20 November 2019

Vintage trains announces its first half programme for 2020 with a new Shakespeare Express schedule, return to the Settle and Carlisle and a full day steam excursion to the West Somerset Railway. Tyseley Locomotive Works’ flagship, 7029 Clun Castle, will lead the schedule with surprise guest locomotives in the planning – more information later.

March to June 2020

  • New Shakespeare Express Schedule for 2020 – Starts at Easter
  • Return of the Sunday Roast train from both Birmingham and Stratford
  • 7029 Clun Castle over the Settle and Carlisle – first train since 1967
  • Clun Castle to The West Somerset Railway – steam all the way
  • New LMS Inspection saloon joins the fleet with private hire availability

The Shakespeare Express

The return of the SE in 2019 was a resounding success, the penultimate train of the season achieving its highest sales ever. On train catering is an important facet of SE operation so 2020 will see the return of the traditional Sunday roast dinner train and a new early evening service at approximately 17.30 out of Birmingham, enabling a two-hour round trip with a traditional roast dinner from either Birmingham Snow Hill or Stratford Upon Avon.

So leave the Sunday cooking to us and enjoy a two hour steam ride in Shakespeare country.

Prices start from £35 per person standard class with every adult taking a child aged 12 or under free. First class dining is £75 per person (£35 supplement for children dining).

2020 also sees an earlier start to the schedule with a new Easter Weekend (Sunday and Monday) service.

Clun Castle back on the Settle and Carlisle – April 18th 2020

One of the most scenic mainline railways in the UK with 72 miles of track, 21 viaducts and 14 tunnels, the S+C line is considered to be the most picturesque route to Scotland. This full day tour will see diesel haulage from Birmingham to Hellifield where 7029 Clun Castle will take over for the challenging run to Carlisle and back. The train will stop at Appleby so we can stretch our legs and grab a photo opportunity. Stations served will include Birmingham New Street, Coleshill Parkway, Tamworth HL and Burton Upon Trent.

This will be the first return of Clun Castle to the S+C since 1967.

 The West Somerset Railway – May 30th 2020

It’s back to core Great Western territory for 7029 as we head for Minehead at half term. Departing Dorridge, Clun Castle will pick up at Solihull, Birmingham Moor Street, Snow Hill and Worcester Shrub Hill for the run to Bristol. Following a brief stop, we continue to Taunton, taking the branch to Bishops Lydeard where Clun will be replaced by a WSR locomotive for the run to Minehead.

Passengers will have a full three hours in Minehead before we retrace our steps.

A Day at the Races plus a traditional haunt

Cheltenham Festival Ladies day – and it’s not just for ladies! – March 11th 2020

 Vintage style in heritage coaches drawn by a magnificent steam locomotive – the ideal way to visit Ladies Day at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival. Our train will start at Stratford Upon Avon, picking up at Dorridge, Solihull and Birmingham New Street for a leisurely trip to Cheltenham where a local shuttle bus runs frequently to the racecourse.

For a really special day out, why not book a first class compartment (see below).

Llandudno Victorian Extravaganza – May 9th 2020

The May Bank holiday will herald VT’s return to Llandudno and the Victorian Extravaganza. This very popular trip to the seaside gem that is Llandudno brings us vintage attractions; a fun fair with steam powered rides, veteran, vintage and classic transport on the streets with buses offering rides around the town, all adding to an atmosphere that has been established over 34 years. If you haven’t been, you’re missing out!

The train will depart from Dorridge, Solihull, Tyseley, Birmingham New Street and Wolverhampton.

New for 2020 – First Class Compartment carriage and LMS Inspection Saloon hire

Vintage Trains is offering exclusive first class, private travel in sumptuous compartments or even your very own carriage. With four separate seating compartments, a private bar facility and lounge area, this first class compartment coach presents a truly unique celebration venue. The bar can even be stocked with your favourite tipple.

A full trip hire charge includes light breakfast on our way out and a champagne afternoon tea on return, served by a private steward. The fee is £4500 for up to 24 guests plus individual seat/catering charges. Full information is available to view on the Vintage Trains website.

The ‘piece de resistance’ is our LMS private saloon 6320. Built at the Derby Carriage and Wagon Works in 1927 as a first class corridor coach, it had five compartments. In 1960 it was converted at Wolverton Works to an inspection saloon and has since been used exclusively by VIPs.

The saloon can carry up to 23 people and offers a private board room and a lounge, both with panoramic views as it is fully glazed at both ends. The per day trip charge is £4500 to include a light breakfast and champagne afternoon tea for your guests, served by your private steward. Individual seat/catering charges are available to view on the VT website.

Full information on all these trains, including timings, pricing for First Class, Club Class and Standard Class with catering options can be found at www.VintageTrains.co.uk or by calling 0121 708 4960.