Didcot Railway Centre
The Didcot Railway Centre is based around the original Great Western Railway Engine Shed built in 1932. Many features of the original depot survive to this day, together with some later additions.
The Engine Shed contains four tracks, each accommodating up to either three tender engines or six tank engines. Operational locomotives not in use on an open day, and those restored for static display, can usually be seen in or around the Engine Shed.
Behind the Engine Shed is the small Lifting Shop containing a 50t hoist, where, for example, locomotive boilers can be lifted from the frames. Due to the nature of the work being undertaken inside, it is generally not possible to enter the lifting shop for safety reasons.
The turntable, situated beyond the Engine Shed, ensures that tender locomotives in particular are facing in the direction of travel. It is hand-operated and, at 21m in length, can accommodate the largest tender engines.
In addition, the Didcot Railway Centre has a Main Line and a Branch Line for running and demonstrating various steam locomotives from the museum’s collection.
The main line runs the entire length of the Didcot Railway Centre, a distance of nearly half a mile. On running days, you can often ride on a train formed of coaches from the 1930s hauled by one of the larger steam locomotives.
You can also ride on a train hauled by a smaller steam locomotive, or maybe even on the GWR Steam Railmotor or Diesel Railcar, on the Branch Line. This runs down the western side of the Didcot Railway Centre, from Didcot Halt, located near the Turntable in the centre of the site, to the Transfer Shed at the north end.
To find other Museums near you which are also worth visiting, click here.
If this museum has inspired you to consider a career in the Rail Industry, follow the link below to learn more about Rail Apprenticeships:
Didcot Railway Centre
Please note: the entrance to Didcot Railway Centre is through the entrance hall and subway of Didcot Parkway railway station.
Open Saturdays and Sundays all year, and daily between these dates in 2018:
- February half-term
- March to early October
- October half-term
- After Boxing Day to and New Year’s Day
Open from 10:30 until 6:00 on Exhibition Only Days and on Running Days in the winter.
Open until 17:00 on Running Days in the summer. Last admission is at 15:30 on all days.
Exhibition Only Days
Child (3-15): £4.50
Family (2 Adults & up to 2 Children): £19.00
Running Days (Steam Days & Heritage Diesel Days)
Child (3-15): £8.00
Family (2 Adults & up to 2 Children): £32.00
Child (3-15): £11.00
Family (2 Adults & up to 2 Children): £42.00
Other charges apply for special events, such as Thomas the Tank Engine visits. Please refer to the Didcot Railway Centre website for further details.
There are ticket barriers at the entrance to the subway. If the gates are closed there are always staff on duty who will, when asked, let visitors to and from the railway centre through the gates. When the gates are open visitors should walk through. Please retain your railway centre tickets to show if required when leaving through the barriers.
Visitors arriving by train can walk straight to the Didcot Railway Centre without going through the ticket barriers.