125 Group HST Depot Appeal


Power cars require depot facilities to keep them in top condition

To help achieve our long-term goal of HST Preservation, 125 Group is investing in a new diesel maintenance depot to be built at Nottingham Heritage Railway (NHR), home of our MK3 coach fleet and formally of 41001. The building will be constructed at Ruddington, NHR’s operating base and will provide a secure facility to enable 125 Group to continue maintenance of our existing fleet and a restoration home for any Production HST power cars & coaches we may acquire in future. 125 Group needs to raise £100,000 to allow the development to proceed, we seek donations from individuals and corporate sponsors for this exciting project!


125 Group was formed in 1994 by a small band of enthusiasts to share news and information on the fleet and with the long-term aim of preserving a HST. The iconic train is still going strong today, the mainstay of many InterCity routes. Our objective is to preserve a production HST powered by the original Valenta engine, to this end we have acquired a large number of major components. Through this work and our restoration of 41001 we have developed a good relationship with the railway industry and grown to over 650 members. We are now a registered charity and are delighted to have 125 designer Sir Kenneth Grange as our Honorary President.

125 Group has a proven track record, in 2012 we took the last surviving prototype HST power car 41001 on long-term loan from the National Railway Museum and under the ‘Project Miller’ banner, in honour of the BR Chief Engineer behind the original HST, we restored it from a static exhibit to full working order for use on preserved railways. In recognition we were presented with the 2014 Railway Heritage Committee Modern Traction Award. Thanks to our benefactors, volunteers and the kind help of the railway industry, 41001 was a regular performer at GCR(N) as well as visiting other preserved lines prior to returning to the NRM. 125 Group currently own & operate several MK3 coaches which our engineering team have also restored or are currently restoring. Our team of around twenty-five active volunteers maintain and operate the train, including a buffet bar serving drinks and delicious hot food prepared on-board.


Restoration of 12134 was hampered by limited access to shed space

125 Group’s engineering successes are numerous. Restoration of Prototype power car 41001 included a complete rewire, installation of replacement Valenta engine with a complex alternator swap, design and construction of new auxiliary power rectifier and control system, brake system overhaul with renewal of original E70 control system, plus a full repaint. More recent enhancement work has included fitting single bank firing to the engine to reduce fuel dilution and a pre-heater to reduce the stress of cold starts. In addition to running maintenance, further work has included suspension upgrade, attention to brakes, wheelslip/slide and speedometer systems, replacement of no.7 axle bearing, plus OTMR installation. Finally, we were the first to operate a train at 125MPH in preservation.

Our volunteer engineering team has also toiled to restore our MK3 coaches. Attention has included brake systems overhaul, door replacement and vestibule work, air conditioning repairs, panel painting and toilet repairs, full interior and exterior clean, carpet renewal, seat cleaning and squab changes, catering vehicle kitchen lighting overhaul plus new high quality flooring.

Most of this work has been carried out with the power car and coaches standing exposed to the elements out in the open at Ruddington, making restoration a damp and time-consuming business! Very importantly, we have also developed, using industry best practice, our own vehicle maintenance and overhaul procedures, which have been formally approved and will provide the basis for upkeep of our existing fleet and future HST power car and trailer acquisitions.


125 Group needs support facilities for our fleet which currently comprises of 4 power cars and 13 MK3 coaches (a mix of HST and loco-hauled stock). We recognise that it will not be possible to undertake the necessary maintenance and restoration without some suitable covered accommodation. This has led to the development of plans for a small depot facility at NHR Ruddington. The two road maintenance shed will accommodate four vehicles at a time, either power cars, coaches or other locomotives. Three of these berths will be under the ownership of 125 Group.

Why does the Group need this facility?

  • Provide secure facilities for our fleet
  • A roof keeps the rain off, reducing damp and long-term bodywork repairs
  • Reduces time of restoration
  • Gives a better working environment that makes restoration time more productive
  • Environment that 125 Group has control of – shed space is always in demand and rarely available


Donations Target £100,000

We welcome donations for our Depot which we hope will become the UK recognised site of High Speed Train preservation as a working museum base. A registered charity, 125 Group needs to raise £100,000 to allow the development to succeed and protect its fleet assets from the ravages of the English weather.

Total Raised as of 10/11/2022 = £95,888

Donation Wall

As a mark of appreciation, donors who give £125 and over will be invited to have their name added to our Donation Wall which will adorn the HST depot building, this is a very special personal way to support our preservation efforts.



Make a bank transfer from your own account into our HST Depot appeal account:
Sort Code: 40-52-40 Account No: 00099501
Once you have made your donation please email depot@125group.org.uk with your name and amount donated so that we can monitor the account and send you a Gift Aid form. If you have donated £125 or more, then please also let us know if you would like your name added to the HST Depot Donation Wall.


Send a cheque, payable to 125 Group Ltd, to:
125 Group Limited, 85 Great Portland Street, London, W1W 7LT.

Please include a note saying your donation is for the HST Depot Appeal, plus your name and address so we can send you a Gift Aid form. If you have donated £125 or more, then please also let us know if you would like your name added to the HST Depot Donation Wall.


Click on the Donate button below and make your donation via PayPal, card payments also accepted. Once you have made your donation please then email depot@125group.org.uk so that we can send you a Gift Aid form. If you have donated £125 or more then let us know if you would like your name added to the HST Depot Donation Wall.

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Thank You Very Much for your contribution to our HST Depot Appeal!


If you’re a UK Taxpayer then, with your agreement, we can reclaim Gift Aid from the tax you pay for the current tax year. It costs you nothing but allows us to reclaim an extra 25p for every £1.00 of your donation. Once you have made your donation please be sure to email depot@125group.org.uk or write to us with your postal address so that we can send you a Gift Aid consent form to complete. Thank You!


We welcome approaches from corporate sponsors and will be pleased to discuss adding a plaque inside the HST Depot gratefully acknowledging support.

We are very grateful to Porterbrook for making the first corporate contribution and to RailUK Forums for their kind donation of £4,100.01. Sincere thanks also to East Midlands Trains and Branch Line Society for donating £21,143.21 raised by ‘The Screaming Valentas’ railtour.


Any questions or enquiries regarding our HST Depot to this email address please: depot@125group.org.uk