Posts Tagged ‘5521’

Tyseley century

Friday, 27 June 2008

BR built, GWR designed, 7029 Clun Castle in the then remaining half of the two turntable shed at Tyseley in 1967, © Michael Whitehouse, The Shakespeare Express

(click to see picture in original context)

Birmingham Railway Museum Trust is holding two open days at Tyseley Locomotive Works, in Birmingham, this weekend, on Saturday 28 June and Sunday 29 June, ‘ to celebrate 100 years of continuous operation as a locomotive depot’. A short account of the depot’s history can be found on the vintage trains website here.

Among the attractions at the works will be a line-up of Great Western Railway steam engines; three GWR Castles, up to three GWR Halls, four GWR pannier tanks, a replica Puffing Billy, and freight train and turntable demonstrations. The London Midland Railway traction maintenance depot opposite will also be open on Saturday.

Other planned events include the recommissioning of GWR Castle 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe; the return of LMS Jubilee 45593 Kolhapur to Tyseley; and the launch of an appeal to restore Clun Castle – the vehicle which started the works’ steam train collection in January 1966. A former driver of 7029 Clun Castle will be giving talks on his life on the footplate.

Full details of the weekend is given on a special section of the Shakespeare express website. Tyseley Locomotive works has restored a number of derelict steam ‘ex Barry’ steam locomotives, including: Rood Ashton Hall and Earl of Mount Edgcumbe. The picture of restored Rood Ashton Hall hauling a Shakespeare Express luxury train and Earl of Mount Edgcumbe in unrestored condition gives an indication as to the enormous amount of work that has to be put in to get an ‘ex Barry’ locomotive to mainline running order.

Parking facilities at Tyseley are quite limited. If you are planning to go we suggest that you follow the organiser’s recommendations and travel by rail. Trains will be making additional stops at Tyseley during the weekend.

Tyseley has two links, albeit rather indirect, with the railway heritage scene in Poland. In BR days in the early 60s it was the home of ex GWR small prairie 4555, one of the first ex BR engines to be privately preserved. 4555 is the same class of locomotive as Bill Parker’s 5521 currently at Wroclaw.

Secondly, it services the steam locomotive that hauls the ‘Shakespeare Express‘ which runs twice every Sunday from 6 July to 14 September over Network Rail tracks. This is the nearest thing in Great Britain to the regular steam haulage of ordinary timetabled trains over part of the national railway network, which takes place in Poland daily, and which makes Wolsztyn so very special.

Steam Show a Smash Hit

Saturday, 3 May 2008

report compiled by BTWT’s Assistant Editor


Son et lumière et vapeur on the Friday night

Dyspozytor is a confirmed curmudgeon with a propensity to rant about anything and everything that crosses his path. So it’s something of a surprise that he e-mailed back from the Wolsztyn Steam Show impressed with what he saw. The light show on Friday, now in its second year, was very popular, made more memorable by the participation of 109 109 (see photo above) from Hungary. Saturday had something for all the family. There was a bouncy castle and free balloons for the kids, a variety of live bands playing for mum and more steam engines in steam than you could possibly count for dad.

ex GWR small prairie 5521 showing the flag

Further prompting yielded the information that the catering in the VIP enclosure was first class. (How on earth editing ‘Behind the Water Tower’ gets anyone into the PKP Cargo VIP enclosure is a mystery.) His judgement might also have been influenced by the fact that he apparently spent a considerable amount of time chatting up a young female blogger from Poznan on the pretext that she was in a better position to photograph Bill Parker’s small GWR prairie than he was! (Dyspozytor is infamous for his unlikely chat up lines.) When he gets back from Wolsztyn we will no doubt get the usual grumbly post, till then it seems this year’s Wolsztyn Steam Show was a great hit.

Year by year the crowds get bigger, soon there will be no room for more.

We couldn’t believe our eyes…

Friday, 25 April 2008

Wolsztyn Parade of Steam Locomotives 2007

Wondering whether it would be worthwhile to visit next weekend’s Wolsztyn Steam Gala? Here’s a flavour of last year’s event courtesy of Steam Railway magazine.

… we couldn’t believe our eyes at Wolsztyn. When it comes to organised chaos Wolsztyn makes Llangollen look like a village fete. Trevor Jones of the Wolsztyn Experience arranged the trip to the Polish steam shed’s 100th birthday and I was glad to see so many STEAM RAILWAY readers on it. Like me, they didn’t know what was about to hit them.

From the moment we landed at a former Russian airbase we knew this would be an unusual day. When Bill Parker’s Prairie No. 5521, waiting to take us from the airbases’ nearest railhead at Babymost to Wolstyn, was passed by the fastest preserved, main line legal, steam locomotive in the world, German ‘Pacific’ 18.201 – ‘unusual’ became stupendously surreal.

Again, the day’s celebrations were unique and spectacular. Every time Bill’s Prairie made its spirited runpasts in front of the (estimated) 10,000 strong crowds, I felt an overwhelming surge of pride. Not just patriotic (although the Prairie was by far the most delightful engine on show), but pride because, as an enthusiast, I am a tiny part of all this. If Bill and Trevor didn’t think anyone would be bothered, they wouldn’t have gone to such extraordinary lengths to make it happen…

(read complete article)