The Buckinghamshire Railway Centre is a working Steam Museum, with one of the largest collections of locomotives, vehicles and railway memorabilia in the UK.
Situated on 25 acres within the beautiful Buckinghamshire countryside, the Centre re-creates a country station in the heyday of steam travel, offering steam train rides on Sundays, Bank Holidays and Wednesdays in School Holidays.
With two running lines, on steaming days there are demonstration freight trains or a second passenger train - or people can learn to drive a steam train!
As well as the 1890s station with Victorian artefacts, there is a large Visitor Centre - the former Oxford Rewley Road Station - with Refreshment Rooms, Gift Shop, and permanent Historic Railway Exhibits. These include a London & North Western Royal Dining Coach from 1901, set up for Royal dining, and the recently refurbished GWR coach that was used by Winston Churchill and Dwight Eisenhower for secret war strategy planning meetings.
The large, open-plan Museum houses historic exhibits and a modern, glass-cased area with smaller relics in labelled displays. A platform displays a goods train whose open-door wagons display all kinds of goods being transported for commercial and domestic use.
One wagon contains the contents of a house - the only way families could move their furniture in pre- removal lorry days. (Spot the piano, mangle and china potty!). Other tracks within the museum hold priceless coaches and other vehicles, under cover to avoid further deterioration whilst awaiting restoration.
On-going projects can be seen in the two main Restoration Sheds, and throughout the site there are interesting exhibits with Visuals showing how the Railway Age transformed the British way of life.
Part of the Centre contains the 1 km. long Miniature Railway with crossings, stations, picnic areas - even a tunnel - run by the Vale of Aylesbury Model Engineering Society, which offers rides on the Centre's Steaming Days.(Small charge for rides).
Bank Holidays see historic transport events, such as the Veteran Transport Gala, Bus Rally, Historic Commercial Vehicle Rally, Rover Cars and Veteran & Vintage Vehicle. In September the Steam Gala takes place, when visitors can get up close to Traction Engines, working barn engines and many other interesting vehicles, with live arena drive-pasts.
Other events are held through the Open Season, which extends from Easter until the end of October. There are regular "Days Out with Thomas the Tank Engine" events, and in December Santa's Magical Steamings.
Admission charges vary according to facilities available. With free, adjacent parking, Excellent Access, plenty of clean and safe picnic areas and lots to see, the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre makes a great day out for the whole family.
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