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Didcot Railway Centre

Great Western Society, Didcot, Oxfordshire, OX11 7NJ
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Tel+44 01235 817200

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About

Full Steam Ahead as Trains Get Green Light at Railway Centre

​​Didcot Railway Centre has announced the resumption of its popular steam train rides.  Visitors will be able to take a trip behind one of the Great Western Railway’s steam express engines on the Centre’s demonstration line at weekends and Wednesdays. In July, locomotive 2999 “Lady of Legend” is set to be in action with the Edwardian engine hauling wonderfully restored carriages from the early 20th Century, allowing each group of visitors to be accommodated in their own individual compartment.

The return of working steam trains to the Centre’s activities, comes after a series of successful open days at the 21-acre living museum since re-opening on 4 July.  “Visitor feedback about the measures we have implemented to welcome our audiences back safely has been very positive,” said Chief Executive, Emma Jhita, “We have limited numbers, staggered arrival times and set up extra outdoor displays and photo opportunities,” she added.

 “Our preserved steam locomotives have been like slumbering giants so we are delighted that we can now reawaken them and start running trains,” explained Emma, “There will be a separate entrance and exit to the platform and we will invite visitors to board one group at a time, but once aboard they can really experience rail travel as it was a century ago in absolutely beautiful carriages.”  

Earlier this month, the Centre learnt that the scheme to create “Lady of Legend” has been shortlisted in the Best Conservation/Restoration Project national Museums & Heritage Awards. The task took dedicated volunteers at the Centre over 24 years to complete and cost £825,000.

Summer Steam Days will run on weekends and Wednesdays in July and August and as well as the unlimited train rides, visitors can explore the extensive outside spaces at the living museum with goods trains, a locomotive on the turntable and engines outside the shed amongst the displays.

Inside the Centre’s iconic Engine Shed, a one-way system allows visitors to climb onto the footplate of Hall Class engine No. 5900 “Hinderton Hall”, while the route through the spacious carriage display takes visitors past a travelling post office coach, a Royal saloon and carriage that has been restored after spending many years as a riverside summerhouse!

Rare surviving track from Brunel’s broad gauge railway and replica Victorian locomotives and carriages are also on display while children can let of steam in the train themed play area while the watch the real thing steam past!

Further details can be found, and tickets booked, at www.DidcotRailwayCente.org.uk.

 

The Great Western Railway was incorporated in 1835 to build the railway from Bristol to London, designed and engineered by Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Members of the Great Western Society have created a living museum at Didcot, based around the original engine shed and depot to which has been added a typical branchline and country station, signalling demonstrations and a recreation of Brunel's original broad gauge trackwork, complete with a replica of the Fire Fly locomotive built in 1840. There is a large collection of GWR steam locomotives, carriages and wagons. Steam days and special events throughout the year when you can ride in the 1930's trains. New for younger visitors - the Science, Learning and Railways exhibition.

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Map & Directions

Road Directions

On A4130 signed from A34 and M4 jct 13.

Public Transport Directions

From Didcot Parkway station it is 2 minutes' walk to Didcot Railway Centre.

Facilities

Accessibility

  • All Areas Accessible to Disabled Visitors - There is an unavoidable flight of 18 steps to the entrance and once inside most areas are accessible to visitors with disabilities.
  • Guide Dogs Permitted

Catering

  • On-Site cafe/restaurant/catering - Cafeteria serving lunches and hot and cold snacks
  • Picnic area

COVID-19 Response

  • Advance booking essential
  • Capacity limit
  • Clear signage

Establishment Features

  • Conference facilities
  • Dogs Accepted
  • Toilets

Key Features

  • In town/city centre
  • Outdoor Attraction

Parking & Transport

  • Parking (charge)

Payment Methods

  • Approx length of visit - 2 hours to all day
  • Groups Accepted
  • Maestro accepted
  • MasterCard accepted
  • Max group size - 9999
  • Min group size - 15
  • Special group rates
  • TIC Staff Admitted Free
  • Visa accepted
  • Visa Debit accepted

Target Markets

  • Marketed Towards Children
  • Marketed Towards Families

Tours and Demonstrations

  • Demonstrations Given
  • Educational Visits Accepted
  • Guided Tours Available for Groups

Opening Times

2020 (18 July 2020 - 31 Dec 2020)
DayTimes
Monday - TuesdayClosed
Wednesday10:30 - 16:00
Thursday - FridayClosed
Saturday - Sunday10:30 - 16:00

TripAdvisor

Awards

  • Visit BritainWe're Good to Go We're Good to Go 2020

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