Modern Railways and CrossCountry celebrate with HST railtour

Twin anniversaries were celebrated on Tuesday 27 September as Modern Railways and CrossCountry organised a special railtour to the Severn Valley Railway with one of the operator’s HSTs.

The event marked 40 years of HST operation on CrossCountry’s North East to South West route and 60 years of Modern Railways magazine. The ‘Severn Valley Adventurer’ HST special ran from Leeds to Kidderminster via Wakefield Westgate, Doncaster, Sheffield, Derby and Birmingham New Street. The southbound working was led by power car No 43184, recently repainted into InterCity Executive livery, carrying a Modern Railways headboard which had been specially designed for the occasion. On arrival at Kidderminster the other power car, No 43366, which as No 43166 was one of the first power cars to be used on CrossCountry services in the early 1980s, was named HST 40.

After CrossCountry Managing Director Tom Joyner presented Modern Railways Editor Philip Sherratt with the commemorative headboard, a second naming event took place to mark the magazine’s anniversary as GB Railfreight’s No 66799 was named Modern Railways – Diamond Jubilee. The loco, owned by Beacon Rail, previously operated in Germany and was recently transferred to the UK and modified for operation in this country.

Following the ceremonies, the HST performed two round trips along the Severn Valley Railway from Kidderminster to Bridgnorth, before re-joining the main line for the return trip to Leeds.

The event was organised by CrossCountry and Modern Railways to raise funds for the Railway Benefit Fund, which supports current and former railway employees through a variety of problems, offering financial assistance, practical help and wide-ranging advice.

The trip was supported by Angel Trains, Beacon Rail and Porterbrook. In addition to this support and the proceeds from ticket sales, donations and sales of raffle tickets on board the train, the final total will also include the proceeds raised from the sale of one of the nameplates from GBRf loco No 66745, which was named Modern Railways – the first 50 years in 2012. With a fresh naming marking the magazine’s 60th anniversary, the plates from No 66745 will be removed shortly, and one will be auctioned at the end of October by Railwayana Auctions. A final fundraising total from the event will be announced later in the year.

Modern Railways is grateful for the support of CrossCountry, the Severn Valley Railway, GB Railfreight, Angel Trains, Beacon Rail and Porterbrook for making this event possible.