Living Museum of the Great Western Railway

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Open Air Discovery Day

Explore a 21-acre open air living museum and enjoy a repeat visit for a Steam Day later this year!

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Pick up a copy of our outdoor Heritage Trail, explore this 21-acre open-air museum and unearth almost two centuries of railway history. 

Special outdoor displays and photo opportunities will be set up including historic steam engines, goods trains and a locomotive on the turntable.

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 and follow the one-way system that allows you to climb onto the footplate! 

The large, well-ventilated 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!


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.

 

To open safely, we have limited visitor numbers and tickets need to be booked in advance – please book a ticket for each adult and for children aged 3 and over. Sadly, we're not able to open everything at once. Some facilities aren't open, such as our Science of Railways Carriages, Air Raid Shelter and Signalling Centre.

The Refreshment Rooms will be operating a simple take-away service of hot and cold drinks and pre-packed snacks with plenty of picnic tables and benches around the Centre.

Toilets will be available and we have increased the frequency of cleaning in these and other key areas.

The gift shop and Museum will be open, with controlled access to keep numbers to a safe level.

Trains will not be running on these days but your tickets will be valid to return on a Steam Day in a few weeks – by which time, we hope to be able to safely re-open further facilities.


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

Dates currently available are shown below - if you'd like tickets valid for future dates - book our special Return Tickets and we'll be in touch with details of other dates when they are available.

Booking information

Select your date and arrival time.

You should arrive within your 30 minute time slot and will then be welcome to stay all day until we close at 4.00pm.

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