Welcome to the Friends of Vintage Trains

5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe on the Shakespeare Express

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.

Clun Castle following restoration at Tyseley

The Friends are running a brief survey inviting all members to give feedback on the Friends’ activities and aims in order to better meet the needs of our members. An access code for the survey will be sent to all members with the next issue of Steam in Trust; when you receive this please follow the link to the survey and then enter the access code when you follow the Proceed to Survey -> link. The survey will close on 1 July 2021.

The Friends’ Committee have continued to be active during the current Covid-19 restrictions. Highlights of current activities, with a link in each case to more details, include:

  • The Spring 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.
  • As we emerge from the COVID restrictions we are pleased to announce our next social afternoon on Saturday October 16th 2021. This will be free to all members and a guest, and will include at least one guest speaker and a complimentary buffet.
  • 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 May 2021 feature is an article on the development of Great Western Railway’s covered wagons for carrying Motorcars (PDF, 2.7 MB).
  • The PDF of the Autumn 2020 issue of Steam in Trust is now available. 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.
  • 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.
  • Due to the ongoing Corona virus pandemic we held a shortened 2021 AGM on 27 March 2021 to cover the essential requirements embedded in our Constitution.
  • 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.
  • A donation of £10,000 from Friends’ funds has been agreed towards the restoration of one of the Pullman Parlour Cars or a similar coach. £5,000 of this donation has been offered by the Friends for lifting the bogies on First Class Kitchen Car 311 “Eagle” to facilitate its return to main-line service.
  • The Tyseley station adoption project is progressing well, but the pace of progress is constrained by the current COVID-19 restrictions.
  • The Friends now have a social media presence in the form of a Facebook page and a discussion group.
  • The Friends 2021 calendar has now sold out, with proceeds going towards the funds that are used to support specific Vintage Trains’ projects. Planning is well underway for our 2022 calendar, which will have a theme of Memorable Moments and Record Breakers.
  • A set of 5 greetings cards are also available. They are sold in a pack of 5 different cards with the inside greeting being Best Wishes, making them suitable for any occasion. As for our calendar, all proceeds from the sale of these cards go towards the funds that are used to support specific Vintage Trains’ projects. Follow the greetings cards link to see a gallery of the 5 images and the order form.
  • The Friends are supporting a recent appeal for volunteers with many different skills and interests to support Vintage Trains and Tyseley Locomotive Works to come back stronger and faster from the current shutdown.

Please revisit this page for updates on these, and other, events for the Friends.

The Friends of Vintage Trains is affiliated to the Birmingham Heritage Forum; Forum membership is drawn from organisations concerned with collections, historic sites, museums, galleries, churches, gardens and visitor services within the Birmingham area.

This page was last updated on 13 June 2021