Wonderful Weekend

The 125 Group Project Miller team have now just about recovered from the excitement of last weekend, 41001′s fantastic public launch at the Great Central Railway (Nottingham)! The Prototype High Speed Train Power Car performed faultlessly for the two days, working its first public trains since completion of our restoration, following a break of almost 30 years. 41001 made a total of seven return trips over the former mainline between Ruddington and Loughborough High Level, running top’n’tail with loco’ 56097.

On its first day in public service since restoration, Prototype HST Power Car 41001 displays clean exhaust powering away from Fifty Steps on the GCRN with service 1A05 1200 Ruddington - Loughborough High Level, running top'n'tail with 56097, Sunday 24th May 2015.  © David Senior

On its first day in public service since restoration, Prototype HST Power Car 41001 displays clean exhaust powering away from Fifty Steps on the GCRN with service 1A05 1200 Ruddington – Loughborough High Level, running top’n’tail with 56097, Sunday 24th May 2015. © David Senior

This was also the first public outing for 125 Group’s recently acquired fleet of Mk3 coaches: First Class Open 11074, Restaurant First Modular 10206 and Tourist Second Open 12092. A cold buffet service was provided from the RFM, and sales of Miller’s Pride real ale were brisk! The 125 Group sales stand was also popular on-board.

Thank you to everyone who bought tickets and came along for a ride. We very much appreciate the complementary comments about 41001, and the Mk3s which we have worked hard to make presentable in the eight weeks since they arrived at Ruddington following years of storage at Long Marston. Sincere thanks also to the ‘Grid’ team and our friends at GCR(N) for their work behind the scenes, and a special mention is due for the small gang of volunteers who worked tirelessly to get Mk2a 5376 ready for operation, this smart looking coach was also in the air-braked consist all weekend.

Prototype HST Power Car 41001 on its public launch weekend at GCRN, arriving at Rushcliffe Halt with service 1A13 1600 Ruddington - Loughborough High Level, running top'n'tail with 56097, Sunday 24th May 2015.  © David Senior

Prototype HST Power Car 41001 on its public launch weekend at GCRN, arriving at Rushcliffe Halt with service 1A13 1600 Ruddington – Loughborough High Level, running top’n’tail with 56097, Sunday 24th May 2015. © David Senior

During the two days, 41001 accumulated over 60 miles of powering trains, hauling its load of 270 tonnes – more than a power car normally has to handle on the mainline. The original type Valenta engine clocked up over 15 hours of problem free running, testament to the hard work of our restoration volunteers and not forgetting the valuable help which Project Miller has received from the railway industry, for which we continue to be most grateful. All being well, 41001 will be in action at the GCR(N) Summer Diesel Gala on 11th/12th July, keep an eye on their website for details www.gcrn.co.uk

Prototype HST Power Car 41001 on its public launch weekend at GCRN, approaching Asher Lane LC with service 1D14 1646 Loughborough High Level - Ruddington, running top'n'tail with 56097, Sunday 24th May 2015.  © David Senior

Prototype HST Power Car 41001 on its public launch weekend at GCRN, approaching Asher Lane LC with service 1D14 1646 Loughborough High Level – Ruddington, running top’n’tail with 56097, Sunday 24th May 2015. © David Senior

Interested in HSTs? Join 125 Group to receive our members only magazine, packed full of news of the mainline fleets, plus behind the scenes information and plans for 41001 and our three Mk3 coaches. Help support our long term objective of preserving a production Inter-City 125. Membership is £17 for 12 months, join here: www.125group.org.uk

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!