Tuesday, 16 August 2022

Family fun at railway centre


EASTER at Didcot Railway Centre means one thing — four days of “Easter Family Fundays”.

With three working steam locomotives providing all-day steam train rides, there is plenty of family entertainment on offer including an Easter treasure hunt, a magic show, balloon modelling and a street organ as well as children’s activities in the Science, Learning and Railway carriages. And on Good Friday and Easter Monday, Didcot’s own “Chipper the Squirrel” will be mingling with families.

During the weekend, broad gauge replica Iron Duke from the National Collection will be launched in its new home at Didcot. Alongside Didcot’s own broad gauge replica locomotive, Fire Fly, this will be the first time two broad gauge locomotives have been seen together since the 1890s.

The collection of locomotives, carriages and wagons at the centre encapsulates Great Western Railway’s history and is a great way to educate and entertain today’s generations of all ages in the experience their ancestors had when travelling by train.

The centre is housed in 23 acres alongside Didcot Parkway railway station. At its heart is the historic engine shed which still has all the apparatus needed to maintain steam locomotives. Three running lines — one of them Brunel’s broad gauge — give a taste of travel in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The atmosphere is completed by stations, signal boxes and other original line side features brought from locations around the GWR system.


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