Steam engine rolls into Moor Street Station to launch new Vintage Trains partnership
12th June 2019
engines are set to play a greater role in the region’s rail network following
the signing of a ground-breaking new partnership.
Midlands Rail Executive (WMRE) has teamed up with Tyseley-based Vintage Trains
in a bid to establish the Shakespeare Line as Britain’s premier mainline
runs historic steam engines on a range of routes including the hugely popular
Shakespeare Express between Birmingham Snow Hill and Stratford-upon-Avon.
the UK’s heritage railways has doubled over the decade to 2016 and a
Parliamentary inquiry valued the annual contribution at £250 million.*
WMRE, which oversees
rail services in the region, is recognising the valuable contribution Vintage
Trains makes to the local economy – boosting tourism, creating jobs and
retaining valuable engineering skills at the Tyseley Loco Works.
In 2018 it
became a Train Operating Company status allowing greater access to the main
They will now
look for more opportunities to run steam engines on the rail network and to
link with major events such as the Coventry City of Culture and Birmingham 2022
Mayor of the
West Midlands Andy Street said: “Vintage Trains do a wonderful job bringing the
golden age of steam to many thousands of visitors each year.
“Riding a steam
train through the Warwickshire countryside is certainly a deeply exciting and
nostalgic experience and I would urge everyone to give it go.
partnership is also looking to the future. It is about how we make the most of
this valuable asset, grow the Vintage Trains network and encourage more
community volunteers as well as create more jobs and more apprenticeships.”
Whitehouse, Chairman Vintage Trains Community Benefit Society said: “This partnership with WMRE will build on the Victorian
initiatives that enabled the City of Birmingham to become the greatest manufacturing
centre the world has ever known and for its citizens to develop skills and
pride in their work as exports were sent by train worldwide.
will continue to provide exciting tourism experiences on the Shakespeare
Line between Birmingham and Stratford-upon-Avon, create more jobs, teach and
retain skills at our Tyseley depot and involve the diverse communities along
the route in all that we do so that everyone who joins in can be proud of their
Lawrence, chair of the WMRE added: “Vintage Trains has already demonstrated how
popular mainline steam can be. We are delighted to be working together with them to build on this so that mainline steam
brings even greater value to the West Midlands rail network and the wider region”
partnership we agree to:
additional opportunities for heritage services on the mainline to provide
further value to the West Midlands rail network
Vintage Trains into the work of the wider rail industry in the region, including
future plans for Moor Street station
together to realise community opportunities, including through the Heart of
England Community Rail Partnership and through working on a joint plan for
improvements at Tyseley station
Vintage Trains into wider industry planning for major events, such as the
Commonwealth Games, to identify opportunities for mainline steam
*Figures from the Heritage Railway Association
Parliamentary Group on Heritage Rail
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Rail Executive is the partnership of 16 West Midlands Local Authorities
co-managing the West Midlands Railway franchise with the Department for
Transport, and planning the strategic future of the West Midlands rail network
in conjunction with rail industry and local authority partners.