What a surprising day!
Today I went to Birmingham thinking I was just going try to look through some fences at Tyseley Locomotive Works, in the hope of collecting some train numbers, but instead I was greeted by a ‘Tyseley at 50’ event. The first thing I noticed was lots of train spotters walking up the road with cameras going into the works. We walked up to the entrance and saw it was a special open event. We didn’t know exactly what the open day was so we walked up to the WM trains depot and looked to see if that was anything to do with it, but sadly it wasn’t. I managed to persuade my dad to take me in in the hope that I would be able to see some unusual trains and collect some new numbers. A steam train (L94 -7752) was just about to depart so we ran to get on it and found the ride was included in the price of the ticket we had already bought. It took us up the line and back a couple of times and we could see lots of people taking photographs of the train. When I got off the steam train I saw Rail Express magazine stand and bought a great magazine about all the new trains in the order pipeline and also the current month’s magazine at a very discounted price.
Then we found out that a turntable demo was about to commence – it took a little while to get going but it was very impressive, especially as the engine they were moving, Bahamas, weighs over 130 tons. Once it had finished we walked towards the maintenance shed and found ourselves near to the actual WM Trains depot. I was so excited as I love looking at depots and seeing what trains are in them. It was really exciting to find myself standing alongside two engines – a class 172 and a class 170 – both in the new WM Trains livery. It got even more exciting when I found I could actually climb inside the cab of the class 170 – this day was getting better and better!! There was no queue to get on-board so I was able to have a really good look around and see what the cab was like. It was really interesting and quite different from some other trains I have been inside. There was a WM Trains stand which had posters showing new stations they are planning to build and also some merchandise – jelly beans and badges. We met Gary from WM Trains who was very impressed when I told him that I had my own website and how much I love trains. His colleague gave me a super special souvenir 🙂 which was so kind. It was a shame the depot itself wasn’t open as it looked interesting.
So we left the depot and went to the engine shed instead. You could see the engines that are currently being restored and there were also some people selling steam train memorabilia. We walked through the shed along a viewing platform and then down a flight of stairs and found ourselves on the tracks. It was very busy – full of people with cameras ready to take photos – as we left the shed we saw a train line up with six steam locomotives in convoy. That explained all the photographers! Quite some end to our visit. On the walk back to the car we stopped at the Tyseley mainline station – it seemed strange to see all the steam trains in the works with the skyline of Birmingham in the distance. I spotted a few mainline trains and then it was time to go home.
Thank you to WM Trains for making my day extra special!