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“Day with a 74 years old lady!!”

Didcot Railway Centre
Ranked #1 of 11 things to do in Didcot
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Didcot Railway Centre is a living history museum of the Great Western Railway set in 22 acres alongside Didcot Parkway Station. From Brunel's Broad Gauge to the modern trains running past, Didcot Railway Centre's unique collection of buildings, locomotives, carriages, wagons and other artefacts shows how the Great Western Railway developed to be the premier railway company of the 1940s.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Stowmarket, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
268 reviews
94 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 330 helpful votes
“Day with a 74 years old lady!!”
Reviewed 19 May 2014

No I wasn't on a 'Grab a Granny Day', but the 74 years old lady in question was Didcot Railway Centre's Great Western Diesel Railcar 22 which dates from 1940 and is the only working example of this type left - She was also the only vehicle working at the recent Heritage Diesel Day.

From my experience as Health & Safety Manager and a volunteer at the Mid Suffolk Light Railway, the welcome starts with a smile at the entrance and I certainly got that! The 4-person crew of GWR Railcar 22 were equally friendly, welcoming, and smiling, as were the rest of the Centre members and volunteers - it all makes it worthwhile.

The 74 years old 'lady' looked great for her age inside and out and her well-maintained engines purred like a pampered cat!

It was just a great day out and I at long last achieved a ride inside a GWR Railcar.

Thank You to the crew of 22 and Thank You Didcot Railway Centre.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank DaveJC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ann M, Commercial Manager at Didcot Railway Centre, responded to this review, 23 May 2014
Thank you very much for taking the time to give us feedback. We have introduced Heritage Diesel Days this year on quieter weekends so our visitors can enjoy train rides and it's great to hear you enjoyed the day. I will pass your comments about the good welcome to our volunteers and staff. It's so nice to hear that we have presented a friendly welcoming face.

No 22 is lovely, isn't she. I know her crew will be pleased to hear she was appreciated. She will be 75 next year so we may look at a special day to celebrate her birthday. She will be running this weekend for our Diesel Gala. We have a loco roster on our website so visitors can see which locos (or railcar) we plan to run, although this is always sbject to last minute changes for operational reasons.
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English first
Oxfordshire, UK
Level Contributor
649 reviews
409 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 431 helpful votes
“More there than expected - a great day out”
Reviewed 18 May 2014

My husband and I were after something to do this weekend that was local and didn't take all day to go around. We decided to give Didcot Railway Centre a try and expected to be here for an hour or so - we were actually here for 4.5 hours!

We attended on a Diesel Day which meant we had a ride on one of the engines there and the rest of the complex was open to look around. Things to see and do include: a small museum, shop, cafe and toilets; an air raid shelter; lots of sheds with restoration going on to walk around; signal boxes; outside exhibits. Everything was very interesting to us even though we are not train or railway buffs and we learnt a lot.

We parked in the car park over the road which is in between Julians Garage and the pub next door. £2.00 all day - bargain! Not far to walk - just cross the road and you are at Didcot Station. Cut through there for the Railway Centre. There is also a Pay & Display car park a bit further up the road but no idea how much this costs.

Only slight negative comment would be the rather snotty man in the museum who was showing a group of guests around. He was obviously very enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the railway but we overheard him saying how pleased he was to finally be able to talk to people as intelligent as these guests, as he spends most days talking to people who asks questions about the railway and 'it just seems to go straight over their heads.' Point 1: intelligence and knowledge are two different things. Point 2: if you didn't have us 'ordinary' people coming to see the museum you would be out of a job! It is because we don't know much about the railway that we come in to learn and ask questions. His condescending attitude put us off and we made a swift exit. Would probably come back when he wasn't on duty!

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank JerseyGirl1981
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ann M, Commercial Manager at Didcot Railway Centre, responded to this review, 19 May 2014
Thank you very much for your feedback. We have started running Heritage Diesel Days this year to give our visitors the chance of a train ride on our less busy days when we can't justify the cost of a steam engine, so it's great to hear that you enjoyed your day. We love giving our visitors the chance to get up close and personal with our wonderful collection.

I'm pleased you found the car parking behind Julian's - that is the best option at weekends. On weekdays, our visitors must use the main Didcot Parkway Station car park, which is more expensive and a longer walk from the Centre.

Thank you for your comments about our Museum steward. We have started a customer care programme and your feedback will be very useful in our future training courses.

We're now open every day from 24 May to 14 September with the trains running every weekend.
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High Wycombe, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
48 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“An excellent day out.”
Reviewed 14 May 2014

Didcot Railway Centre is not jus a place for railway buffs. There is plenty to do and see and lots of it is under cover if the weather is not too good..
We were there on a 'Steaming Day' and there were a variety of engines hauling trains for rides. All rides are covered by the initial ticket price so you can take as many as you want.
The small cafe has a limited array of sandwiches and hot food and for sunny days there is plenty of outside seating. Also there are many areas for picnics.
Parking is available at Didcot station and also along the road opposite. We parked all day for £2.00 on a Saturday which is good value.
Thoroughly recommended.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Aged_Travellers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ann M, Commercial Manager at Didcot Railway Centre, responded to this review, 19 May 2014
Thank you very much for taking the time to give us your feedback. We're pleased you enjoyed your day with us. We are now running our trains every weekend until the middle of September so there is plenty of time to come and see them - check our website for details. Even when our trains are not running, visitors can get up close and personal with our locomotives and also watch the mainline trains running past the Centre from our Picnic Area.

I'm pleased you found the cheaper parking that is available opposite Didcot Parkway Station at weekends - we do try and make the parking position clear on our website but don't always succeed!
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Bury, Lancashire
Level Contributor
91 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“A fitting tribute to the age of steam”
Reviewed 11 May 2014

The Didcot Railway Centre is somewhere which has been on my to do list for a long time now, and I'm glad that I finally managed to visit during a recent steam event. I found the entrance to the site from the mainline station to be clearly signposted, and the staff at the entrance to be very friendly and cheerful. The entrance price was very fair, and the site has enough interesting bits and pieces of railway history to keep any enthusiast engaged for hours. Due to it being a special event it was very busy when I visited, and whilst I appreciate this is the sign of a successful event it may be worth considering coming on a "normal" day if visiting with children who don't like crowds, or if you intend to take photographs free of people. The Black Python real ale bar on the site, in a converted carriage, is a good idea, and very well executed. All in all, an excellent, educational visitor attraction.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Adam R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ann M, Commercial Manager at Didcot Railway Centre, responded to this review, 19 May 2014
Thank you very much for taking the time to review Didcot Railway Centre. It's great to hear that you enjoyed our Steam Gala. We were pleased we were very busy that weekend but there are plenty of our open days when we are less busy for visitors who don't like crowds. I'll pass your kind words about our Black Python bar on to the team of volunteers who manage it. It is only open on high days and holidays (opening days are on our website) and will be open at our Diesel Gala this Spring Bank Holiday weekend - when we will be running diesel trains and not steam trains!

We are now open every day from Saturday 24 May to Sunday 14 September and are running the trains every weekend and on Wednesdays in the main school holidays.
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Blewbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
39 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“fabulous day!”
Reviewed 8 May 2014

This is really worth a visit if you either love trains or have an interest in social history! Loads to do and see, (and i am not into trains that much) and it was all very well laid out and a fascinating insight into a bygone age of steam railways and other trains too. Lots of rides, the "little firefly" is superb! Suitable for all ages!

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank mrsgoggins2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ann M, Commercial Manager at Didcot Railway Centre, responded to this review, 11 May 2014
Thank you very much for taking the time to give us feedback. We're so pleased you enjoyed your day with us. It's worth checking our website to see when we are running the trains and what else is going on, as well as the best place to park. On an Open Day (when the trains are not running), visitors can explore the Centre at their leisure and get up close and personal with our wonderful collection. When the trains are running, all train rides are included in the admission price so there is no extra to pay.
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