Tyseley Locomotive Works

Tyseley Locomotive Works, formerly the Birmingham Railway Museum, is the engineering arm of steam railtour promoter Vintage Trains based in Birmingham, England. It occupies part of the former Great Western Railway's Tyseley depot, built in 1908 to accommodate expanding operations in the West Midlands, particularly the opening of the North Warwickshire Line as a new main line from Birmingham to Bristol.

ex-GWR locomotives at Tyseley
4965 and 7760 inside a shed.

As well as supporting the trust's operating wing Vintage Trains, it is home to an extensive collection of steam engines, from small industrial builds to Great Western Railway 'Castles' and 'Halls', and large ex-mainline diesel engines.

Background edit

bits of Kinlet Hall and Duke of Gloucester

Following the purchase of GWR Castle Class No.7029 Clun Castle in January 1966 by Patrick Whitehouse, the locomotive needed a base close to its central West Midlands supporters' base. Whitehouse found space available at Tyseley, on the site of the former GWR depot, and formed 7029 Clun Castle Ltd to own both the locomotive and the rights to stable it at the depot.

In October 1968, 7029 Clun Castle Ltd purchased LMS Jubilee Class No.5593 "Kolhapur". With further locomotives and railway artefacts available as a result of the Beeching Axe, the supporters established the Standard Gauge Steam Trust as a registered educational charity, to preserve and demonstrate the steam locomotives. Following negotiations the trust acquired a long-term lease on a large part of the Tyseley site, and established the Tyseley Collection which still owns the locomotives and artefacts via the limited company; the depot site became the "Birmingham Railway Museum".[1]

The trust cleared buildings and repaired the dilapidated tracks, and two water columns were repaired to allow steam locomotives to stay at the site. In 1968 the old coaling stage was converted into a two-road shed with an inspection pit to hold both acquired locomotives. In November 1966 Clun Castle was stripped and restored.[2]

In 1999 the trust achieved its long-held objective of running a regular steam train service on the national main line railway network: the Shakespeare Express between Birmingham Snow Hill and Stratford-upon-Avon. At this point the trust felt that the term museum was inappropriate for its new status, and hence separated its assets and operations into two new organisations, Tyseley Locomotive Works and the operating arm Vintage Trains, with the third arm remaining the Tyseley Collection.[1] Since then, the restoration of the locomotives has been an ongoing process with a high level of craftsmanship.[3]

Vintage Trains Railtours edit

Shakespeare Express edit

As part of its educational programme the trust's operational arm Vintage Trains runs the Shakespeare Express between Birmingham Snow Hill and Stratford-upon-Avon.

In October 2004 the trust announced the acquisition of a site adjacent to Stratford-upon-Avon railway station for future use as the Stratford Railway Tourist Centre and Steam Locomotive Centre. This will provide a steam loco servicing centre at the southern end of the Shakespeare Line. A small museum is also being considered.[4]

As of October 2023, Vintage Trains still operate their "Shakespeare Express" trains between Birmingham Snow Hill and Stratford-upon-Avon on select Sunday's throughout the year. Pickups are offered at: Birmingham Snow Hill, Birmingham Moor Street & Tyseley alongside Stratford-upon-Avon.[5] From 2007 an additional stop was made at Henley-in-Arden to offer passengers a round trip journey travelling via Stratford upon Avon and Birmingham Snow Hill, this was discontinued at the end of the 2021 season.[6]

It was also announced in October 2023 that 2024's programme of "Shakespeare Express" trains will be expanded to include additional departures from Derby, Worcester and Leicester on individual trips alongside the regular trips from Birmingham.[7] The Worcester departures are also expected to include steam haulage up Lickey Incline.

Steam Excursions edit

In May 2012, Vintage Trains ran their first multiday trip called "Castle to Scotland" and ran over three days from Sat 26 May to Mon 28 May with 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe.[8] Sun 27 May included an optional trip from Linlithgow to Stirling.[9] A second multiday trip is being planned for Fri 10 May to Sat 11 May 2024 to mark the 60th anniversary for 1Z48 and is planned to involve 7029 Clun Castle.[10][11] For Friday the trip is planned to run from Birmingham to Plymouth travelling via Oxford and Bristol and for Saturday the tour is planned to return from Plymouth to Birmingham travelling via London Paddington.

2023 marked the 100th anniversary since the introduction of the Castle Class in 1923. In connection to an event taking place at Didcot Railway Centre involving resident engines 4079 Pendennis Castle and 5051 Drysllwyn Castle on Sat 4 March 2023,[12] 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe and 7029 Clun Castle double headed a Shareholder special from Birmingham Moor Street to Didcot Parkway in connection with the event.[13][14] Following arrival at Didcot both engines were placed on display alongside classmates 4079 Pendennis Castle and 5051 Drysllwyn Castle. 7029 acted as pilot engine to 5043 for the journey to Didcot & 5043 piloted 7029 on the journey back to Birmingham. This trip was also the first time in preservation that the two surviving double chimney castles had double headed together. Both engines would also double head a second railtour on Sat 10 June 2023 from Birmingham to Hereford called "The Castle Centenarian", 5043 once again piloted 7029 for the trip.[15][16]

Polar Express edit

Four round trips are run per day which take place every Friday to Sunday in November and December.[17][18]

Locomotives edit

Image Number Name Class Wheel Configuration Year Built Builder Status Notes
2885 - GWR 2884 Class 2-8-0 1938 Swindon Works Undergoing Restoration[citation needed]
4121 - GWR 5101 Class 2-6-2T 1937 Swindon Works Stored
4936 Kinlet Hall GWR 4900 Class 4-6-0 1929 Swindon Works Undergoing Overhaul Overhaul being done to mainline standard.[19]
4965 Rood Ashton Hall GWR 4900 Class 4-6-0 1930 Swindon Works Awaiting Overhaul
5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe GWR 4073 Class 4-6-0 1936 Swindon Works Operational, Mainline Certified (2023-Ongoing) Boiler ticket expires in 2031.[13]
5080 Defiant GWR 4073 Class 4-6-0 1939 Swindon Works Undergoing Ovehaul Overhaul being done to mainline standard.[20]
5164 - GWR 5101 Class 2-6-2T 1930 Swindon Works Stored[21]
5551 The Unknown Warrior LMS Patriot Class 4-6-0 20## Tyseley Locomotive Works Under Construction[22]
5593 Kolhapur LMS Jubilee Class 4-6-0 1934 North British Locomotive Co. Awaiting Overhaul[23] Awaiting sale to a new owner as part of Tyseley's future development plans.[24]
5952 Cogan Hall GWR 4900 Class 4-6-0 1935 Swindon Works Stored[25]
6880 Betton Grange GWR 6800 Class 4-6-0 20## Tyseley Locomotive Works Under Construction[26]
7029 Clun Castle GWR 4073 Class 4-6-0 1950 Swindon Works Operational, Mainline Certified (2019-Ongoing) Boiler ticket expires in 2027.[27]
7752 - GWR 5700 Class 0-6-0PT 1930 North British Locomotive Co. Awaiting Overhaul[28]
7760 - GWR 5700 Class 0-6-0PT 1930 North British Locomotive Co. Awaiting Overhaul[29] Awaiting sale to a new owner as part of Tyseley's future development plans.[24]
7802 Bradley Manor GWR 7800 Class 4-6-0 1938 Swindon Works Under Repair[30] Based at the Severn Valley Railway
9600 - GWR 5700 Class 0-6-0PT 1945 Swindon Works Awaiting Overhaul[31]
71000 Duke of Gloucester BR Standard Class 8 4-6-2 1954 Crewe Works Under Overhaul[32] To be based at LNWR Heritage, Crewe upon completion of overhaul.[33]

References edit

  1. ^ a b "Birmingham Railway Museum". Archived from the original on 20 November 2004. Retrieved 14 November 2004.
  2. ^ Nabarro, Gerald (1972). Steam Nostalgia: Locomotive and Railway Preservation in Great Britain. Routledge. pp. 39–42. ISBN 0-7100-7391-7.
  3. ^ "Reviving History with Precision: 3D Printed Superheater Header for the Locomotive Excellence". Archived from the original on 31 March 2024. Retrieved 31 March 2024.
  4. ^ "Stratford Steam Locomotive Centre for the Shakespeare Express". www.shakespeareexpress.com. Archived from the original on 30 October 2006.
  5. ^ "The Shakespeare Express". Vintage Trains.
  6. ^ "The Shakespeare Express". Archived from the original on 23 June 2016.
  7. ^ "Vintage Trains expands Shakespeare Express programme for 2024 season". Steam Railway. No. 550. October 2023. p. 26.
  8. ^ "Castle to Scotland (Day 1)". UK Steam Info. 25 May 2012. Archived from the original on 4 November 2017.
  9. ^ "Day 2 timings for optional trip to Stirling". UK Steam Info. 23 May 2012. Archived from the original on 4 November 2017.
  10. ^ "Clun Castle for 1Z48 60th anniversary railtour re-run". Steam Railway. No. 550. October 2023. p. 26.
  11. ^ "The Railtour Files". www.sixbellsjunction.co.uk.
  12. ^ "Four Restored Castles Come Together For One Day Only | Didcot Railway Centre". didcotrailwaycentre.org.uk.
  13. ^ a b "Vintage Trains Excursion (Birmingham Snow Hill - Didcot Parkway)". RailAdvent.
  14. ^ "Vintage Trains (Shareholders' Special". Six Bells Junction.
  15. ^ "Vintage Trains - The Castle Centenarian". www.sixbellsjunction.co.uk.
  16. ^ "GWR Castle Centenary (Birmingham New Street - Hereford)". RailAdvent.
  17. ^ "The Polar Express". UK Steam Info. 28 November 2018. Archived from the original on 25 January 2020.
  18. ^ "POLAR EXPRESS™ - The North Pole". Vintage Trains.
  19. ^ "4936 set for comeback in 2023". Heritage Railway Magazine. No. 301. December 2022. p. 60.
  20. ^ "The 5080 Defiant Club". Archived from the original on 14 September 2018.
  21. ^ Smith, Roger (18 October 2023). "Steam locomotive 5164 to be displayed". RailAdvent. Retrieved 31 December 2023.
  22. ^ "Steam locomotive No. 5551 The Unknown Warrior moves to a new assembly base". RailAdvent. 6 December 2023.
  23. ^ "45593 Kolhapur (LMS 5593 & BR 45593)". 4 July 2017.
  24. ^ a b Holden, Michael (23 January 2024). "Steam locomotive changes at Vintage Trains as growth plans announced". RailAdvent. Retrieved 23 January 2024.
  25. ^ Holden, Michael (18 March 2021). "Tyseley to become permanent home for steam locomotive 6880 Betton Grange and 5952 Cogan Hall". Rail Advent. Retrieved 21 March 2021.
  26. ^ "GWR 'Grange' No. 6880 'Betton Grange'". RailAdvent. 18 March 2021.
  27. ^ "t0219p.htm". www.uksteam.info.
  28. ^ "7752". 17 June 2017.
  29. ^ "7760". 17 June 2017.
  30. ^ "July 2019 Update". Erlstoke Manor Fund. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  31. ^ "9600". 17 June 2017.
  32. ^ "8P 71000 4-6-2 BR Standard Duke of Gloucester". 11 July 2017.
  33. ^ "Operator confirmed for steam locomotive 71000 Duke of Gloucester". RailAdvent. 14 February 2024.

External links edit

52°27′16″N 1°50′44″W / 52.4544°N 1.8455°W / 52.4544; -1.8455