Didcot Railway Centre
3 May 2009
When we arrived, 5322 was sitting waiting its turn on the "main line".
Painted in Khaki livery to represent the condition in which it would
have appeared during its service with the Railway Operating Division,
5322 was built in 1917 and very soon found itself sent to France to haul
ROD troop and supply trains between the Channel Ports and the front
Running on the railway centre's "main line" (with the National Rail line
from Reading to Oxford on the right), pannier tank 0-6-0 number 3650 was
one of 863 class 57xx locomotives built by the Great Western Railway.
Built in 1939, it was sold to a private colliery in 1963, then disposed
of in 1969. It returned to service in 2008.
Lucy standing in the path of 5322
The engine shed at Didcot Railway Centre: the chimney and cooling towers
of Didcot Power Station (familiar from last week's walk) loom on the
The coal shute - coal wagons were taken up the inclined railway, from
where their contents could be discharged directly into the tenders of
locomotives on the line below.
Another class 57xx, this time 3738, on another of the Centre's running
lines. No. 3738 emerged from Swindon works in September 1937. It was
allocated to Old Oak Common depot in London, and sent for scrap in
August 1965. It has been returned to operation three times in
restoration, most recently at Easter 2007 .
Fire Fly, a replica of the broad gauge loco, completed at Didcot by The
Fire Fly Trust in 2005.
The mixed gauge tracks
A replica third-class carriage behind Fire Fly
No 251 the Hawksworth Auto Trailer, built in 1951 - these were allowed
the train to be driven from a cab in the leading coach when the
locomotive is pushing the train from the back.
Stephen gets busy (though not that busy!) with a trolley at Burlescombe
A mock-up of the short-lived "atmospheric" (vacuum-powered) railway.
The traverser in front of the carriage and wagon workshop
Lucy at Didcot Halt, with no 4866, an 0-4-2T built at Swindon in
February 1936. It spent most of its working life as 1466, but since 1999
has returned to its original number of 4866.
GWR diesel railcar number 22. One of only two surviving examples, and to
date the only one in running order
Lucy with the turntable.
5322 on the "main line"
After our ride behind 5322, a last look back at the site before catching
the train back to London. A great day out.