Living Museum of the Great Western Railway

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Didcot Railway Centre warmly welcomes all visitors with physical, sensory and learning disabilities and our staff will do all they can to ensure that your visit is both comfortable and enjoyable. Visitors should however be aware of an unavoidable flight of 18 steps on the only access route to the centre (see below for more details).

See also: our Accessibility Guide.

Arriving by Car

If you are travelling by car and have limited mobility do not follow the brown signs to the main station car park!

We suggest you drive directly to the front of the Didcot Parkway railway station where there is limited reserved car parking for visitors with disabled persons blue badges, and also a drop off point for other visitors. (Getting from the main station car park to the front of the station involves using a high footbridge to cross over the main railway line - whilst this is accessible, with lifts at the car park end and a ramp at the other, it's still quite a trek!).

More useful information is available about car parking.

Access to the Centre

From the station entrance, access is via the station subway and an unavoidable flight of 18 steps leading into the Railway Centre. This is the only access route.

Once inside the Centre there is level access to most areas.

We recognise that the steps leading to our current entrance limit access to the Centre. We ask visitors to contact us on 01235 817200 or by e-mail in advance of their visit to discuss access needs.  We have our own wheelchairs for visitors’ use if they can climb the stairs with our help.

We are currently considering options for improving access as the steps restrict us as well; everything has to come into the Centre either up the steps or in a railway wagon. We have designed a ramp and have estimated the cost at around three times our annual income. Finding such a large capital sum is difficult, since we do not own our own site and funding bodies do not give grants on short lease properties.

We are continuing to explore the options for providing suitable access and would welcome any suggestions you may have.

Inside the Centre

Once inside Didcot Railway Centre, we have a network of concrete paths and access to most areas is on level ground. However, because the Centre is a working museum it is not always possible to make all parts as accessible as we would like and our aim is to provide as much access as possible within those constraints.

We can provide guided tours on major opening days and for booked parties of visitors.

Whilst visitors with disabilities pay the normal admission charge, their necessary companion is admitted free. However, if the companion wishes to pay to defray our costs, this would be welcome.

We have an accessible toilet and we welcome assistance dogs.

We have also developed a talking newsletter, GWS Voice, for visually impaired members of the Great Western Society.

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