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East Midlands Trains will be teaming up with the Great Central Railway (Nottingham) and the 125 Group to mark the 40th anniversary of the High Speed Trains (HSTs). A special event will take place at the Great Central Railway (Nottingham) on Saturday 19 November where a visiting East Midlands Trains HST will be doing trips throughout the day.
The HST, which will be made up of power car 43048, plus two coaches attached to a prototype power car (41001) and the 125 Group’s three Mk3 coaches, will be doing four round trips on the Great Central Railway (Nottingham) throughout the day. It will be the first time this formation of train has operated on this line and it is expected to be very popular with visitors.
The event will run from 10am until 5pm at the Great Central Railway (Nottingham), which is located on Mere Way in Ruddington and day tickets for the event are priced at £12. The chosen charity for the day is Railway Children and in addition to receiving a percentage of the ticket sales, Railway Children will also be selling railway themed Christmas cards and other items on the day to help raise valuable funds for the charity.
Special Guests will include two retired engineers who were key to the development of the High Speed Train which was designed in the East Midlands back in the early 1970s: Ron Whalley produced the revolutionary brake control system which enabled the train to stop rapidly from 125mph, and Greg Lilleker who led the commissioning of the Prototype HST and mainline tests including a record-breaking 143mph run. In a ceremony at 1115 at Ruddington station, a plaque will be unveiled on the side of East Midlands Trains power car 43048 to commemorate the 40th year of HST operation.
In addition, there will be a special appearance from Tim Shoveller, Managing Director of Stagecoach Rail, who will be getting his hands dirty and helping to shunt trains around. Chris Wright, new Director of Engineering for East Midlands Trains and a selection of East Midlands Trains Managers and Drivers will also be volunteering on the day to help ensure that as well as helping to celebrate 40 years of the HSTs, the event raises as much money as possible for Railway Children.
Darren Ward, Head of Drivers for East Midlands Trains, who helped to mastermind East Midlands Trains involvement in the event, said: “Our HSTs remain a firm favourite with many people, and along with the rest of the industry we wanted to celebrate their heritage and at the same time raise some valuable funds for one of our favourite charities.
“We’re all looking forward to playing our part in Saturday’s event and it’s a great opportunity to get our Rail Managing Director, Tim Shoveller, out getting his hands dirty! We’d like to thank the Great Central Railway (Nottingham) and the 125 Group for letting us take part in such a great event.”
Gary Heelas, Chairman of the 125 Group, added: "We're thrilled to team up with our good friends at East Midlands Trains again and are very grateful for the loan of 2 HST power cars and 2 Mk3 coaches for the day to join our own Mk3 fleet and prototype power car 41001. “We're also delighted that East Midlands Trains could also invite their nominated charity, Railway Children, along to do some pre-Christmas fund raising. With five warm coaches, a full buffet service and two generations of Paxman engines as well it promises to be an excellent day."
Dave Ellis, Corporate Partnerships Manager at Railway Children, said “We are so grateful for the invitation to be part of this exciting celebration and to share something more of our work with those involved. We would like to express our gratitude to East Midlands Trains, Great Central Railway (Nottingham) and the 125 Group for the wonderful opportunity to be involved in helping mark this important anniversary year.
“Over the last 20 years, we have helped over 270,000 vulnerable street children across East Africa, India and the UK and any funds raised at this event will go towards helping us continue this valuable work.”
For more information about the event visit www.gcrn.co.uk or www.125group.org.uk.