Didcot Railway Centre
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Didcot Railway Centre
Home of the Great Western Society

Getting Involved

Information for Members

Page last updated:
Using the Morticing Machine
Reupholstery in Diesel Railcar no. 22
The job of the Shunter
In preparation for painting
Running in Board Restoration


Volunteer members of the Great Western Society run the Didcot Railway Centre, supported by a small number of paid staff.  To ensure that we continue to uphold the aims of the Society we seek and welcome new volunteers in all departments.

Didcot Railway Centre Needs You!

Didcot Railway Centre has become the leading Great Western Railway preservation centre through the efforts of our membership. Our activities range from the restoration and repair of our historic locomotives, coaches and wagons, and operating them on the demonstration lines; signalling; educating children and young people through the Science and Learning Centre; displaying collections in the Museum; all supported by site development and trackwork, special events, gardening and catering … to name but a few of the opportunities that await you.

Although in some areas we do need experienced volunteers with specialised skills do not be put off by thinking that you are unqualified, as we also provide full training for whichever job you choose to do. We realise that everyone has a different amount of uncommitted time - the amount of time you spend with us depends on you. Some activities take place regularly every week or fortnight; others, such as site working parties, are programmed and advertised in the Newsletter. Operating Staff are rostered over a year, usually a minimum of ten days per year.

So whether you are retired, young, or a working person with a few hours to spare, a warm welcome awaits you.


Each engine under restoration or repair is undertaken by a specific group of volunteers. Whether you are skilled, unskilled or simply interested in engineering, a machinist, a fitter, a welder or can lend a willing hand to clean/assemble/paint/make tea, you can make a difference. We can provide appropriate training.

Current projects include:

Carriage & Wagon

Restoring and maintaining our fleet of passenger coaches and wagons in good working order, including our heritage fleet and the prestigious Super Saloons. Opportunities for woodworkers, joiners, electricians, plumbers, sheet metal workers/panelists, mechanical engineers (for brake and bogie overhauls), painters, general practical handymen, cleaners. (C&W Manager - Roger Horwood).


Volunteers are needed in each of the Sections of the Operating Department shown below (Contact - Roger Orchard):

Trainee applicants will be required to complete a confidential medical questionnaire to the satisfaction of the Society’s Medical Officer, and to commit to 6-8 turns per year (minimum 4 turns p.a.) .



Young Volunteers

Our younger members can join 'Firebox' and assist, under supervision, in the work of the Railway Centre. (Contact - Roger Orchard). Why not have a look at the young volunteers page?


To find out more please contact Didcot Railway Centre: info@didcotrailwaycentre.org.uk.

Or download, complete and send in the GWS Volunteers Form (40kb .pdf file).


Recreating the golden age of the Great Western Railway