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The Tyseley Story

The Tyseley Story
Seventy Years of Railway Pioneering In Birmingham

Michael Whitehouse

248 pages. 275x215mm. Printed on gloss art paper with colour laminated board covers.

ISBN13 : 9781911038924


Birmingham entrepreneurs had a very great deal to do with ensuring that volunteer-run railways of all kinds got off the ground after the Second World War. This is their story. There was not an initial well-thought-out strategy to cut teeth on the Talyllyn Railway, then establish a Great Western branch line in Devon, buy the last Great Western designed express engine and run it on the main line, establish a well-equipped railway workshop in Birmingham and then develop it for commercial heritage use, and to run regular steam express dining car trains, even though all that might sound a logical progression – but that is exactly what happened! Michael Whitehouse has been in the privileged position of being involved on the inside track of privately preserved main line steam ever since it began around 1964 and, through his family, has also experienced at first hand many of the precursor activities originating with the Talyllyn Railway, followed by Society Specials on British Railways, the nascent Dart Valley Railway, and the purchase and operation of both Great Western ‘Small Prairie’ tank No. 4555 and the last GW-designed ‘Castle’, No. 7029 Clun Castle. He has been at the helm of developing the strategies for Tyseley’s Vintage Trains for over forty years and, with an expert team of friends, has ensured that express steam trains still operate frequently from Birmingham for the enjoyment of many. The Tyseley Story is told largely through Michael’s own first-hand experiences, put in context with the wider national picture, and illustrated through a collection of stunning images depicting the development of volunteer-run railways over the past seventy years.

The Tyseley Story - Sample Images

sample book illustration
The handover. No. 4555 stands with full boiler pressure inside the shed at Swindon after a light casual overhaul in the works to the order of the ‘two Pats’ who had bought her, with help and advice from many Western Region men, including the former Chairman of its Board, Reggie Hanks, seen on the right-hand side in front of No. 4555’s bunker. The ‘Small Prairie’ is still in BR unlined black but would soon move to Tyseley for repainting in authentic Great Western green. For now though, she was being prepared for her acceptance test run to Kemble in September 1963. P.B. Whitehouse
sample book illustration
The locomotive line up around the former passenger roundhouse turntable is often a sight for sore eyes, as there is really nowhere else such a spectacle can be seen and enjoyed. On 25th October 2013, No. 4983 Rood Ashton Hall, No. 6000 King George V, No. 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe, No. 71000 Duke of Gloucester and 2-8-0 No. 2885 line up facing the turntable. Martin Creese