Living Museum of the Great Western Railway

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Take 2! - 2-6-2 Autumn Gala 2024

20/21/22 September - featuring visiting engines Ivatt 2-6-2 tank engines 41312 and 41241

Come and celebrate our Autumn Steam Gala on 20th, 21st and 22nd September and ride behind visiting engines, Ivatt Tank Engines 41312 on loan from the Mid Hants railway and 41241 on loan from the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway.

 

Our steam power will be come in the form of:

41312, 41241, 4144 and 1340, Trojan.

No: 1340 'Trojan' - the oldest working Great Western Railway engine, built in 1897.

No. 4079 ‘Pendennis Castle’, originally completed at Swindon in February 1924 and returned to traffic at Didcot Railway Centre in April 2022. 

No 2409 “King George” – our newest finished restoration project – originally built in May 1942 – will also join the fleet and haul services over the weekend.

 

In addition to passenger trains, the event will feature goods workings, demonstrations of the 70ft turntable in action, a chance to see enginemen coaling the locos under the newly restored Grade II Listed 1932 coal stage and dramatic action as a coal truck is propelled up the steep incline to the coal stage – all sights that were commonplace at the steam depot in GWR days.

We'll be giving demonstrations of our traverser in action and you'll get the rare chance to ride on our Wickham Trolley, something we don't do very often!

In addition there'll be the rare chance to see our original 50 ton hoist in use as we show you how we add and remove a bogie. Booking for this element is separate and essential as limited spaces are available.

 

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 – find 5900 Hinderton Hall, climb onto the footplate and listen to Archie, the driver, and Stan, the fireman, prepare their loco! Listen out for the sounds of a working engine shed and see if you can hear Stan fetch his supplies from Jonah, the storeman. 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 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!

 

Enjoy a snack or light lunch in the Refreshment Rooms and pick up a souvenir from our exclusive range in the Gift Shop.

 

 

See our latest pre-arrival advice here.

NOTE FOR MEMBERS: We are asking members to pay a modest fee to attend this event as the costs of steaming four locomotives is significant, especially as we are hiring in an engine specifically for this event. We thank you for your support and understanding.

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