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.

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.