Porterbrook’s generous donation completes HST story showcase

©125 Group

With the recent handover of 43102 (one of the power cars involved in the 1987 record breaking test run) to the National Collection at Shildon, the other power car 43159, has  faced a less certain future, having been in store for a prolonged period since retirement from Great Western operation.

125 Group is delighted to announce today that Porterbrook, the power car’s owner, has made a fantastic donation of this second world diesel speed record holder 43159, to 125 Group.

While we have always selected our vehicles based on condition and availability, rather than painted number, the historical significance has certainly played a large part in this case, but 125 Group still satisfied itself that the vehicle was in good overall condition before confirming to Porterbrook that they wished to proceed.

This puts 125 Group in a unique position, as not only one of the few owners of preserved HST vehicles, but the only one that can show such a wide range of the HST’s history; 43159 of-course being fitted with an MTU engine as part of its return to service with First Great Western in 2007.

The Group’s plan for the fleet will see a Valenta fitted, Marston cooled power car (43044), two VP185 fitted power cars with Brush coolers (43048 & 43089) and an MTU powered example with Voith cooler (43159).  All are planned to be maintained in an operational condition with main line certification.  These power cars will be utilised in conjunction with the nine HST trailer vehicles owned by the Group, allowing a variation of formations and uses depending on the market need.

125 Group again wishes to place on record its sincerest gratitude to Porterbrook for their amazing generosity in supporting our aims, but also wishes to thank its own members, for their support and financial backing to bring this small fleet of HSTs into the preservation circle. 

Ongoing support to our engineering/operational teams, or financial support towards the upkeep and operation of these fabulous vehicles, can be made through our Direct Debit schemes, or Group membership, as detailed on our website.  https://www.125group.org.uk/you-can-help/ 

Mission Complete (Well, Almost…..) – 125 Group purchase 43044.

125 Group is delighted to announce the acquisition of a further two MK3 HST trailers, one to join the permanent fleet and one as a spares donor. This brings our HST MK3 fleet to a permanent total of eight vehicles.

The make up of this is a TGS (44000), 3x TS (42111, 42119, 42337), 2x TF (41057 and 41067, which has a disabled toilet), plus 2x TRFB (40730 and 40741). This allows us flexibility in both extra catering capacity and redundancy of the restaurant/buffet vehicle itself.  TS 42120 is anticipated to become the spares donor, but this could be subject to change based on full condition assessments.

Further to this, we have some more exciting news in that we can confirm purchase of HST power car 43044 from Porterbrook. The Trustees would like to extend their thanks to two particular long serving group members who have very generously funded the purchase of this power car – they are both highly dedicated to the cause and 125 Group owes them huge gratitude – thank you!

125 Group’s 43044 stands in the Power Car bay at Neville Hill depot on 18th February 2021 ©125 Group

The purchase of 43044 will help us achieve one of our famous core objectives, to own a power car that is powered by the original Paxman Valenta Engine, with a Marston Cooler group. This will join our existing two VP185 power cars, allowing us to show a significant portion of the HST story, but not all of it quite yet – if you’re an MTU fan, you’ll need to wait a little longer!

We would like to extend our sincere thanks to Porterbrook for again supporting us in our aims – there is no doubt we would not have succeeded without their generous support and help. We also extend thanks to our friends at East Midlands Railway for assisting us in the handover of 43044.

Visit the 125 Group website for more information – https://www.125group.org.uk

125 Grup HST Depot Appeal #Depot125 – https://www.125group.org.uk/depot/