Terry Miller M.B.E was the man responsible for leading the design team behind Britain’s first ever High Speed Train (HST), introducing the prototype in 1972 after only 22 months from the initial concept. The HST 125 was to be his enduring legacy to the railways of Britain and it is hard to conceive that there was mixed opinion within British Rail in the 1960s as to how to compete with the Government drive of new motorways and increased domestic travel.
Terry was a boarder at Fulneck School from 1924 to 1928 and then later joined the Former Pupils’ Association (then called the Old Boys’) to maintain his connection with Fulneck.
At 17 he joined the Doncaster Works of the London & North Eastern Railway as a premium apprentice in 1929 and rose through the ranks to become District Locomotive Superintendent at Stratford, in 1947, one of the largest and most difficult districts in the Country. His achievements there were recognised by the award of the MBE.
Continuing in his career he faced the challenges of the 1955 Modernisation Plan on the Eastern Region, the Euston-Manchester Electrification and the aspirations for shorter journey times.
His appointment as the BR’s Chief Mechanical Engineer in 1970 allowed him to realise his vision, changing the face of rail travel and creating a new dawn for the British railways. He continued his interest in the construction and operation of model steam locomotives after his retirement in 1973.
On 30th April 2008 a celebration event was held at Leeds Neville Hill to honour Terry Miller M.B.E. by naming the ‘power car’ No. 43048 after him. The nameplate was unveiled by his son John. One railway commentator said “Terry was the single handed saviour of BR’s intercity business“ – and another, (that after more than thirty years), “the HST remains the standard by which other trains are judged”.
The citation above the name plate reads: As British Rail’s Chief Engineer for Traction and Rolling Stock, Terry Miller led the Design Team at Derby Railway technical centre which produced the High Speed Train (HST), the mainstream of long distance rail travel for the UK for 30 years. The HST remains the standard by which other trains are judged”.
He was appointed an Officer of the Order of St John in recognition of his services to the St John’s Ambulance Movement. On his retirement, according to his son, he pursued his lifelong interest in the construction and operation of model steam locomotives.
Terry’s connections with the Moravian Church go all the way back to 1804 when his Great-grandfather, Henry miller was born in Co.Down, Ireland. Henry was ordained and entered the mission service in 1835, working in Antigua for 16 years and later becoming the Warden at Grace Hill.
Henry had six children and two of those went to Fulneck as did Terry’s father, Alan. He therefore descended from a family who were firmly established in the Moravian Tradition.
Article written by Robin Hutton using Fulneck archives, the National Railway Museum at York, and memories from Terry Miller’s son, John.