Two of the oldest working GWR locomotives in preservation are to help Didcot Railway Centre mark its 50th anniversary.
1905-built ‘28XX’ 2-8-0 No. 2807, from the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway, and 1901-built Port Talbot Railway 0-6-0ST No. 813, from the Severn Valley Railway, are the star guests at the ’50 Years of Didcot Railway Centre Gala’ on April 14-May 1.
It marks five decades since the former 81E shed became the base of the Great Western Society, whose bases had previously included Taplow and the Totnes Quay branch.
Steaming days are April 14-17, 19, 22/23 and 29-May 1, with resident ‘King’ No. 6023 King Edward II and ‘Railmotor’ No. 93 also in operation, along with ‘Large Prairie’ No. 4144 returning to service after firebox repairs. A third visitor is Barclay 0-4-0ST No. 11 from the East Anglian Railway Museum.
A display of up to 50 'O' gauge model locomotives is planned, while May 29 will host a volunteer reunion, and May 30 will feature a Spitfire and Hurricane flypast.