Living Museum of the Great Western Railway

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May Bank Holiday Steam Days

See trains on both demonstration lines as 1340 Trojan returns to service

Star of the three day event will be locomotive No 1340 "Trojan" which will return to service following an extensive overhaul. The diminutive engine will become the oldest Great Western Railway locomotive in working order, having been built in 1897 for Messrs Dunn & Shute of Newport Town Dock. Each day, 1340 will operate goods trains on the Centre's branch line, be positioned around the site for photographs and demonstrations, and take a turn in running passenger trains. Find out more about Trojan's return to action here.


LOCKDOWN GUARANTEE - Should national or local Covid-19 regulations oblige us to postpone your booked Bank Holiday Steam Day or should you need to postpone due to coronavirus or in order to self-isolate, then you can transfer to another Special Event or Steam Day later in 2021.


Passenger trains will be running on the Centre's main demonstration line with goods trains on the branch line enabling you to enjoy unlimited rides, and photograph them from a variety of locations as you explore this living museum. Stroll through 21-acres and discover almost two centuries of railway history with special open air displays and the chance to see the Engine Shed, Carriage Display and Victorian Broad Gauge Exhibition.

Grab a copy of our Site Guide and follow the outdoor Heritage Trail and step back to the golden age of the Great Western Railway and see historic steam engines, goods trains, a locomotive on the turntable and a delightfully recreated 1930s branch line. The second locomotive due to be in action is the powerful tank engine 4144 which was built at the GWR's famous locomotive works at Swindon in 1946 and spent most of its life working heavy suburban trains.  The engine has only been seen rarely at the Centre over the past couple years, having spent much of 2019 and 2020 visiting other heritage railways. We will be using a train of vintage carriages with individual compartments so every group can have their own exclusive space for the journey from our main platform to the Centre's Oxford Road station. All tickets will be backed by our Lockdown Guarantee so you can book with confidence.

You can also get up close to the locomotives in the spacious Engine Shed and yard which have remained largely-unchanged since they were built in 1932 -climb the steps that allow you to see onto the footplate of one of the magnificent preserved locomotives.

In the large, well-ventilated carriage shed you can see a Victorian carriage that has been restored after serving as a riverside summerhouse for much of its life, a travelling post office coach and the VIP Saloon reputed to have been used by General Eisenhower during the preparations for D-Day and later used in the GWR Royal Train!

Catch a train and alight at the far end of the site to see the Transfer Shed - where goods were once moved from broad gauge to standard gauge trains. There's a rare section of surviving track from Brunel's Broad Gauge railway, complete with replica Victorian locomotives.


To open safely, visitor numbers will be limited and tickets need to be booked in advance – please book a ticket for each adult and for children aged 3 and over. Sadly, Government guidelines mean we're not able to open everything at once. Some facilities will not be open, such as our Air Raid Shelter, Small Artefacts Museum and Signalling Centre - these will reopen at a later date in line with Government guidance with appropriate measures in place to keep everyone safe.

The Refreshment Rooms will be operating a simple take-away service of hot and cold drinks and pre-packed snacks with plenty of picnic tables and benches around the Centre.

Toilets will be available and we have increased the frequency of cleaning in these and other key areas.

Don't forget to visit the Gift Shop and pick up a souvenir -  access will be controlled in order to keep everyone safe.



Select your date and arrival time.

You should arrive within your 30 minute time slot and will then be welcome to stay all day until we close at 4.00pm.

See our latest pre-arrival advice here.

COVID-19 PRECAUTIONS - RULE OF SIX. Government regulations mean we can only accept bookings for up to six people. This is scheduled to be eased prior to the Spring Steam Days and booking limits will be amended when we are permitted to do so. We are legally required to share contact details with National Health Track & Trace if requested.

LOCKDOWN GUARANTEE - Should national or local Covid-19 regulations oblige us to postpone your booked Steam Day or should you need to postpone due to coronavirus or in order to self-isolate, then you can transfer to another Special Event or Steam Day later in 2021.

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