Welcome to the web site for The Friends of Vintage Trains, the volunteer support organisation for Vintage Trains. Members of The Friends of Vintage Trains offer support in many ways, including a range of volunteering opportunities on the Tyseley Locomotive Works site, on the trains and becoming involved in the running of the Friends. Members who are unable to become involved in the volunteering opportunities can rest assured that all of the funds raised by The Friends of Vintage Trains are donated to restoration projects and to support the activities of the Friends.
The Friends also offer a range of member benefits, including the Steam in Trust magazine, social events and concessionary admission to the Tyseley Locomotive Works Open Days. Please follow the links on the right of this page or below for more information about the Friends and ways to get involved.
The Friends continue to be active, despite the ongoing restrictions. Recent highlights include:
- The Friends’ 2022 calendar has now sold out and we are working on the 2023 calendar, which will have the theme Vintage Trains’ Tours around the Counties. See the Calendar and Greetings Cards page for more details.
- The 2022 AGM will be held on Saturday 19 March 2022 from 10.30 to 13.00 at the Tyseley Working Men’s Club. More details will be given nearer the time.
- Following our first post COVID-restrictions social in October, we are pleased to announce that our next social will be on Saturday 9 April 2022. The guest speaker will be Robin Coombes, who will be giving a talk based around some of his extensive photography collection. As before, fully paid-up members of the Friends are welcome to bring a guest, and there will be a complimentary buffet. Further details can be found on our social events page.
- To raise the profile of the Friends in the wider Heritage Railway Community we are joining the Heritage Railway Association, a voluntary run trade association representing Heritage & Tourist railways, related Museums, Tramways, Cliff Lifts, Railway Preservation Groups and related organisations.
Some of our other current activities, with a link in each case to more details, include:
- The volunteer Archivist for Vintage Trains has kindly agreed to provide articles based on items in the Tyseley archives that will, we hope, be of interest to all members of the Friends. These will be added to on an approximately monthly basis and can be found on our publications page. The October 2021 feature is an article on VT’s GWR Goods Brake Van & Goods Guard duties (PDF, 2942 KB).
- The Friends survey inviting all members to give feedback on the Friends’ activities and aims in order to better meet the needs of our members has now closed. We thank all who gave us feedback on the Friends and will be analysing the results over the coming weeks to improve our offerings to members.
- The Autumn 2021 edition of Steam in Trust is now available from the publications page. Steam in Trust is the Friends’ flagship publication, circulated in printed copy to all members 3 or 4 times a year- the on-line copy of Steam in Trust is made available on this site approximately a month after the printed copies have been circulated, although reading on-line or printing the PDF cannot reflect the quality of the printed publication. If you are not a member of the Friends please have a look at this and consider if receiving a high-quality printed copy, and other benefits, would warrant the modest membership fee.
- A donation of £10,000 from Friends’ funds has been made towards the restoration of one of the Pullman Parlour Cars or a similar coach; these funds were a significant contribution towards the return of First Class Kitchen Car 311 “Eagle” to main-line service.
- The Friends have funded a replacement sign for Tyseley Locomotive works, to highlight the site and Vintage Trains to traffic on the Warwick Road. The project, with photographs, is described on the Tyseley Locomotive Works sign page.
- The Friends have committed a contribution of £500 towards the return of 3 sets of Class 144 Pacers, which have now arrived at Tyseley, to mainline service as part of the VT tour programme
Please revisit this page for updates on these, and other, events for the Friends.
This page was last updated on 9 January 2022