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faultlessly throughout the run, this is the first time a Paxman Valenta has powered a train since the type were withdrawn from mainline use in 2010.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

41001 Ready to Roll

The Prototype HST Power Car is ready to set off on its Spring tour to the Swanage Railway and Didcot Railway Centre where it will be a static exhibit at both of their forthcoming diesel galas.

Tomorrow (Thu 1st May) 41001 and fellow GCR(N) resident 47292 are planned to be picked up by convoy 0Z55 at East Leake. Hauled by 55002 with D6700 and 55019, the ensemble is booked to depart at 1652 and run via Leicester (1736-38), Nuneaton (17/59), Sutton Park, Walsall (18/53), Perry Barr, Soho, Galton Jn (19/33) and Rowley Regis (19/47) to Kidderminster arriving at 2020 for an overnight stop at the Severn Valley Railway, where 55019 will also be dropped off.

On Friday 2nd May, the convoy is planned to run as 0Z56, departing Kidderminster at 0831, running via Worcester Shrub Hill (0906-14), Cheltenham Spa (09/47) then passing through 41001′s former stamping ground, Bristol Parkway (10/36), Dr.Day’s Curve, Bath Spa (10/58) then via Westbury (1128-1230), Salisbury (1300-02), Eastleigh (1343), Southampton (13/57), Bournemouth (14/28), Wareham (1459-1504) and onto the Swanage Railway.

Please bear in mind that these are the planned timings, routing and consist 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/R83382/2014/05/01/advanced

http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/R83384/2014/05/02/advanced

41001 to attend Swanage and Didcot Diesel Galas

The 125 Group Project Miller team is very pleased that Prototype HST Power Car 41001 will be making guest appearances at two Preserved Railways this Spring.

41001 will be one of the attractions at the Swanage Railway Diesel Gala from Friday 9th to Sunday 11th May.  The Power Car will be on show as a static exhibit at the scenic location of Corfe Castle for the three days.  The driving cab will be open for visits with Project Miller volunteers on hand to explain our progress, the 125 Group sales stand will also be on site recruiting new members and raising funds to help complete restoration.

41001 will also be on show at the Didcot Railway Centre as part of their Diesel Gala from Saturday 24th to Monday 26th May.  The Power Car will be a static exhibit for the three day event, with the driving cab open for visits.  Project Miller volunteers will again be on hand to answer questions, with the 125 Group sales stand on site.  41001 is no stranger to Didcot as back in 1975 the Prototype High Speed Train took part in successful passenger trials on the Great Western Main Line, leading to the development of the iconic Inter-City 125s which are still in service today.

The Prototype HST on test at Didcot in February 1975 with power car 41001 (at the time numbered 43000) nearest the camera. Photo: © Dave Hird

The Prototype HST on test at Didcot in February 1975 with power car 41001 (at the time numbered 43000) nearest the camera. Photo: © Dave Hird

We look forward to seeing you at these events, do come along and say ‘Hello’ to the 125 Group Project Miller team, we will be delighted to show and tell you about our progress so far.  Conditions permitting, we hope to start up 41001′s classic Valenta engine from time to time at both events.

Link to Swanage Railway website:  www.swanagerailway.co.uk

Link to Didcot Railway Centre website:  www.didcotrailwaycentre.org.uk

Restoration work continues on 41001 at its home base of Ruddington on the Great Central Railway (Nottingham).  Railway engineering is expensive and we welcome donations to help us return the power car to working order so that it can haul trains, please click on the ‘Donate’ button – Thank You!