Didcot Railway Centre
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Didcot Railway Centre
Home of the Great Western Society


Great Days Out

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Locomotives 6023 and 5051 in front of the engine shed Steam Railmotor from the footplate of passing locomotive

Gala Events

We are planning gala and themed events for 2017 as follows:

Scroll down or click on any of these events for more details. The page will be updated as each event approaches.

Easter Steamings


14-17 April - (Normal Running Day admission prices apply)

Additional Family Easter activities include a 1967 themed Treasure Hunt. Visitors can dress up in Welford Park Ticket Office and watch the trains from the train themed Play Park in our Picnic Area.

50 Years at Didcot Gala


29 April - 1 May 2017 - (Gala Day admission prices apply)

Visiting engines:
- 813 from the Severn Valley Railway
- The Wee Engine - No 11 from the East Anglian Railway Museum
and from our own fleet - 4144, 6023 King Edward II and the Steam Rail Motor
Display of 50 O Gauge locomotives and hopefully some O Gauge model railways.
Black Python Real Ale Bar open
Signalling in Operation on the Branch line
We hope to have a miniature railway in operation
+ Volunteer Re-union (Sat 29 only)
+ Oxford Ukeleles (Sun 30 only)
+ Spitfire & Hurricane Flypast, weather permitting (Sun 30 only)

Didcot Railway Centre Transport Rally

Didcot Transport Rally
Didcot Transport Rally

4 June 2017 - (Normal Running Day admission prices apply)

The Thames Valley & Great Western Omnibus Trust is supporting Didcot Railway Centre in organising its third Transport Rally on Sunday 4 June.

Due to extensive construction work on the site we have used for the past two years, the primary focus of this year’s event will be TV&GWOT’s vintage bus services. These will run on former Great Western Railway Road Motors, Thames Valley and City of Oxford bus routes from Didcot Parkway Station.

For 2017 we will be running services on the following five routes using vehicles varying in age from 1946 to 1988. Timetables for each route are in the fully illustrated souvenir programme which you can buy on the day for £5:
1 Didcot – Wantage via Harwell, East Hendred and Ardington
2 Didcot – Blewbury and Upton via East Hagbourne
3 Didcot – Chilton Circular via Harwell, Harwell Campus and West Hagbourne
4 Didcot – Wallingford via Brightwell
500 Didcot – Abingdon

In 2017 we are reintroducing a route to Chilton which we had to delete from the 2016 network due to extensive roadworks around the village. Single deck journeys will pause for photos at the Rose & Crown in the village. This route will pass Harwell Campus formerly the Atomic Energy Research Establishment, famous among bus enthusiasts for its fleet of blue and grey staff transport buses which are featured in this year’s programme.

The 500 route to Abingdon will be operated by Colin Billington’s former Western National Duple 425 Integral, newly restored to National Express Rapide livery. This proved to be a popular attraction at the Victoria Coach Station 85th anniversary Coach Festival in March and the Didcot event will be the first time it has operated at a running day.

All buses will start from and return to Didcot Parkway station where passengers will be able gain access to the Railway Centre through the station building.

TV&GWOT will have a display and information stand by the station entrance. A fully illustrated programme, giving a brief history of the vehicles entered, service timetables, vehicle duties and historical notes, is available now. It can be purchased: on the day for £5.00 from the TV&GWOT display near Didcot Parkway Station entrance or from TV&GWOT volunteers in the bus terminus and at the transport display.

If you live too far away to visit the Transport Rally you can buy a copy of the programme by post for £6.50 including first class p&p by either:
- Sending a cheque payable to ‘TV&GWOT’ to Ledger Farm, Forest Green Road, Fifield, Maidenhead SL6 2NR, or
- Paying by Paypal (including any postal / delivery instructions in the notes)

A display of vintage vehicles will be located in one of the car parks close to and within easy walking distance of the station forecourt. The final location of the display is subject to progress of engineering work during the coming week.

We suggest that visitors follow the brown tourist signs park in the Foxhall Road Car park as there may be restricted space in car parks opposite the station.

Fathers' Day

Didcot Transport Rally
The Wickham Trolley

18 June 2017 - (Normal Running Day admission prices apply)

- Steam and Diesel Trains in operation
- Wickham Trolley Rides
- Guided tours of the Locomotive Works

Star Tugs Weekend

Star Tugs

24-25 June 2017 - (Normal Running Day admission prices apply)

- Steam and Diesel Trains in operation
- Large Display of Star Tugs
- 'Spot the Tug' Competition
- Children's activities and colouring sheets

Teddy Bears' Picnic

Teddy Bears

9 July 2017 - (Normal Running Day admission prices apply)

See our Teddy Bears' Picnic page for more details.

Rails on the Western Front

Wartime Railway Scene

19-20 August 2017 - (Gala Day admission prices apply)

Commemorating the role of railways in the First World War. Displays include:

- The recreation of a French station in the Transfer Shed, with members of the Great War Society, featuring 5322 and a recreated ambulance train
- A recreation by the Great War Society of a casualty clearing station, demonstrating the link between frontline activity and the railway
- A military camp display, with members of the Great War Society providing first-person learning sessions to demonstrate the many and various skills a soldier needed to enable him to do his job, as well as the realities of everyday life.
- A ‘WWI Trail’ to encourage visitors to discover various WWI-related exhibits in the Society’s collection, along with their history, such as the real-life story of three nurses who served in our currently unrestored WWI ambulance coach.
- Access to WWI exhibits not normally available to the public, such as the articulated ‘Pollen’ wagons, designed for carrying naval gun barrels.
- Spitfire Flypast on Saturday 19 (at about half past three - weather permitting)

Please note we will have a stairclimber available to ascend the eighteen steps on the aproach to the railway centre for this event - please contact us in advance if you wish to use it.

Flying Scotsman Visit

Flying Scotsman

26-28 August 2017 - (Special admission prices apply)

Considered by many to be the most famous locomotive in the world, ‘Flying Scotsman’ will visit Didcot Railway Centre over the August Bank Holiday weekend, for the first time since 2005.

Visitors have a chance to ride behind Flying Scotsman in our genuine vintage carriages and enjoy all our other activities. Flying Scotsman will be running all day so there will be lots of chances to photograph the engine as she runs past the Picnic Area on our Main Demonstration Line.

There will also be unlimited rides behind visiting engine GWR No 813 on our Branch Line and musical entertainment as well as a barbeque and our renowned Black Python Real Ale Bar. Visitors can see Brunel's Broad Gauge, explore the Engine Shed with our collection of GWR steam engines, visit the Carriage Display, GWT Museum and Archive, original Air Raid Shelter and Science, Learning & Railways Exhibition. Families can enjoy our train themed Play Park and Picnic Area.

Visit the Refreshment Room for hot and cold food and snacks. A range of souvenirs will be on sale in our Shop.

Last admission 3.00 pm. Please note there is an unavoidable flight of 18 steps to our entrance. Our Access Statement is on our website.

Static Day - Special Photographic Opportunity

Flying Scotsman

29 August 2017 - (Special admission prices apply)

See two iconic LNER locomotives side by side, in front of the locomotive shed - - 60103 ‘Flying Scotsman’, and Gresley A4 class Pacific 60009 ‘Union of South Africa’. Possibly a third main line express locomotive might be included, in the shape of GWR King class 4-6-0 6023 ‘King Edward II’. ‘Union of South Africa’ is soon due to retire permanently to a museum in Scotland, so this will almost certainly be the last chance to see her together with ‘Flying Scotsman’ in the authentic setting of a steam engine shed.

Union of South Africa Visit

Union of South Africa

30 August 2017 - Gala Day admission prices apply)

Anything Goes Weekend - The Diesels

Ferndale Yard

23-24 September 2017 - (Normal Running Day admission prices apply)

With Railcar No. 22 and D9516 on the Branch Line and unusually two 08s on the Main Line - single and double heading

Also featuring 'Ferndale Yard' early diesel era model railway layout.

As ever we can only give an indication of what is intended and all details may be subject to change at short notice.





Recreating the golden age of the Great Western Railway