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THE RETURN OF THE JOLLY FISHERMAN 125 SPECIAL


Saturday 22nd June 2024

First Class Non-Dining is Fully Booked. Please contact the office if you wish to be placed on a wait list.

UK Railtours are proud to present a Seaside Special to bracing Skegness aboard an Intercity 125 High Speed Train at a really bargain price, so why not bring your friends and family and make a day of it?

The concept of 125 Specials is not new, but in recent years one that has been difficult for us to offer. We are very grateful to our friends at The 125 Group and Rail Adventure for enabling us to bring back this much loved day out which is sure to delight customers of all ages!

Noted for its well-tended seaside gardens and long sandy beaches, welcoming Skegness is a must for an early Summer visit before the school holidays start! Skegness was primarily a fishing village and small port until the arrival of the railway in 1875. In 1908, Great Northern commissioned a poster to advertise excursions to the resort, the first being on Good Friday that year. The ‘Skegness is so Bracing’ poster featuring The Jolly Fisherman helped to put Skegness on the map and is now world famous. The poster, derived from an old painting by John Hassall, was purchased by the railway company for just 12 guineas.

Our Intercity 125 is very much in contrast to the Skegness excursion trains of bygone times. Whilst our carriages are provided by the 125 Group (see below), we will be hauled by the immaculate two-tone grey power cars of Rail Adventure. These are usually found moving empty trains around the country and rarely haul a passenger train – a real treat!

The journey we take is an interesting one, via Nottingham to Sleaford and onward through the distinctive Lincolnshire countryside past wayside halts and little signal boxes controlling traditional semaphore signals. Skegness station, very much a ‘railway outpost’ these days, is an easy level walk from Clock Tower Gardens, the promenade and the beach. Of course no visit here would be complete without sampling the local delicacy of fish and chips or maybe an ice cream!

You will have around four hours at leisure in Skegness to explore this marvelous seaside resort.

A QUICK HISTORY LESSON

On the 30th January 1988 Hertfordshire Railtours (as we were formerly known) ran the inaugural ‘125 Special’. Starting at London St Pancras, the tour travelled over the Settle and Carlisle Railway northbound, and then on the return followed a circuitous route via York, Sheffield and Derby to return home. In the years following, both Hertfordshire Railtours and latterly UK Railtours ran almost two hundred 125 Specials, travelling all over the United Kingdom from Cornwall to Scotland. They became almost synonymous with the company, and continued long after the demise of BR Intercity with the assistance of Stagecoach’s East Midlands Trains. Our final 125 Special ran on the 16th September 2017… or so everybody thought!

Our association with the 125 Group goes back almost as far as our 125 Specials. Formed in 1994, the 125 Group sales stand was a popular guest onboard many of our 125 Specials. Since those days the Group has grown by leaps and bounds, and now are the proud owners of their very own set of High Speed Train Mk 3 carriages, including several class 43 power cars. Based at the Midland Railway at Butterley, the Group’s set ran its first main line test run (pictured above) in October of last year with great results.

Out of all 196(!) of our 125 Specials, the one that is best remembered is almost certainly ‘The Lincolnshire Poacher’ – our visit to Skegness on the 22nd February 1992. The first time an HST had visited the popular seaside resort, we were met by a brass band, the town mayor and the Jolly Fisherman himself! Over the years we’ve visited several more times and always received a warm welcome (such as in 2011, pictured above), so for our first 125 Special of the new era we really couldn’t go anywhere else!

A buffet car is available. There is no First Class Dining aboard this railtour.

ClassPriceAvailability
Standard Class Adult£99Good
Standard Class Junior£49Good
First Class Non Dining£139Fully Booked

Please note timings are provisional until confirmed. 

StationDepartArrive
London St Pancras08.0020.10
Luton Airport Parkway08.2519.40
Kettering09.1019.00
Leicester09.4018.30

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