TYSELEY’S CHRISTMAS GIFT IS STILL UNWRAPPED
In the beginning was a ‘D-Train’ (SR485); then came Rood Ashton Hall. Vintage Trains Ltd continued its development in October with a first training run using No. 4965 on the network – meaning the Tyseley outfit has now truly become Britain’s newest steam operator.
As I write, just before the end of the month, however, there’s still no news on the first public trips, despite suggestions around the ‘manor’ that these might begin as soon as November.
That talk comes perhaps partly because among other trains mooted for this season, trips tied in with Birmingham’s German Christmas market were proposed in the business plan, prepared roughly this time last year as background to the Vintage Trains CBS share issue. That market is to be held this season, from November 15 to December 23.
There’s little doubt that when they do come, details of VT’s first passengercarrying main line runs since December 2017 will be keenly digested. Last issue, you may remember, the organisation’s Managing Director Cath Bellamy said she hoped a late-2018 programme could be announced in October, with Clun Castle returning to the main line for the first time since 1988 for running-in during the same month.
However, Denis Chick, VTL’s new press officer, said on October 30: “Indeed we had hoped to announce information on train services and a running-in schedule for [No.] 7029 by the end of October. Our plans continue to be formulated and full details will be announced when they are finalised.”
On the share issue itself, he reported that there was nothing to add to last month’s position – when the ‘tally’ was given as nearly £1 million. The maximum is £3m; the issue stays open until December 31.