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Celebrate 40 Years of High Speed Trains at the National Railway Museum

On Sunday 2 October the National Railway Museum celebrates the 40th Anniversary of the iconic 'High Speed Train' - commonly known as the InterCity 125.

This is your exclusive invite to visit the National Railway Museum this Sunday 2 October for a chance to enjoy and celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the iconic 'High Speed Train' - commonly known as the InterCity 125.

Working with Great Western Railway (GWR), the National Railway Museum (NRM) is proud to provide the people of York and beyond a unique chance to see the original HST Class 43 power car in all its newly-restored glory, as it would have been seen for the first time in 1976. Plus, there's a rare opportunity to hear directly from one of the greatest living industrial designers Sir Kenneth Grange, who will be participating at a plaque-giving ceremony to be held in NRM's Great Hall.

The GWR HST Class 43 power car (43002) was named after Sir Kenneth Grange earlier this year in honour of his creation of its exterior styling of the power car nose cone, the interior layout of the HST, and the train's aerodynamics.

Situated in the Great Hall, the National Railway Museum's event begins at 12:30pm where members of the public will be able to see Sir Kenneth welcome the power car to York and the Museum. Sir Kenneth will be joined by Great Western Railway Engineering Director Andrew Mellors, who will present a commemorative plaque to Andrew McLean, Head Curator of the National Railway Museum.

Also on display in the South Yard will be another GWR Class 43 power car (43185), making its first public appearance after being recently re-liveried into the Intercity Swallow livery which was first seen in 1988.

Andrew McLean, Head Curator at the National Railway Museum, said: "The introduction of the HST greatly improved the economies of the towns and cities that it served and made commuting from large distances possible. Its success is such that it still looks stylish, still carries large numbers of passengers at 125mph and remains vital to keep Britain moving.

It stands as testimony to the excellence of British rail engineering and the genius of the industrial designer Kenneth Grange who created its iconic shape. Simply put, it is arguably the most successful train the world has seen and we're delighted to be able to celebrate it at the Museum. The ceremony introducing the new power car will commemorate the excellence in design but also inspire future generations of train engineers and designers."

GWR Engineering Director Andrew Mellors added: "We're delighted to be able to present to the public the power car named after Sir Kenneth Grange and also to welcome him to the Museum for the unveiling at the home of locomotives, the National Railway Museum.

With a brand new fleet and the very latest in train design, the Intercity Express Train, due onto the Great Western network next summer, it is an opportune moment to remember and celebrate an icon that has served the industry so well.

The longevity and success of the HST is a testament not only to those who designed and engineered it, but also to the many who have maintained them, helping achieve the iconic status they now have."

What is the HST?

Introduced in 1976, the HST is a renowned figure in the rail industry. Also known as the InterCity 125, the train's introduction revolutionised Britain's railways and economy. The locomotive set new standards in comfort and radically reduced journey times, resulting in it becoming a record-breaking design icon. The HST is the fastest diesel train in the world operating on conventional track and at a fraction of the cost.

About Sir Kenneth Grange 

Not just train designer royalty, Sir Kenneth Grange is also the designer of the celebrated Kenwood Mixer, the 21st century revamp of the Anglepoise lamp, and the classic 'Venner' parking meter, not forgetting Kodak's Brownie and Instamatic cameras.

The celebration event will commence at 12:30pm until 3pm, where the public will be able to learn about the history of the HST and have a chance to hear about Sir Kenneth's experiences of designing the famous HST from Sir Kenneth himself.

For more information contact:
Simon Baylis, PR and Press Manager, National Railway Museum
01904 686299

Image reproduced with kind permission of the 125 Group.

Notes to Editors

About the National Railway Museum

  • This is a GWR event in partnership with the National Railway Museum.
  • The National Railway Museum in York has the largest collection of railway objects in the world and attracts over 700,000 visitors per year.
  • The National Railway Museum's collection includes over 300 locomotives and rolling stock, 628 coins and medals, 4899 pieces of railway uniform and costume, railway equipment, documents, records, artwork and railway related photographs.
  • The National Railway Museum houses a world class collection of Royal trains, which includes a collection of Royal carriages, from those used by Queen Victoria to Queen Elizabeth II.
  • The National Railway Museum's vast art collection comprises of 11,270 posters, 2,358 prints and drawings, 1052 paintings, and 1,750,000 photographs, many of which have never been on public display.
  • The National Railway Museum forms part of the Science Museum Group, along with the Science Museum in London, the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) in Manchester, the National Media Museum in Bradford and the National Railway Museum in Shildon.
  • Admission to the National Railway Museum is free.

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