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.
While the vehicles have been selected 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.