Looking to the future

IT is five years now since the surviving prototype HST power car No. 41001 arrived at Ruddington, Great Central Railway (Nottingham), its operating base while under the care of the 125 Group.
The Group had already pulled off what many saw as a minor miracle – not only getting the National Railway Museum to loan out one of its star exhibits, but also to return what was essentially a shell back into an operating locomotive.
Most of the major ‘Project Miller’ work was done at Neville Hill depot, Leeds, and in little over 18 months from March 2012 to September 2013, which is double-quick time in preservation circles, the power car was refitted with an original Valenta engine, had all its control electronics and cabling made and fitted, the brake system and running gear overhauled, and the driver controls made usable again (see Rail Express October 2013).

Prototype power car No. 41001 poses at Fifty Steps bridge, where trains from Ruddington reverse to access the former Great Central Main Line to Loughborough. Immediately behind the power car is the 125 Group’s most recent acquisition, RFM No. 10202, followed by its first three Mk.3s (Nos. 11074, 10206 and 12092), and newly-restored TSO No. 12087. Class 47 No. 47828 ‘tails’ the working.

No. 41001 was then moved to Ruddington in late September 2013 where further finishing work, not least to the alternator, saw it move under its own power again in May 2014. This milestone achievement was celebrated with the visiting ‘Screaming Valenta’ railtour on November 15 that year, when No. 41001 operated a 2+6 formation over the GCR(N)’s line with EMT production power car No. 43054. This was the prototype’s first public passenger duty since 1976, and also marked the official end of ‘Project Miller’.

 

Read more in the December issue of Rail Express, on sale now.

 

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