Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Easter Weekend: The Didcot Railway Centre

Easter snuck up on me this year. As dense as it might sound I didn't realise we had a four day weekend coming up until five days before. Once I realised we had a long weekend coming up I couldn't wait limping through the last couple of days at work.

Becks and I decided to escape to the Oxfordshire countryside on the Friday evening to enjoy a bit of time outside of London. Not long after we arrived it was straight down to the local pub The Bear for dinner. It was my first visit since the new landlords took over at the beginning of the month and the food has moved up a notch, without the prices going in the same direction, which was good to see.

On the Saturday we visited The Didcot Railway Centre which we've been threatening to do for a while but hadn't made it to before now.

I can't have visited in over twenty years and don't remember anything from my previous visits so it was like a completely new attraction. We started our visit with a ride on a stream train - selecting the First Class carriage of course - from the entrance to the far end of the site.

Rather than walking back we caught a train on the other line which operates to carry visits around the site. The second line had a Steam Railmotor running, which has the engine located inside one of the carriages, rather then being a separate unit pulling the carriages. I hadn't seen anything like it before.

The whole site had the feeling of somewhere which is run for the benefit of the members who like to play with steam trains, rather than set up as a tourist attraction. We were able to wonder around, more or less where we liked, but there was virtually no information on what we were looking or signs to help us navigate around. But when we found our way into the second shed it was train gold with four / five tracks of gleaming steam trains rising above us. Becks seemed very enthusiastic about the whole experience, which surprised me given the almost non existence of trains of NZ. But then perhaps that was the reason?

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