A new era dawns for The Unknown Warrior as it moves to Tyseley

The LMS-Patriot Project took an important step forward in early December with its transfer of the The Unknown Warrior locomotive chassis to its new assembly base at Tyseley Locomotive Works, Birmingham.

The background to this was the clear intention of the Princess Royal Class Locomotive Trust to see the chassis moved outside their West Shed workshop as soon as practicable – their priority being to access the wheel drop on Number 1 road to allow repairs to be carried out. It also became very clear that PRCLT saw workshop and museum capacity and resource availability as a major challenge in the medium term. PRCLT had stopped all work on the Unknown Warrior in July 2023.

Tyseley will not be in a position to accommodate the chassis in its workshop until Spring 2024. However, at a start-up meeting on site at Tyseley in November 2023 we explored the scope for transferring the chassis and the many components stored in containers to the Works for storage.

We organised a volunteer group to paint the frames in the last week of November, which was a prerequisite for their move outside the workshop. There was therefore nothing to be gained by staying at West Shed until the new wheelsets were available next year, to allow rewheeling.

Road access to West Shed is difficult but after consultation with the specialist haulier Reid Freight we decided to go ahead after preparation work with our volunteers to secure the chassis for movement.

The chassis transport was safely achieved over two days. Loading started at 11:00am on Tuesday 5th December, with delivery to Tyseley in the early morning of Wednesday 6th.


Loading completed at the West shed


Loading the box van


Arrival at Tyseley Wednesday 6th December 


The Project’s 12 ton box van has also been moved, to the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, where it will be accessible to the Project under the care of the new EVR General Manager Simon Scott, who is now supporting the project as a volunteer following his resignation as PRCLT CME in July 2023.

Arrangements are also being made to relocate the component containers (which are on Midland Railway-Butterley property) and other materials from the site.

Colin Hall, LMS-Patriot Company Chairman, said: “I am delighted with the cooperation we have enjoyed with our new Tyseley partners, the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, and indeed our own volunteers in organising all this at quite short notice. The transport itself was a challenge because of very poor road access at West Shed, but was professionally handled by Reid Freight. We are now much better placed to go on to rewheeling at Tyseley when the new wheelsets are delivered by Riley and Son of Heywood, Bury in 2024."

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