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Main Line Express Steam Train Journey Book

This new book by Vintage Trains Chairman, Michael Whitehouse, is probably the most complete story of the main line express steam train journey in preservation so far.

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.

Vintage trains receive £5 from everyone of theses books purchased from this website or on Vintage Trains excursions.