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

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Page last updated:
06-Jul-2016
Loco Cleaning
 
Carriage and Wagon Work
 
Painting
 
Fitting the oil pipes in 
the crankcase of Diesel Railcar No. 22
 
My Turn to Drive

Latest News

Steam Local Line - Wednesday 10 August

Steam Local Line

STEAM is a touring performance, in which a group of urban explorers discover, beneath canvas tarps, the skeletal remains of a machine that changed the world. Inspired, they shovel coal on the fires of the past … Inspired by classic movie genre STEAM takes the Urban Playground Team on a whistle stop tour through silent movies, the Wild West, James Bond, WWI and the dark future of inner city commuting…

There will be workshops at Didcot Cornerstone Arts Centre on Saturday 6 August, where local young people will create new scenes for the show that they will then play alongside the professional company in STEAM LOCAL LINE at Didcot Railway Centre on Wednesday 10 August. Shows will be at 11.30am and 2pm with a workshop in between from 12.15 to 1 pm.

No extra to pay - included in running day admission charge.

For more information have a look at the The Urban Playground website.

The Great Western Society is not responsible for the content of external web sites.

Star Tugs Event - 25/26 June

Star Tugs

The Star Tugs will be visiting Didcot again in June. We're expecting a large display with one or two bits not seen in public before.

As well as the dispay there wil be tug related activities such as Spot the Tug, activity sheets and colouring in.

See also the Star Tugs website.

The Great Western Society is not responsible for the content of external web sites.

Didcot Railway Centre to Host BBCs 'Trainspotting Live'

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BBC Four will be screening a live show over three evenings in July, hosted by broadcaster Peter Snow and mathematician Dr Hannah Fry, from their base at Didcot Railway Centre where they will provide a commentary on passing trains.

The two hosts will link to presenter Dick Strawbridge who wil be visiting interesting railway sites across the country.

The programme aims to be 'not just a show for trainspotters', but should interest anyone with a passion for British history, travel and engineering. Mr Snow said: “Even more exciting than watching election results come in is watching glorious trains speed past on a major railway line. And if it happens to be a steam engine passing by - what a bonus!

Cassian Harrison, channel editor at BBC Four, said: said: “BBC Four has always been the home of singular passions - from James May celebrating the intricate engineering of a lawn mower to George McGavin unpacking the hidden history of a single oak tree. I'm delighted that for one week we're now going to celebrate that most unique of British obsessions - the train - with all the wit, scale and love of detail that is BBC Four's hallmark.

Tom McDonald, head of commissioning, specialist factual formats and natural history, added: “I am delighted to be doing a big live show for BBC Four on a subject which is so close to the nation's heart, which will build the most comprehensive picture of Britain’s rail network ever attempted.

The public are also being asked to help out by filming their own trainspotting adventures, which may then be used on the show.

Final Line-up for Diesel Gala and Real Ale Festival - 28-30 May 2016

D1015

Confirmed visiting locomotives are:

Sorry but D1015 ‘Western Champion’ will no longer be visiting the event. As there are fewer mainline diesels attending than we had hoped we will be reducing the admission charge to £11 (adult), £9 (child), £10 (60+) and £34 (family, 2 adults + 2 children).

The event will also feature Didcot Railway Centre's:

Our Signalling system will be in operation on the branch line, and there will be a flypast by a Dakota on Sunday, weather permitting.

The ‘Black Python’ bar will be hosting the Real Ale Festival. There is more information about this event on our Gala Events page.

All locomotives and other attractions subject to availability.

We had to get a Bigger Rally Site!

Transport Rally 2015

The Didcot Railway Centre Transport Rally on Sunday 5 June 2016 had originally been planned to take place at Didcot Town Football Club car park, but with the owners of some 32 vintage buses applying to bring their vehicles, it was clear that, together with all the other exhibits, we had a problem. Our rally wouldn't fit on our rally site! Thankfully GWR and APCOA were happy to come to the rescue and offer the huge Didcot Foxhall Road car park as an alternative into which all our exhibits will comfortably fit.

As well as the buses there will be a steam road roller, vintage cars and commercial vehicles, together with miniature railway rides and trade stands. Some of the vintage buses will be offering rides on routes to Wantage, Wallingford and Blewbury as well as providing a shuttle service to Didcot Parkway Station and the Railway Centre entrance.

The admission price for the Rally includes access to Didcot Railway Centre, where there will be train rides and our shops and refreshment room will be open as usual for souvenirs and sustenance! There is more information about the Transport Rally on our Gala Events page.

All attractions subject to availability.

New Volunteers Day - 4 June 2016

Volunteers

As part of Volunteers' Week, we are offering a chance to find out about volunteering at Didcot Railway Centre.

Volunteer managers will be available on the day to explain what they do and what help they need. Visitors signing up as volunteers will have a chance to ride on the footplate of one of our engines.

Didcot Railway Centre will be open and visitors can enjoy unlimited train rides as well as all our other attractions.

Steam Gala - 30 April-2 May 2016

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Our Steam Gala over the May Day weekend celebrates the 175th Anniversary of the opening of the Great Western Railway with some visiting locomotives joining our home fleet, as well as some special activities.

The visiting locomotives are:

They will be joined by:

In the Broad Gauge Transfer Shed you can meet some ‘Victorians’ and find out what it was like to travel on the earliest GWR trains. you can also follow the Victorian Heritage Trail around the centre.

Our Signalling system, including the Victorian installation at the North End of Centre will be in full operation, as will the ‘Black Python’ Real Ale bar!

Our shops and refreshment room will, of course, be open as usual for souvenirs and sustenance!

All locomotives and other attractions subject to availability.

Arts and Industry Exhibition at Cornerstone - 12 April - 16 May 2016

Art and Industry Poster

There is currently an exhibition of paintings of Didcot Railway Centre by local artist Andrew Manson at the Cornerstone Gallery, Didcot.

See the Cornerstone Website for details of the exhibtion and for opening times and directions.

Andrew gives an artists description of the Railway Centre: ‘The whole operation runs at its own pace keeping in time with the exhibits & the age they are from. I can't see the place modernising any time soon & it's fair to say they would not want it to either! Its charm and culture is enbodied through the steam, dirt, grit and slow turns & grinds of the old rail industry’.

The Great Western Society is not responsible for the content of external web sites.

Diesel Gala and Real Ale Festival - 28-30 May 2016 - First Visitors Announced

Diesel Gala

Our Diesel Gala and Real Ale Festival over the Spring Bank Holiday is starting to take shape.

Confirmed visiting locomotives so far are:

The event will also feature Didcot Railway Centre's:

Other possible visitors include classes 37, 50, 52, 66 and a pair of HST power cars.

Our Signalling system will be in operation on the branch line, and there will be a flypast by a Dakota on Sunday, weather permitting.

The ‘Black Python’ bar will be hosting the Real Ale Festival.

Steam Gala - 30 April-2 May 2016 - Visitors Announced

9466 shunting stock

Our Steam Gala over the May Day weekend celebrates the 175th Anniversary of the opening of the Great Western Railway with some visiting locomotives joining our home fleet, as well as some special activities.

Confirmed visiting locomotives are:

In the Broad Gauge Transfer Shed you can meet some ‘Victorians’ and find out what it was like to travel on the earliest GWR trains. There will also be other information around the Railway Centre regarding our Victorian heritage.

Our Signalling system, including the Victorian installation at the North End of Centre will be in full operation, as will the ‘Black Python’ Real Ale bar!

Museum Week - 28 March - 3 April 2016

Museum Week

It's Museum Week from 28 March to 3 April. This is a worldwide cultural event on Twitter (@MuseumWeek) and we at Didcot Railway Centre will be joining in the fun.

7 days, 7 themes, 7 hashtags! - every day museums across the globe will be tweeting on a particular subject with the hashtag #MuseumWeek.



Monday 28 March #secretsMW a behind-the-scenes glimpse of your museum
Tuesday 29 March #peopleMW honours the people who have helped make your museum
Wednesday 30 March #architectureMW is about telling the story of your buildings
Thursday 31 March #heritageMW the focus is on tangible and intangible cultural heritage
Friday 1 April #futureMW is a chance to share your most innovative projects
Saturday 2 April #zoomMW zoom in by sharing details and anecdotes that provide an interesting insight into your collection
Sunday 3 April #loveMW is time to share what you love about your place

About hashtags

Adding a hashtag to a social media post makes your comment searchable. For example if you tweet or make a facebook post including the hashtag #secretsMW then others will be able to find your and related comments by searching #secretsMW.

Children's Disco - 7 & 8 April 2016

Cgildrens's Disco

As a great way to finish the Easter Holidays we're offering an additional attraction on Thrursday/Friday 7 & 8 April 2016.

Children's Discos run throughout the day and are firmly aimed at families – no drink or drugs (but probably some rock 'n' roll)!

No need to book, just pay on the day - exhibition only day prices apply.

Tornado Set to Hit Didcot at Easter

Tornado at Didcot Railway Centre

Guest locomotive, Peppercorn A1 class Pacific 60163 ‘Tornado’ will feature extensively over the four days of Easter steamings (25-28 March) at Didcot Railway Centre, along with locomotives from our home fleet.

The locomotive was designed by A H Peppercorn, the final Chief Mechanical Engineer of the LNER before nationalisation in 1948. None of the original A1s were preserved.

Built from scratch over a 20 year period at Darlington Locomotive Works, as the next in line of this classic locomotive type, ‘Tornado’ incorporates all the necessary requirements to operate on today’s modern railway.

Tornado first moved under her own power in 2008 and has gained many accolades since, including, hauling the Royal Train three times, and appearing on an episode of BBC Top Gear with Jeremy Clarkson on the footplate.

The visit is ‘Tornado’s’ first visit of the year to a heritage railway, offering members of the public the chance to see this famous locomotive, back in apple green livery for the first time in four years.

Commercial manager, Ann Middleton, commented, “This will be Tornado’s fourth visit to the centre. Tornado remains ever popular, and we look forward to welcoming her supporters and fans. It’s a great chance for people to get up close and personal with Tornado as well as ride behind her and watch the locomotive on our demonstration line.

Little Engineers Pre-School Workshop

Little Engineers Pre-School Workshop

On Sunday 7 February Didcot Railway Centre will be running a Little Engineers Pre-School Workshop, for children aged 3-6 years. The event is entitled 'How Steam Engines Work'. The workshops will be held at 11:30am, 12:30pm and 2:30pm in the Science, Learning and Railways carriages, and in between the workshops there will be Engine Shed tours for participants.

The Small Print:

 

Recreating the golden age of the Great Western Railway