Attention : Open on special Open Days only. Please contact the visitor centre for details. 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, which was constructed in 1908 as a result of expanding operations in the West Midlands, particularly the opening of the North Warwickshire Line as a new main line from Birmingham to Bristol. As well as supporting the trust's operating wing Vintage Trains, it is home to an extensive collection of steam engines, ranging from small industrial builds to Great Western Railway 'Castles' and 'Halls', and large ex-mainline diesel engines.
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 her 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 Stream 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".
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. 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. For a stock list please click here.
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. Aimed at recreating the feeling of the 1950s holiday trains, it has strong appeal to families. It is increasingly being used by coach and tour operators as a new feature within their programme. 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. The Tyseley Car Company, based in Tyseley, Birmingham made light cars between 1912 and 1914. The company evolved around the Tyseley Locomotive Works and its main product was a Cyclecar fitted with Tyseley's own water-cooled twin-cylinder 1100 cc engine, two-speed gearbox and shaft drive. It was available with an open two-seater or a closed coupé style of body and sold mainly in and around Birmingham. Production ceased with the outbreak of war and did not recommence with peace.
Location : Vintage Trains, 670 Warwick Road Tyseley, Birmingham B11 2HL
Transport: Tyseley (National Rail) then 7 minutes. Bus Routes : 37 stops outside
Opening Times : Open Days only (June open weekend)
Tickets : Contact Vintage Trains
Tel: 0121 708 4960