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By Anthony Coulls on

Star of the West – Lode Star at Tyseley

This last weekend saw a rare outdoor appearance for the locomotive Lode Star.

Recently removed from the Great Hall at York – its home since 1992 – the Great Western Railway Star class 4003 “Lode Star” is on its way to STEAM, The Museum of the Great Western Railway at Swindon.

However, the 175th Anniversary of the GWR was too good an opportunity to miss for having the Star on display at one of the rare public open days at Tyseley Locomotive Works (also known as Birmingham Railway Museum) on 24th October.

I was visiting family and needed to deliver some loco parts to Tyseley, so we popped by to see some Great Westernry in the autumn sunshine – had it been raining, the Star would have had to remain inside.

Along with Lode Star, many other locos were present, including resident 4965 “Rood Ashton Hall”, which was working the passenger train with 5029 “Nunney Castle”. This was after 5029 had been posed alongside the Star, which was its predecessor.

Workshop tours were being given and other displays and trade stands gave a good atmosphere to the event. In addition, regular demonstrations of the turntable made good viewing, and the presence of LMS Black 5 45305 and 6201 “Princess Elizabeth” reminded us that their designer William Stanier started his railway career at the GWR’s Swindon works.

Anyhow, some pictures to give a flavour of the event!

Nunney Castle on the left and Lode Star on the right show the development of one class into another
Nothing more to say – the artistry of Churchward and his design team can be seen in the classic lines of Lode Star
Lode Star draws the crowds on the turntable as it takes a spin
A Tyseley resident I’d not seen before was Birmingham DJ Les Ross’ main line registered class 86 electric, carrying his name. The whole business of running preserved AC electrics on the mainline fascinates me – watch this space!
Not the best picture, but here’s 6201 Princess Elizabeth head to head with Castle Class 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe, the former a product of Crewe and Stanier, the latter a Collett design from Swindon. Some have said that the Princess was a super version of the GWR King. I leave you to draw your own conclusions…

3 comments on “Star of the West – Lode Star at Tyseley

  1. Hello,
    Sorry if my question isn’t directly related to your post. I wonder if there’s a link on the NRM site (or other site) that would provide a railway map of existing routes in the early to mid-19th century?
    I’m having a difficult time finding this information.
    Any advice you might be able to offer?
    Thanks very much for your time.

  2. Hi Susan
    Our Science And Society Picture Library has a 1851 Bradshaw map of Great Britain. This site will allow you download low-res images, so if you wish to have it as a reference it should be possible from this site. If this map doesn’t fit the bill, we have hundreds more (not digitised) that you can have a look at in Search Engine. If you have any further questions on this, we’d be pleased to answer. Best thing to do is email us at Hope helps!

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