All about Birmingham

Birmingham is at the heart of England and is set amongst the beautiful rolling hills of Tolkein  country. It is the largest and most populous British city outside London and close to tourist destinations such as Stratford-upon-Avon and Warwick.


Birmingham dates back to the stone age, 100,000 years ago, with the first major settlements in the bronze age. The Romans struggled to advance through its dense forests in the 1st century but did stop and build a large fort in modern day Edgbaston in AD48 as well as building a number of roads.

Birmingham itself was founded in the anglo-saxon era (6th and 7th century) and was initially called Beormingaham, from the Old English meaning the home or settlement of theBeormingas.

Because of this, people from Birmingham are called Brummies, a term derived from the city’s nickname of Brum. This originates from the city’s dialect name, Brummagem. They have a distinctive accent and expect to be greeted with the phrase “y’our right?”.

Over the next few centuries it waned and by the Domesday Book in 1086 the manor of Birmingham was one of the poorest and least populated in Warwickshire, valued at only 20 shillings. It picked up again in the next century and has continue to grow ever since.

Perhaps the most important invention in British history, the industrial steam engine, was invented in Birmingham. The West Midlands is linked to both the industrial revolution and manufacturing industries.

It boasts excellent public and road transport links.

It’s not all industry though – there are 571 parks within Birmingham

– more than any other European city

– totalling over 3,500 hectares (14sq miles) of public open space. The city has over six million trees, and 250 miles (400 kilometres) of urban brooks and streams. It famously has more miles of canals than Venice.

This FAQ contains common questions and answers for the NMRA 2022 Birmingham, UK convention. If these questions and answers can’t answer your question then please get in touch with the convention committee.

Frequently asked questions

Can I ride public transport from the airport or railway station to the convention hotel?

Yes, there are excellent public transport options available.

Do I need a car while in Birmingham?

No, if you plan to stick with the convention activities. We will provide transportation to most convention activities and venues (See individual event descriptions for details).

Of course, if you plan to go off doing your own activities during the convention, then a car might be necessary.

How can I get additional information on Birmingham's public transport system?

Check out Network West Midlands. Their website is:

Tourist Information This site covers the whole region around Birmingham Birmingham’s own site.

If you are looking to visit historical sites in the Birmingham area the main operators are:

What about local railfanning?

Birmingham is a major commuter hub within the UK with three city centre major railway stations. You can easily hop on a train and get almost anywhere in the country.

We will be offering tours to a number of preserved and prototype (the real thing) railways but you can see trains just by visiting a local station.

For those into trams, Birmingham has a fleet of brand new trams and new lines for you to ride. When visiting the UK, as the birthplace of railways and with so many heritage railways, it will be hard not to be able to get trackside or up close and personal to see the real thing.

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Selfridges building
Shopping Centre
Shopping Centre
Canals in Birmingham
Canals in Birmingham
Discover the heart of Birmingham
Discover the heart of Birmingham

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