THE LAST  InterCity 125 journey from South Wales to London took place today, Saturday (May 18) and apart from a few dedicated train enthusiasts including our very own cameraman Dave Hurford there were not many people who noticed the aerodynamic icon speed by from the side of the tracks.

The InterCity 125 High Speed Trains are being phased out after more than 40 years. The trains were used on the lines between Paddington and South Wales. When they were introduced they heralded a new generation of faster travel all over the country.

Originally referred to as the High Speed Train (HST) the bullet nosed train coloured white, grey, blue and yellow was a diesel-powered passenger train built by British Rail Engineering Limited between 1975 and 1982.


Video: ©Dave Hurford

The demise of the 125 train, which caused so much excitement when it was launched has come as a result of take overs and new stock being purchased. As of July 2018, InterCity 125s remained in service with CrossCountry, East Midlands Trains, Great Western Railway, London North Eastern Railway and Network Rail. Most of those operating with GWR and LNER will be replaced by Class 800, 801 and 802s by December 2019

The prototype train of seven coaches and two locomotives was completed in August 1972 and by the autumn was running trials on the main line. The following year, high-speed testing was being undertaken on the “racing stretch” of the East Coast Main Line between York and Darlington.

On 6 June 1973 131 mph was reached, and this maximum was raised as the days passed. By 12 June a world diesel speed record of 143.2 mph (230.5 km/h) was achieved.

The fixed-formation concept was proven in trial running between 1973 and 1976, and British Rail decided to build 27 production HSTs to transform InterCity services between London Paddington, Bristol, Cardiff and Swansea.

Image Attribution: Wiki Commons, Dave Hitchborne / Railway Station, Manchester

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