A rare chance to see and ride behind three contrasting GWR passenger locomotives as 2999 “Lady of Legend”, No 4144 and newly-restored 1340 "Trojan" will all be in action and hauling passenger trains.
The award-winning 2999 entered service in 2019 following a 24-year project to recreate the elegant Edwardian engine; 4144 was built in 1946 and used to work heavy suburban trains whilst 1340 is the oldest working Great Western Railway engine having been built in 1897 to work at Newport Docks in South Wales. This will be one of the first chances to see the diminutive engine as she is due to return to service in early May following an extensive overhaul. We will be using our train of vintage carriages with individual compartments so every group can have their own exclusive space for the ride on our demonstration lines.
As well as taking a ride on the trains, you can see enginemen refuelling the locos under the working Coal Stage, watch the engines being turned on the 70-foot turntable and, for those arriving early, witness the engines being readied for the day’s duty in front of the original 1932 Engine Shed (book for a 9.30 or 10.00 arrival)
On site, you will find painstakingly restored buildings, carriages, and wagons and learn more about the development of railways and how they changed everyday lives. Visitors will also have the chance to get up close to the locomotives in the spacious Engine Shed which has remained largely-unchanged since it was built in 1932. See the magnificent preserved locomotives and follow the one-way system that allows you to climb onto the footplate! A leisurely walk or a trip on our branch line will take you to the Transfer Shed where you can see surviving track from Brunel's Broad Gauge railway with replica locomotives and carriages.
The large, well-ventilated carriage shed will also be open with coaches dating from Victorian times to the 1940s that evoke bygone eras. See 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!
To open safely, we have limited visitor numbers and tickets need to be booked in advance – please book a ticket for each adult and for children aged 3 and over. Sadly, we're not able to open everything at once. Some facilities, such as the Air Raid Shelter, aren't open.
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.
The gift shop and Museum will be open, with controlled access to keep numbers to a safe level.
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 5.00pm.
NOTE FOR MEMBERS: As we are limiting the number of visitors to ensure everyone is safe, can socially distance and enjoy the train rides we are asking members to pay a modest fee to attend this event as the costs of steaming three locomotives are significant. We thank you for your support and understanding and free members tickets are available for our Spring Steam Days.