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Didcot Railway Centre
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Living museum of the Great Western Railway
Living museum of the Great Western Railway

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The Thames Valley & Great Western Omnibus Trust is supporting Didcot Railway Centre in organising its third Transport Rally on Sunday 4 June.

Due to extensive construction work on the site we have used for the past two years, the primary focus of this year’s event will be TV&GWOT’s vintage bus services. These will run on former Great Western Railway Road Motors, Thames Valley and City of Oxford bus routes from Didcot Parkway Station.

For 2017 we will be running services on the following five routes using vehicles varying in age from 1946 to 1988. Timetables for each route are in the fully illustrated souvenir programme which you can buy on the day for £5:

1 Didcot – Wantage via Harwell, East Hendred and Ardington

2 Didcot – Blewbury and Upton via East Hagbourne

3 Didcot – Chilton Circular via Harwell, Harwell Campus and West Hagbourne

4 Didcot – Wallingford via Brightwell

500 Didcot – Abingdon

In 2017 we are reintroducing a route to Chilton which we had to delete from the 2016 network due to extensive roadworks around the village. Single deck journeys will pause for photos at the Rose & Crown in the village. This route will pass Harwell Campus formerly the Atomic Energy Research Establishment, famous among bus enthusiasts for its fleet of blue and grey staff transport buses which are featured in this year’s programme.

The 500 route to Abingdon will be operated by Colin Billington’s former Western National Duple 425 Integral, newly restored to National Express Rapide livery. This proved to be a popular attraction at the Victoria Coach Station 85th anniversary Coach Festival in March and the Didcot event will be the first time it has operated at a running day.

All buses will start from and return to Didcot Parkway station where passengers will be able gain access to the Railway Centre through the station building.

TV&GWOT will have a display and information stand by the station entrance. A fully illustrated programme, giving a brief history of the vehicles entered, service timetables, vehicle duties and historical notes, is available now. It can be purchased: on the day for £5.00 from the TV&GWOT display near Didcot Parkway Station entrance or from TV&GWOT volunteers in the bus terminus and at the transport display.

If you live too far away to visit the Transport Rally you can buy a copy of the programme by post for £6.50 including first class p&p by either:

- Sending a cheque payable to ‘TV&GWOT’ to Ledger Farm, Forest Green Road, Fifield, Maidenhead SL6 2NR, or

- Paying by Paypal (including any postal / delivery instructions in the notes)

A display of vintage vehicles will be located in one of the car parks close to and within easy walking distance of the station forecourt. The final location of the display is subject to progress of engineering work during the coming week.
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Come and see our unique collection of Great Western Railway steam locomotives, coaches, wagons, buildings and small relics; and a recreation of Brunel's broad gauge railway. Join us in our rural setting based around the original 1930s engine shed.

We are running steam trains during the Bank Holiday weekend on 27, 28 and 29 May. After this weekend we will be open every day until 10 September, with steam trains running each weekend.
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See our unique collection of Great Western Railway steam locomotives, coaches, wagons, buildings and small relics; and a recreation of Brunel's broad gauge railway. Join us in our rural setting based around the original 1930s engine shed.

On 13 and 14 May we will be running our 1941-built diesel railcar No 22 and class 14 diesel hydraulic No 9516 for heritage train rides.
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See our unique collection of Great Western Railway steam locomotives, coaches, wagons, buildings and small relics; and a recreation of Brunel's broad gauge railway. Join us in our rural setting based around the original 1930s engine shed.

On 6 and 7 May we will be running our 1941-built diesel railcar No 22 and class 14 diesel hydraulic No 9516 for heritage train rides.
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Visiting engines:

813 from the Severn Valley Railway
The Wee Engine - No 11 from the East Anglian Railway Museum

And from our own fleet - 4144, 6023 King Edward II and the Steam Rail Motor.

Display of 50 O Gauge locomotives and hopefully some O Gauge model railways.

Signalling in Operation on the branch line.

Miniature railway in operation.

Black Python Real Ale Bar open from 12 noon each day. The ales we expect to have, subject to availability, are:
Bateman – Silver Hare; Bond Brews – Best of British; Loose Cannon – Howitzer; Nethergate – Suffolk County; West Berkshire Brewery – Mob Mild (Maggs’ Magnificent Mild); West Berkshire Brewery – Mr Chubb’s Lunchtime Bitter; White Horse Brewery – Bitter; White Horse Brewery – Black Beauty; XT Brewing Co – XT4.

+ Volunteer Re-union and barbecue (Saturday 29 only).

+ Oxford Ukuleles (Sunday 30 only).

+ Spitfire & Hurricane Flypast (approx 1:15pm), weather permitting (Sunday 30 only).

We look forward to meeting you.
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We are open every day through the school Easter holidays until 23 April, with steam trains running on 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 22 and 23 April. We are open from 10.30am these days, till 4pm on exhibition only days and 5pm on train running days. Last admission 3.30pm each day we are open.

Explore our unique collection of Great Western Railway steam locomotives, coaches, wagons, buildings and small relics; and a recreation of Brunel's broad gauge railway. Join us in our rural setting based around the original 1930s engine shed.

We are also welcoming 0-6-0 saddle tank locomotive No 813, formerly Port Talbot Railway and Great Western Railway, visiting from the Severn Valley Railway, due to arrive later this week.
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See our unique collection of Great Western Railway steam engines, coaches, wagons, buildings and small relics; and a recreation of Brunel's broad gauge railway. Join us in our rural setting based around the original 1930s engine shed.

We are open every weekend from 10.30am to 4pm (last admission 3.30pm). On 1/2 and 8/9 April will be running our 1941-built diesel railcar for heritage train rides.

From 14 April (Good Friday) we will be celebrating 50 years since we arrived at Didcot Engine Shed and started setting up the Railway Centre we know today. For more information about this event see our website http://www.didcotrailwaycentre.org.uk/index.html
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Meet Thomas and his friends, and the Fat Controller who will be keeping an eye on everything. Enjoy rides all day and as often as you wish. Thomas the Tank Engine is running on his branch line and his friends are running on the main line.

During the day, colourful Professor Crump will be clowning around and Twistina and Twistopher will be balloon modelling. Thomas story readings will be held hourly from 11am in the Imagination Station.

Don't forget to collect your souvenir ‘Day Out with Thomas’ certificate signed by the Fat Controller.

A wide range of souvenirs is available in the Thomas shop. There is a refreshment room serving lunches, snacks and drinks and also a picnic area where you can sit and watch the trains go by. Whilst at Didcot, remember to take a walk round the engine shed to see more of Thomas’ friends.

Book in advance at: http://www.dayoutwiththomas.co.uk/section.php/25/1/didcot-railway-centre (booking fees apply) or buy your tickets on the day.

Programme for the day

10.30 Steve’s Magic Show in the marquee

11.15 Diesel tries to keep the Troublesome Trucks under control – in front of the refreshment rooms

12.00 Meet Rusty & Dusty, the Fat Controller’s mischievous sidekicks, in the picnic area

12.30 Steve’s Magic Show in the marquee

13.00 Rusty & Dusty’s train dilemma

14.00 Steve’s Magic Show in the marquee

14.30 Diesel tries again to keep the Troublesome Trucks under control – in front of the refreshment rooms

15.30 Meet Rusty & Dusty, the Fat Controller’s mischievous sidekicks, in the picnic area
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Tim Dunn, of BBC4's Trainspotting Live!,will be launching Action Stations, our new film trail, at 12 noon.

Visitors can view our collections of locomotives, coaches, wagons and buildings and enjoy the various facilities and exhibits. See Brunel's Broad Gauge, learn how steam engines work in our Science Learning & Railways Exhibition, experience an Air Raid in our original Air Raid Shelter and watch the trains from our Picnic Area.

In addition, visitors can:

• Ride in coaches from the 1930s behind some of our Great Western steam engines or diesel locomotives. We have two running lines, 'The Main Line' and 'The Branch Line' with trains normally running on either or both of them. You may ride as many times as you like as there is no extra charge
• Watch the trains go past. There are frequent journeys on our running lines so you will have plenty of opportunity to take photos from vantage points alongside the tracks as well as ride on the trains.

Last admission 3.30 pm.

Please note there is an unavoidable flight of 18 steps to our entrance.
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We will be open every day during the school half-term holiday from 11 to 19 February, 10.30am to 4pm each day (last admission 3.30pm). We will be running trains on Saturday 11, Sunday 12, Wednesday 15, Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 February. You can have as many train rides as you want on these days at no extra charge.

The Museum and Archive reopens on 11 February after the winter shutdown to refresh its exhibits. Also on 11 February we will be opening our ‘Action Stations’ film trail showing the use of Didcot Railway Centre as a movie location.

The usual attractions will be open: engine shed; carriage shed; transfer shed with broad gauge display; 1940 air raid shelter; Science, Learning and Railways interactive display; shop and refreshment room.

We hope you will be able to visit us.
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