Living Museum of the Great Western Railway

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Engine Shed Restoration

Repair the 1932 Engine Shed Roof

An Information Leaflet is available for this fund

One-off donations can be made on-line or you can contribute by post using the form incorporated in the information leaflet.

The 'Cathedral of Steam', our original 1932 engine shed is in need of restoration. Help us restore this significant part of our heritage. Didcot Railway Centre holds a special place in the hearts of railway enthusiasts and history buffs alike. We have been a custodian of these beautiful locomotives and buildings for 6 decades and one of our most iconic structures, the 1932 engine shed stands as a testament to the past and a beacon of hope for the future.

The restoration of this listed heritage building is not just a matter of choice; it's a responsibility to preserve a vital piece of our industrial heritage and we need you to help preserve its future.

Restoring the engine shed is essential for several reasons. First and foremost, it serves as a vital component in the preservation of the locomotives themselves. A well maintained shed offers a protection from the elements, ensuring these magnificent machines remain in pristine condition for generations to come. Moreover, the engine shed holds educational value allowing visitors to experience a tangible connection to our industrial past by providing a unique opportunity for people of all ages to learn about the evolution of transportation, technological advancements and the human stories behind these marvellous machines.

The restoration is not just an investment in preserving 27 steam engines, it's an investment in our shared heritage and an opportunity to educate and inspire future generations.

By undertaking this project, we can ensure that these magnificent pieces of history continue to captivate and enlighten visitors for years to come.

We are currently engaged in the ambitious task of restoring the historic building which wil take place over the next few years. The project poses significant challenges as we aim to preserve the building's unique atmosphere and well-used patina, whilst ensuring its safety, watertight integrity, and transforming it into the centrepicece to Didcot Railway Centre that it deserves to be.

The first stage of the project is to fully repair the main shed roof.

This recent picture shows the deterioration to the galvanised iron sheets (which replace the original asbestos cement tiles) and the woodwork

To adhere to safety standards and modern practices, we will not, of course, be able to use asbestos tiles, replacing them instead with a suitable alternative that meets acceptable standards. The restoration process will include replacing all slates and roof sheets, addressing roof lights and smoke venting, and renovating numerous other areas within the building.

Retaining the use of the shed, or a significant portion of it, during the restoration work is a challenge that we are committed to navigating successfully.

This unusual view, showing the shed emptied in connection with a major filming session, reveals the sheer size of the building and consequently the task ahead


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