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 purely volunteer run 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, the Sutton Miniature Railway Project, 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 and newsletter, 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

Recent highlights, with a link in each case to more details, include:

    • In the run-up to Christmas, Vintage Trains would especially welcome offers of help with THE POLAR EXPRESS™ train rides. Details are on our volunteering opportunities page.
    • Vintage Trains are also offering discounted tickets on THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Dress Rehersal train rides on 4 of the trains on Friday 24th November. Details and booking form are on the Vintage Trains THE POLAR EXPRESS™ booking page.
    • All members are invited to the 2024 Annual General Meeting to be held on SUNDAY 24 MARCH 2024 at the Tyseley Working Men’s Club. Please note the change of date from Saturday 23 March due to room availability. More details, including a registration form, can be found here.
    • Don’t forget that our 2024 calendar is now available, with superb images of a variety of motive power through the ages, historic stations and info snippets for each month. With the festive season approaching this would make an ideal gift to any rail enthusiast, or why not buy one for yorself to support the Friends? Follow this link for more details, including an order form.
    • We are holding our next social at the Severn Valley Railway (SVR) Railway Museum at Kidderminster on Wednesday 28 February 2024. Our guest speaker will be Mike Corbett who was engaged by the National Railway Museum as project manager for the period of final restoration of Flying Scotsman to operational service in early 2016. The afternoon will feature an audience with Les Ross, Les Churchill and Ray Poole. More details and an Expression of Interest form can be found here. Details of all of our socials can be found on our socials page.
    • Steam in Trust Issue 53 has an article by Rob Ferris Historical Usage Of Open Wagons and Covered Vans Part 1 where the references were omitted due to space constraints. These references can be found here.
    • Thanks to Geoff Middleton and Peter Jeffs, the October Stock and In the Workshop lists are now available.
    • Chris Schroeder has contributed a video that he took of a VT run up the Lickey on 14 October 2001 with a pannier banking. The video quality is not the best but the sound is very good.
      This video  was filmed in 2001 and you will notice that there were many heads and shoulders leaning out of the door droplight windows of the coaches. Back in the early days of the 21st century when this video was shot the ‘Do not lean out of the window or open this door when the train is moving’ notices on every door were often ignored, especially on steam hauled excursions.
      You will not see any heads leaning out of windows on today’s excursions. The Office of Rail Regulation has put in place specific rules for mainline excursions using carriages which have doors with opening windows prohibiting passengers leaning out of opening windows or standing in coach end vestibules near to doors. These rules are strictly enforced by Train Operating Companies such as Vintage Trains Ltd.
    • The Friends membership of the Birmingham Heritage Forum, whose members are organisations concerned with collections, historic sites, museums, galleries, churches, gardens and visitor services within the Birmingham area, continues to give more visibility to the Friends and Vintage Trains.
    • The Royal Saloon 806 has recently returned to Tyseley after being restored at Tyseley by 1989 and then 22 years of varied preservation life away from Tyseley. Follow this link for more about this historic saloon.
    • The Friends have recently donated £2000 towards the superheater header appeal for the Earl of Mount Edgcumbe and £1300 to fund the boiler barrel for Sutton Belle.
    • 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 can be found on our publications page.
    • A low-resolution copy of the Spring 2023 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.

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 18 November 2023