The Railway Centre is run by the Great Western Society – Charity No. 272616 – and we rely on income from visitors to help us restore, maintain operate and conserve the 30 or so preserved steam locomotives, 50 historic carriages and dozens of wagons, plus carefully restored buildings that conjure up the golden age of the Great Western Railway.
The prolonged, enforced closure to combat Covid-19 has cut off that income; most of our staff are furloughed; our volunteers are not allowed carry on their painstaking work and the engines are slumbering giants, waiting for the day that we can light a fire in their belly and welcome the public back to enjoy the evocative sights, sounds and smells of steam.
As a 21-acre open-air living museum we believe that we will be able to safely welcome visitors back to explore almost 200 years of railway history at some point this summer and whilst many organisations are appealing for donations, we’re asking you to help us by planning a visit!
Our special “Return Tickets” will give you the chance to visit on an Open-Air Discovery Day when we are able to get back to welcoming visitors and enjoy a few hours exploring and photographing the many outdoor exhibits, including historic steam engines, goods trains and locomotive turntable. There’s also a chance to get up close to the locomotives in the spacious Engine Shed which has remained largely-unchanged since it was built in 1932.
A leisurely stroll will take you to a beautifully recreated 1930s branch line station and to a rare section of surviving track from Brunel's Broad Gauge railway, complete with replica Victorian locomotives.
Numbers will be strictly limited to ensure there is plenty of space for everyone to explore at leisure and your “Return Ticket” will also give you admission for one of our popular Steam Days when we are able to resume running trains.
These special “Return Tickets” are great value as they are priced at the same level as our standard Steam Days – so you get two visits for the price of one! It’s our way of thanking you for supporting us now, when we need to pay for essential tasks to care for the site and our irreplaceable historic artefacts.
Book now and we’ll be in touch to arrange your first visit. We promise we’ll give you plenty of time to make both visits with tickets valid at least December and for longer if necessary.
Voluntarily Gift Aiding Your Donation allows us to reclaim tax to help look after the collection at Didcot Railway Centre.