holiday to Yorkshire.

This is a summary of the booked workings with links to full schedules where available, courtesy of the Realtime Trains website:

Saturday 28th March 2015
31190+11074+10206+12092 - 1128 Long Marston to Hotchley Hill
http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/K97354/2015/03/28/advanced

41001+56097 - 1530(approx) Ruddington to Hotchley Hill

56097+11074+10206+12092 - 1800(approx) Hotchley Hill to Ruddington

31190+41001 – 1805 Hotchley Hill to Derby
http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/R90181/2015/03/28/advanced

Sunday 29th March 2015
31190+41001 - 1200 Derby to Neville Hill
http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/R90184/2015/03/29/advanced

Please bear in mind that these are the planned timings, routing and traction, all of which can change at short notice on the day subject to operational constraints and the trains may run early or late!

To find out the full story behind these movements and our restoration of 41001 why not join 125 Group? Members only receive our exclusive magazine, plus you will be supporting our long term objective of preserving a production HST. Membership is £17 for 12 months, join here: http://www.125group.org.uk/membership

Miller in Marvellous Manchester

Beaming Project Miller team members proudly display our Heritage Railway Association award.

Beaming Project Miller team members proudly display our Heritage Railway Association award.

On Saturday night a good number of the 125 Group Project Miller team were honoured to attend the Heritage Railway Association Annual Awards Dinner at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, where we were presented with the Morton’s Media (Rail Express) Modern Traction Award for our restoration of Prototype Power Car 41001.

Guests at the HRA Awards Dinner were treated to a short film of 41001 in action, working with an East Midlands Trains HST, on its launch railtour 'The Screaming Valenta' charity special. Thanks to Kiele Baldwin for the use of his splendid video.

Guests at the HRA Awards Dinner were treated to a short film of 41001 in action, working with an East Midlands Trains HST, on its launch railtour ‘The Screaming Valenta’ charity special.
Thanks to Kiele Baldwin for the use of his splendid video.

We are very grateful to the HRA and Morton’s Media for this award and for staging a thoroughly enjoyable evening, it was great to meet so many dedicated and distinguished railway preservationists.  Special sincere thanks, as always, to the individuals and companies who have supported Project Miller, we couldn’t have done it without you!

Suited Project Miller volunteers assemble at MOSI for the HRA Awards in front of classic EM2 electric 1505. Don't worry, we are not planning to put a Valenta in this loco!

Suited Project Miller volunteers assemble at MOSI for the HRA Awards in front of classic EM2 electric 1505. Don’t worry, we are not planning to put a Valenta in this loco!

Project Miller Wins Award!

Project Miller has been announced as winner of the MORTON’S MEDIA (RAIL EXPRESS MAGAZINE) MODERN TRACTION AWARD for “The overhaul of the prototypes of arguably the most successful form of British traction ever, in the form of the prototype High Speed Train power car, which has recently hauled a production Class 125 set on the Great Central Railway (Nottingham).”

With its Paxman Valenta engine running, freshly repainted 41001 stands outside the Back Fitting Shop at Neville Hill depot, 16th August 2013. Photo Copyright Peter Holden.

With its Paxman Valenta engine running, freshly repainted 41001 stands outside the Back Fitting Shop at Neville Hill depot, 16th August 2013. Photo Copyright Peter Holden.

Responding to the news, 125 Group Chairman Gary Heelas said, “The Project Miller team are extremely honoured and proud to receive the Modern Traction Award for its efforts on returning prototype HST power car 41001 back to operational condition. The team took on the task with the knowledge that the NRM had no budget for the restoration of the power car and we have worked hard over the past few years to ensure that the project is run within tight budgetary constraints whilst still ensuring that the job is done to current railway specifications. And I am pleased to say that what we have achieved so far is testament to our approach which surpasses any of the team’s expectations. We would also like to thank our industry sponsors and partners without whom the project would have taken substantially longer to complete, in particular East Midlands Trains and the staff at Neville Hill depot who’s enthusiasm for the project was constant through our stay at the depot.”

For more details, see the Heritage Railway Association website.

41001 Launch Videos

Thank you to everyone who has sent messages of support and congratulations following 41001′s launch train ‘The Screaming Valenta’ on 15th November.  The internet is awash with images and videos of the triumphant special and these films sum up the day nicely:

Thanks to Kiele Baldwin for filming and producing the above excellent record of the train, which includes 41001 in action with an East Midlands Trains HST plus the speeches made at Ruddington station by special guest Sir Kenneth Grange and other dignitaries.

We also made the local news, thanks to presenter Amy Harris and her crew for coming down to Great Central Railway (Nottingham) to film history in the making!

‘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.