Frequently Asked Questions
The lists of FAQs below refer to : The Shakespeare Express and Vintage Trains Day Excursions & Railtours.
We hope these may answer your queries.
If you have any other query then contact us.
For all train and tour enquiries including excursions, dining and the Shakespeare Express contact the Vintage Trains Office at Tyseley.
Tel : 0121 708 4960
Opening Hours: Monday - Friday 09:30 - 16:30 (Answerphone outside these hours)
Fax : 0121 708 4963
Write to :
Vintage Trains (or 'Tyseley Locomotive Works' )
670 Warwick Road, Tyseley, Birmingham B11 2HL
FOR OTHER QUERIES : See contact details >>
Q: What food and drink facilities are there on board?
A: In addition to pre-booked Premier Dining and Club Class there is a buffet carriage on board which offers hot and cold drinks, and cold snacks. See Buffet & Refreshments for more details.
Q: Why can't I find Day Excursion Train Times?
A: The actual times for Vintage Trains Day Excursions are not confirmed by Network Rail until a short time before the train is due to run. This is because our trains have to fit around engineering work. Vintage Trains aims to provide detailed train timings to passengers around 10 days before a train runs. Times are usually sent with tickets.
Q: Am I allowed to bring my dog (or other pet) on the train?
A: No dogs or pets allowed, however we are happy to accommodate dogs for the disabled by prior arrangement.
Q: Are there toilet facilities on board?
A: Yes, there are toilet facilities on board all our trains. There are no specific disabled toilets.
Q: Are your trains suitable for a wheelchair user?
A: Our carriages were built in the 1950's and 1960's and were not designed to accommodate wheelchairs. We have converted tables in the buffet coach to accommodate up to three standard class passengers in wheelchairs per train. We can also accommodate a limited number of folded wheelchairs in the brake vans for passengers who may be able to walk a little. If you intend to bring a wheelchair please check for available space when booking. There are no specific disabled toilets on the trains.
Q: Are pushchairs permitted on the train?
A: As long as your pushchair can fold up then it should not be a problem to bring this on the train with you. Please be aware however that as wheelchairs take priority there may be limited storage space on your day of travel, in which case your pushchair can be stored at some stations.
Q: What parking facilities are available at the stations?
A: Please visit our 'stations' webpage for information on station facilities – click here >>
Q: Can I bring my bicycle on the train?
A: There is a limited amount of storage on our trains, so we can only accommodate a maximum of four bicycles in one day. However, wheelchairs will take priority. Please note that it is not possible to board with a bicycle at all stations. When booking your ticket(s), please let us know if you are planning on bringing bicycles.
Q: Can I buy gift vouchers?
A: Yes. We offer Gift Vouchers all year round for both Vintage Trains excursions and the Shakespeare Express for any amount over ₤10.00. There vouchers are redeemable all year round subject to availability. To purchase please contact the Booking Office on 0121-708-4960.
Q: I have a Vintage Trains Society membership enquiry
A: - For Membership, Subscriptions & Volunteer Enquiries.
See VTS contact details >>
Q: I want to send you a photograph for the website
A: - If you have photograph(s) that you would like considered for inclusion on the website:
See Webmaster contact details >>
Q: I have a comment to make about the website
A: - If you have comments about the website style or presentation including reporting possible website errors or omission:
See Webmaster contact details >>
Q: Can I buy my ticket on the day?
A: We do sell seats on the day (cash & cheque only) however, they are subject to availability. We recommend advanced booking whenever possible to avoid disappointment, especially if you are wishing to travel in Premier Dining as tickets do sell out early (and these seats are not usually available on the day).
Q: Can I buy tickets from station booking offices?
A: No. Tickets for Vintage Trains excursions and The Shakespeare Express are only available from the Vintage Trains office, or from one of our staff on the platform or train.
Q. Where do I buy tickets?
A: You can pre-book by ringing the Vintage Trains booking office between 0930 to 1630, Mon - Fri, on 0121-708-4960. Subject to availability, you can buy tickets on the day of travel from Vintage Trains staff either on the platform or on the train if you are permitted to board.
Q: Can I use a ticket supplied by another train operating company?
A: No. Only Vintage Trains tickets are valid on our trains.
Q: When can I buy tickets for the trains?
A: Tickets for Vintage Trains excursions are available as soon as the tour is published on the internet, on one of our trains or you receive our brochure or other leaflet by post. Tickets for the forthcoming Shakespeare Express season are available up to 12 months in advance.
Q: Can I book over the phone?
A: Yes, please call the Vintage Trains booking office between 0930 to 1630, Mon - Fri, on 0121-708-4960 for all booking enquiries.
Q: Can I book my tickets online?
A: At this time we are gradually introducing facility to book your tickets online. If your tour does not have these facilities yet, then we will be very happy to take your booking over the phone on 0121-708-4960, between 0930 to 1630, Mon - Fri.
Q: If I book over the phone, can I get a confirmation via email or post?
A: Yes. If you request a confirmation when booking your ticket(s) we will send one to you.
Q: Will my tickets be sent in the post?
A: We send tickets and train times via post approximately 5 days before the trip.
Q: Do you offer a discount for concessions?
A: Unfortunately we do not offer concessionary fares for senior citizens.
Q: Do you offer a discount for children?
A: We offer child fares and family tickets on the Shakespeare Express. We also offer child fares and family tickets on a few 'short haul' excursions. Normally, we do not offer child fares on day excursions.
Q: Can I change the date of my booking?
A: As long as there are seats available on your desired date and you give us plenty of notice then this can be done.
Q: If I miss the train will I be able to use my ticket for another day?
A: Unfortunately not, we always advise passengers to be at the station well in advance of the departure time.
Q: What are the seating arrangements?
A: In Premier Dining and First Class each row consists of a table for two and a table for four. In Standard Class carriages each row consists of two tables for four. There are no tables for two in Standard Class.
Q: Can I book seats in a compartment?
A: On most of our day excursions we offer compartments for up to six passengers in our 1st Class Corridor Coach. These compartments are an excellent way to celebrate an occasion with a group of friends in semi-private surroundings.
Q: What are the benefits of a 1st class seat?
A: 1st class seats are more comfortable and larger than the standard seats, giving you extra leg room. The carriage is more luxurious than the standard carriages with nicer furnishings. On most Vintage Trains excursions you are also served with a complimentary cup of tea or coffee and light refreshments on both legs of the journey. 1st Class is not currently available on the Shakespeare Express.
Q: What is Club class?
A: Club Class will be introduced in September 2011 to replace 1st Class 'open' seats (1st Class Compartments will still be available). Club Class seats are at tables for four and includes complimentary 'at seat' light refreshments - cup of tea or coffee and light refreshments on both legs of the journey. Club Class is not currently available on the Shakespeare Express.
Q: My seat numbers say B & F, are these together?
A: It is most likely that these seats will be together. As an example seat 1B is seated opposite (over a table) seat 1F. Please also note that for most journeys seat ‘B’ would be facing backwards on the outward journey from the first departure station and forwards on the return journey. Also seat ‘1B’ is generally next to seat ‘2B’ and seat ‘1F’ is generally next to seat ‘2F’.
Q: If I book in advance will I be given an assigned seat?
A: On the Vintage Trains excursions - all seats in all classes are assigned and you will be given specific seat numbers. On the Shakespeare Express - only Premier Dining seats are assigned and you will shown your allotted seats on the day by a steward. The standard class seats are first-come first-serve, however we do not over-sell the train, so there will always be a seat available.
Q: How do I make sure that my seats are all together?
A: On the Vintage Trains excursions and Premier Dining on the Shakespeare Express - When booking your seats, we will always do our best to make sure you and your party sits together. If we have limited availability, we will discuss this with you when you book. On the Shakespeare Express – standard class seats are not assigned so we cannot guarantee that your party will be able to sit together on some trains.
Q: I would like forward facing seats, how can I book these?
A: Unfortunately we cannot guarantee which way your seats will be facing, as sometimes the carriages are turned around without notice. If you are not happy with your seats on the day the best thing to do is to ask a steward if there are any others available that you can swap to. If you are assigned a forward facing seat on the outward trip of a Vintage Trains excursion, then most likely your seat will be backwards facing for the return journey.