Living Museum of the Great Western Railway

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Bank Holiday Steam Up

29, 30 & 31 Aug - Three or more locos in steam. Photo opportunities & double-heading

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Three or more engines will be in steam working trains to provide unlimted rides on the Centre's two demonstration lines. Arrive early to see these and other locomotives lined up in front of the engine shed affording a host of photographic opportunities.

Don't miss the spectacle of wagons loaded with coal being propelled up the steep incline to the Centre’s coal stage – the only surviving working example of a type of building that was once commonplace at locomotive sheds. At the coal stage, the solid fuel can be transferred into tubs which then tip to fill the bunker of a locomotive waiting below. 

 

As well as the trains, there's plenty to see and do as you explore this 21-acre living museum and unearth almost two centuries of railway history.  Stroll through the original 1932 engine shed and see magnificent preserved locomotives – you can even climb onto the footplates of some! See surviving track from Brunel’s broad gauge, discover painstakingly restored buildings, coaches and wagons and learn more about the development of railways and how they changed everyday lives.

There’s a chance to get hands-on in the Science of Railways carriages and the signalling centre where you can find out how trains have been controlled through the ages. Descend into a shelter built to keep Didcot’s enginemen safe in WWII and experience an air raid or immerse yourself in the varied collection of fascinating, smaller artefacts in the museum. Don't miss the opportunity to get hands-on and control trains using the 1960s technology of the Swindon Panel.  The equipment was once the heart of Swindon signalbox has been saved and restored so, guided by one of our experts, you can keep trains running safely and to time on a virtual Great Western mainline!

Children can let off steam in the outdoor play area, make tracks to the indoor toy train sets or dress up as a Station Master. You can relax over lunch or enjoy a snack in the refreshment rooms and don’t forget to pick up a souvenir in the gift shop.  The modern trains running past the centre complete the picture and mean you can experience 180 years of railway progress in just one day!

More details our collections can be found in the Explore section, and in our Guidebook (available for purchase online with your tickets or at the entrance).

Open 10.30am – 5.00pm, last admission 3.30pm

The cheapest and most convenient way to buy tickets is online in advance as these are discounted by 10%.

Admission Prices including a Gift Aid donation for this event are:

  Buy Online in advance Pay on Arrival
Adult £12.60 £14.00
Senior Citizen £11.25 £12.50
Child  £8.55  £9.50
Family (2 Ad & 2 Ch or 1 Ad & 3 Ch) £39.60 £44.00

Voluntarily Gift Aiding Your Donation allows us to reclaim tax to help look after the collection at Didcot Railway Centre.

 

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