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, a discount on selected Shakespeare Express trains 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 continued to be active throughout the COVID restrictions. Recent highlights include:

    • We are pleased to announce that the social event that was planned for 9 April will now be held on Saturday 20 August 2022. As always, fully paid-up members of the Friends will be welcome to bring a guest, and there will be a complimentary buffet. Our speakers will be the same as planned for the original social, with Denis Chick giving a short address about the Transport Museum Wythall and Robin Coombes giving a talk based around some of his extensive photography collection. Follow this link for more details.
    • We also have arranged an exclusive Friends-only visit to the Transport Museum at Wythall on Wednesday 7 September 2022. Follow this link for more details.
    • Vintage Trains have confirmed that a 50% discount on walk-up fares on the second (Stratford to Birmingham) and third (Birmingham to Stratford) Shakespeare Express trains  is offered to members of the Friends on production of a membership card. This may not apply to special Shakespeare Express trains, such as when a guest engine is being used.
      This is one of several benefits of joining the Friends.

Some of our other current activities, with a link in each case to more details, include:

  • The Friends’ 2023 calendar is now on sale. See the 2023 Calendar page for more details, including an order form.
  • 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 April 2022 feature is an article on the Loco Water Main stretching from Hockley to Tyseley which was the source of water for Tyseley Locomotive Works (PDF, 3.0 MB).
  • To raise the profile of the Friends in the wider Heritage Railway Community we have joined the Heritage Railway Association, a voluntary run trade association representing Heritage & Tourist railways, related Museums, Tramways, Cliff Lifts, Railway Preservation Groups and related organisations.
  • 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.
  • A low-resolution copy of the Winter 2021-2022 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 low-resolution 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
  • The 2022 AGM was held on Saturday 19 March 2022 from 10.30 to 13.00 at the Tyseley Working Men’s Club.

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

We at the Friends of Vintage Trains take your privacy very seriously. We will store your data securely and will not distribute, for profit or otherwise, your personal details outside the Friends of Vintage Trains. Our full Privacy Statement can be seen here.

This page was last updated on 28 July 2022