Recently elected MP for Wantage, David Johnston, joined hundreds of constituents in visiting one of the area’s leading tourist attractions as he headed to Didcot Railway Centre at the start of half-term on Saturday 15 February.
Mr Johnston was given a tour of the 21-acre site by Chief Executive, Emma Jhita and Great Western Society Chairman, Richard Preston, who shared the Charity’s plans to attract more visitors to the living museum built around the original Great Western Railway engine shed and now home to the World’s largest collection of artefacts from one railway company.
The MP joined the crew of locomotive No. 31 on the Centre’s branch line and also visited the restored “Swindon Panel” which was once the heart of Swindon Signalbox and was used to control trains on Great Western mainline from the 1960s until 2013 and has since been restored at the Centre allowing visitors to try their hand at being a signalman.
Following his visit David Johnston Tweeted “Great Saturday morning tour of @DidcotRailwayC with @Emma_Jhita and the gang - 21 acres of interesting stuff for old and young and they have exciting development plans. Go if you haven't yet!”
The Centre is open daily for half term with steam trains running on 19, 22 and 23 February and is looking forward to another special visitor on 7 and 8 March as Thomas The Tank Engine will be making the journey from the Isle of Sodor for a Day Out With Thomas event at the start of the cheeky blue engine’s 75th anniversary year.
Full details of the Centre’s open days and special events can be found at www.DidcotRailwayCente.org.uk. Entrance is through Didcot Parkway Station and subway.