Practical Information for Schools

Thank you for planning a visit to Didcot Railway Centre, the home of the Great Western Society.

Didcot Railway Centre is an industrial railway site of the 1930s and earlier and is preserved as a working museum.

Presently, the only access to the site is through the subway of Didcot Parkway Railway Station and up a flight of steps.

To ensure your visit goes as smoothly as possible, please read the following information and pass it on to the children and their parents.

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Supervision of Pupils

The behaviour of the pupils at Didcot Railway Centre is the responsibility of the teachers. There may be other visitors on site during your visit.

For the safety and security of your class, would teachers and adult helpers please note that there are areas within the Centre where particular care and attention need to be taken. Didcot Railway Centre requires that all educational parties with students under 18 years are supervised at all times whilst in the Centre. It is recommended that classes are pre-divided into small groups with an adult responsible for the supervision and behaviour of each group. A minimum ratio of adults to children is 1:5 for Keystages 1 and 2 and 1:10 for Keystage 3. The adults should remain with their designated group at all times. A member of staff trained to attend to pupils illnesses and first aid should accompany the school party.

It is recommended that visitors are dressed warmly in cold weather and wear comfortable shoes. Please note that parts of the Centre can be wet and dirty.

Groups or individuals behaving in an unreasonable manner will be asked to leave the Centre.

On Arrival

School’s Reception Point

The Centre’s experienced Guide(s) will meet your group and accompany you throughout the visit. From the coach drop off point, which is right outside the main entrance to Didcot Parkway Station, pupils should be led up the steps and gather at the entrance to the Centre.


A Guide or Education Officer will then greet the group, giving a brief introduction to the Centre, explain guidelines for behaviour and talk about health and safety.


Admission to Didcot Railway Centre for educational visits on non-steaming days is £5.00 per pupil; on steaming days £7.00.  Accompanying adults are free of charge at the ratio of 1:5 for children at Key Stages 1 and 2 and 1:10 for children at Key Stage 3.


Please pay at the Ticket Office on arrival on the day of your visit. Cheques should be made payable to the Great Western Society. Invoice facilities are not available for educational parties. However, we can send a receipt. Please do not send admission payment in advance.

Coats and Bags

A secure location for belongings will be made available. These belongings will be accessible again at lunchtime and on departure.


Toilets are located near the patio area of the site. There is a separate disabled person’s toilet.

Lunchtime Arrangements

Details of arrangements will be given to the group at the start of the visit.

Other Information

Preliminary Visits

Teachers planning a group visit will be welcomed when making a free pre-visit.  This is especially important if you are planning a visit with pupils with special needs so that the group leader can become familiar with the Centre and its layout and have the chance to discuss the content of the visit.  Alternatively, a member of the Society’s Education Team may be able to make a preliminary visit to the school.

Health and Safety

The Great Western Society has a Health and Safety Policy and safety assessments that apply to visitors and staff who come to the Centre. A copy of the safety procedure for education visits is available on request.

In the event of an emergency, Guides have procedures to deal with situations that may arise.

The Centre Shop

By request on booking, the shop will be opened during your visit. The Centre’s staff would supervise a visit to the shop and pupils can have this opportunity of understanding the use of money by making small purchases.

Further information can be obtained from, and booking forms should be sent to:

Mrs Pat Bosley, Didcot Railway Centre, Didcot, OX11 7NJ.
Telephone 01235 817200


Download this page in printable form (16kb .pdf file)


Page last updated:14-Nov-2008