Living Museum of the Great Western Railway

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Victorian Weekend

Sat 19 & Sun 20 Sept - Come and discover how railways changed everyday life

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Come and be transported back in time to the 19th Century and ride aboard historic steam trains, see original Victorian locomotives and carriages, find out more about everyday life from award-winning period re-enactors the Ragged Victorians, discover basic signalling apparatus from the early Great Western Railway and see surviving track from Brunel’s broad gauge - complete with a display of painstakingly recreated locomotives and carriages.


Steam trains will be in action offering unlimited rides on the Centre’s two passenger lines with award-winning “Saint” class locomotive 2999 “Lady of Legend” hauling a train including Victorian carriages on the main demonstration line while services on the Centre’s branch line will be provided by a locomotive dating from Victorian times.

Locomotives on display include Victorian examples No 5 “Shannon” – a remarkable survivor having been built in 1857 and which spent many years working on the nearby Wantage Tramway and No. 1338.

Visitors can also see some surviving track from Brunel’s broad gauge along with replica locomotives Fire Fly and Iron Duke – the high speed trains of the Victorian era!  Be sure to look out for the characteristic disc and crossbar signal and the Railway Policeman’s Hut and find out how trains were controlled in the early days of the railways.

Characters in Victorian dress will be around teh Centre throughout the weekend, completing the period scene.

So, come and enjoy an authentic Victorian experience and see how railways were run in Victorian times! 

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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