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

Visit 41001 at Didcot

The prototype HST power car is back on its old Great Western stamping ground and awaits your visit this weekend.

41001 will be a static exhibit as part of the Diesel Gala at Didcot Railway Centre, the home of the Great Western Society. The cab will be open for visits and Project Miller volunteers will be on hand to explain the history of this iconic train. The 125 Group sales stand will also be on site, recruiting members and raising funds to help us return the power car to working order. 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!

41001 alongside GWR 1939 Railcar No 22 at Didcot Railway Centre. Photo ©Antony Peters

41001 alongside GWR 1939 Railcar No 22 at Didcot Railway Centre. Photo ©Sarah Sewell

The Diesel Gala takes place from Saturday 24th to Monday 26th May with visiting locomotives including Deltic 55002, class37 D6700, Brush Type4 47292 plus resident GWR Diesel Railcar No.22. Didcot Railway Centre is located right next to Didcot Parkway railway station. For more details of the event click here: http://www.didcotrailwaycentre.org.uk/

Prototype HST on passenger trials at Didcot on a service from Weston-Super-Mare to London Paddington on 2nd July 1975. Photo ©Robin Patrick

Prototype HST on passenger trials at Didcot on a service from Weston-Super-Mare to London Paddington on 2nd July 1975. Photo ©Robin Patrick

The prototype HST was put through its paces on passenger trials through Didcot back in 1975 and is the forerunner of the enormously successful Inter-City 125s which are still the mainstay of Great Western services today.  Do come along and say hello and see close up the train which revolutionised long distance rail travel in Great Britain.

Destination Didcot

A big thankyou to everyone who came to see 41001 at the hugely successful Swanage Railway Diesel Gala last weekend, the support for Project Miller shown by visitors to the power car was fantastic. Special thanks to all who purchased merchandise, joined 125 Group or made donations, which will help us complete 41001′s restoration to working order.

41001 is off on its travels again today (Wed 14th May), leaving Purbeck as part of a rail convoy bound for the Didcot Railway Centre where it will be a static exhibit at their forthcoming diesel gala from Sat 24th to Mon 26th May.

The Deltic hauled convoy with headcode 0Z55 is planned to depart Swanage at 0930 and run via Wareham (1002-08), Bournemouth (10/27), Southampton (11/09), Winchester (11/38), Basingstoke (12/00), Reading West Curve, Reading West Jn (1224-33) then along 41001′s old stamping ground the Great Western Mainline, booked to arrive Didcot at 1259.

Please bear in mind that these are the planned timings and routing but these can change at short notice on the day subject to operational constraints and the train may run early or late! Full schedules and current reporting are available courtesy of the ‘Realtime Trains’ website:

http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/R91589/2014/05/14/advanced

Visit 41001 at Corfe Castle

The prototype HST power car is safely parked in the station dock platform at Corfe Castle awaiting your visit!

Preserved power car 41001 is a static exhibit as part of this weekend’s Diesel Gala on the scenic Swanage Railway. Project Miller / 125 Group volunteers will be on hand to explain the history of this iconic train, the cab will be open for visits and from time to time, operating conditions permitting, we will be starting up the classic Valenta engine. The Diesel Gala takes place from Friday 9th to Sunday 11th May when an intensive service will be operating on the railway with all trains featuring classic diesel traction. For more details click here: http://www.swanagerailway.co.uk/events

41001 Corfe Castle

The village of Corfe Castle has something of interest for all the family including William the Conqueror’s historic 11th century castle, a beer festival in the nearby Bankes Arms public house, plus ‘Hoover’ locomotive 50026 and of course power car 41001 on show at the station. Do come along and say hello and support our 125 Group sales stand raising funds to complete 41001′s restoration.