Didcot-Oxford 175th Anniversary

Discussion in 'Railtours & Preservation' started by Peter C, 26 Jan 2019.

  1. Peter C

    Peter C Established Member

    Messages:
    1,592
    Joined:
    13 Oct 2018
    Location:
    Loading...
    The Didcot-Oxford branchline of the GWML turns 175 in 2019. To celebrate this, there are lots of events happening at each station along this section of line. The Cotswold Venturer railtour, a railtour which happens every year, is being hauled by 60103 "Flying Scotsman" and will be running between Paddington and Worcester, calling at Didcot (presumably to mark the special anniversary).
     
  2. Registered users do not see these banners - join or log in today!

    Rail Forums

     
  3. Bedpan

    Bedpan Established Member

    Messages:
    1,062
    Joined:
    4 Feb 2010
    Location:
    Harpenden
    Actually there are a few Cotswold Venturers this year, the first of which is on 16th February and hauled by 60009.
     
  4. Peter C

    Peter C Established Member

    Messages:
    1,592
    Joined:
    13 Oct 2018
    Location:
    Loading...
    Oh ok - thanks!
    Excuse me for being obtuse, but does the Cotswold Venturer use the same route every time (as in PAD - WSH)?
     
  5. nat67

    nat67 On Moderation

    Messages:
    1,328
    Joined:
    23 Apr 2014
    Location:
    Warwickshire
    Will there be a HST rail tour to mark they occasion?
     
  6. Taunton

    Taunton Established Member

    Messages:
    4,016
    Joined:
    1 Aug 2013
    Must be 25 years ago then, 1994, when I chanced upon the weekend 150th celebration of the line at Didcot. 5051 was doing shuttles all day to Oxford with a 10-coach rake which worked up some notable speeds, especially outwards, nonstop, but also return, tender first and stopping at all stations. Driven flat out. Short distance but it was quite a run, I tell you ...
     
  7. Bedpan

    Bedpan Established Member

    Messages:
    1,062
    Joined:
    4 Feb 2010
    Location:
    Harpenden
    The Railway Touring Company ones (I think that this is the only company that does them) all Start at Paddington and go to Worcester. I assume that they all tage the same route ie out via Swindon and back via Oxford, but I'm not absolutely certain about that.
     
  8. Bedpan

    Bedpan Established Member

    Messages:
    1,062
    Joined:
    4 Feb 2010
    Location:
    Harpenden
    It would be brilliant if they could do that again. Is there still the capacity at Oxford? They could always top and tail if they needed to.
     
  9. HOOVER29

    HOOVER29 Member

    Messages:
    350
    Joined:
    26 Mar 2009
    They could do a top n tail class 50 from Oxford to say Reading to relive the old days when they had proper trains on that stretch.
    I’d have some of that.
    Maybe even chuck in the odd 47 too.

    Provided that they could get some decent stock.
     
  10. 221129

    221129 Established Member

    Messages:
    4,208
    Joined:
    21 Mar 2011
    Location:
    Sunny Scotland
    I doubt it.
     
  11. Nicholas43

    Nicholas43 Member

    Messages:
    210
    Joined:
    16 Jun 2011
    The precise anniversary is 12 June. Local celebrations are planned for Saturday 15 June. Lots of info here:
    http://www.didcotoxfordgwr175.org/
    GWR hopes to run an enhanced service calling at all stations Didcot to Oxford. The Cotswold Venturer is fortuitous. Attempts are being made to enlist another steam operator.
     
  12. Peter C

    Peter C Established Member

    Messages:
    1,592
    Joined:
    13 Oct 2018
    Location:
    Loading...
    Sorry to restart this thread, but seen as the event is now taking place next week I think it is appropriate.
    As @Nicholas43 said, the precise anniversary is the 12th of June and GWR will be running a non-stop train between Oxford and London Paddington to mark the 175th anniversary and the first train between these two stations. It will be the 1Z77 1127 Oxford - London Paddington and the train is due to arrive in the capital at 1209.
    More and more detail has been put on the website for the event now that the day is closer. A timetable has been released for GWR services between Oxford and Didcot Parkway.

    Unfortunately for enthusiasts such as yourself, this will not happen as
    1) The event is not about the line between Oxford and Reading (it's Oxford - Didcot)
    2) The event is focusing on the heritage aspect of the line (steam engines and such, that's why Didcot Railway Centre is playing a role in the day's events)

    As much as I would like to see this happen, it is very unlikely now the event's timings (including railtours) have been sorted out.

    I would definitely love DRC or someone similar to run a steam service for people trying to get between the two places. Yes, there are the railtours, but these are only open to those who can afford the tickets and maybe if they charged a little bit extra for the rover tickets for the special event they could run a steam service instead of a horrible Turbostar!

    -Peter
     
  13. Nicholas43

    Nicholas43 Member

    Messages:
    210
    Joined:
    16 Jun 2011
    If only! In practice, GWR are running only their standard Saturday service. They are also paying Thames Travel to run a bus Abingdon>Culham>Long Wittenham (for Pendon Museum)>Didcot>Appleford>Abingdon.
    GWR did an impressive test run of 1Z77 (why not 1Z75?) on 7 June: arrived Paddington 1205½.
     
  14. Peter C

    Peter C Established Member

    Messages:
    1,592
    Joined:
    13 Oct 2018
    Location:
    Loading...
    I thought that would be the case - when I heard that GWR would be running plenty of trains between the two places, I assumed that it was a special timetable as I thought that GWR ran very few services along the line. I like the fact that the buses are being run as well, but it would have been nice for them to do something like Oxford - Radley - Culham - Long Wittenham (for Pendon) - Appleford - Didcot as it would have provided an easy way for people to see the line's events without having to spend the money on the rail fares. Yes, they are quite cheap for one person, considering what you get, but for even a small family it can be quite the expense.

    -Peter
     
  15. Nicholas43

    Nicholas43 Member

    Messages:
    210
    Joined:
    16 Jun 2011
    Indeed. If you study the bus timetable
    http://www.didcotoxfordgwr175.org/bustimes.html
    you can plan, for example, Radley (or Oxford) to Culham by train, Culham to Didcot by bus, Didcot to Radley (or Oxford). But there will be no charge on the buses (whether or not you have a Rover ticket). So you'll usually be best off buying normal off-peak return(s) Radley (or Oxford) to Didcot, stopping short at Culham, and paying separately for the Didcot Railway Centre. Especially if you are a family with a Family & Friends Railcard.
     
  16. Peter C

    Peter C Established Member

    Messages:
    1,592
    Joined:
    13 Oct 2018
    Location:
    Loading...
    OK. Thanks for that.

    -Peter
     
  17. Peter C

    Peter C Established Member

    Messages:
    1,592
    Joined:
    13 Oct 2018
    Location:
    Loading...
    OK - the big day is tomorrow and everything seems to be going well so far. The non-stop run GWR did between Oxford and Paddington on Wednesday worked a treat.
    I heard somewhere on the forums that there will be an IET named after Rev. W. Awdry (creator of Thomas the Tank Engine) on the day - is this true? I remember only that one fact and a Google search comes up inconclusive.
    I hope that everyone has a lovely day out tomorrow and if you are not going I hope that you have a nice Saturday.

    -Peter
     
  18. pdeaves

    pdeaves Established Member

    Messages:
    2,570
    Joined:
    14 Sep 2014
    Location:
    Gateway to the South West
    True. I think it's at or near the end of the GWR livery thread.
     
  19. Peter C

    Peter C Established Member

    Messages:
    1,592
    Joined:
    13 Oct 2018
    Location:
    Loading...
    Oh OK. Thanks very much for clearing that one up for me; I really wasn't sure what was happening. Does anyone know when it will be named? I would like to see it.

    -Peter
     
  20. Peter C

    Peter C Established Member

    Messages:
    1,592
    Joined:
    13 Oct 2018
    Location:
    Loading...
    Now that the big day has been and gone, may I suggest that people begin to use this thread to post their pictures of the day? I'll begin by posting one from Didcot Railway Centre. It's of 2999 "Lady of Legend" in Edwardian GWR lined green in the workshop behind the engine shed. They'd opened this view up for the event (as far as I know it's never normally open).
    -Peter 20190615_123957(0).jpg
    A man from the railway centre showed us around a little bit of the workshop (only as far as the end of the locomotive) as he could see that we were interested. That explains the young lad in the blue coat in the background. Him and his father were also shown around.
     
  21. matt

    matt Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    6,437
    Joined:
    30 Jun 2005
    Location:
    Rugby


    I saw Clun Castle in various places, plus Flying Scotsman made an appearance.
     
  22. Peter C

    Peter C Established Member

    Messages:
    1,592
    Joined:
    13 Oct 2018
    Location:
    Loading...
    Some very nice footage of these two iconic steam engines. I didn't get to see either of them due to being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I was going to see Flying Scotsman at Oxford but there wasn't much left to do in Didcot and the decision was made to return home on an earlier train, thus missing out on the chance to see 60103! But I saw her at Banbury on the Great Britain XII, so...

    -Peter
     
  23. AnthonyRail

    AnthonyRail Member

    Messages:
    1,012
    Joined:
    11 Jan 2015
    That is simply superb
     
  24. FGW_DID

    FGW_DID Established Member

    Messages:
    1,769
    Joined:
    23 Jun 2011
    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    The naming was mentioned in this post on the Great Western Livery thread, however I notice it is no longer mentioned on the website plus I haven’t seen any mention of the naming on any social media platforms or any internal communications.

    No idea why it didn’t happen or if it still will at some stage! Personally I hope it does happen at some stage.
     
  25. Peter C

    Peter C Established Member

    Messages:
    1,592
    Joined:
    13 Oct 2018
    Location:
    Loading...
    I thought that it was a bit weird that it had been taken off the website. However, I also assumed that I had just gone mad! I also hope that it will happen at some point. It would be nice for them to commemorate the author of one of the most popular childrens' book series.

    -Peter
     
  26. davetheguard

    davetheguard Member

    Messages:
    933
    Joined:
    10 Apr 2013
    Here are a couple of pictures taken at the Brunel-built Culham station building on the Saturday; normally, unlike the station platforms, it is inaccessible to the public . I wonder if that double-decker bus was specially liveried for the event?
    DSC04578.JPG DSC04578.JPG DSC04586.JPG DSC04591.JPG DSC04605.JPG DSC04609.JPG DSC04611.JPG
     
  27. eMeS

    eMeS Member

    Messages:
    515
    Joined:
    12 Jun 2011
    Location:
    Milton Keynes, UK
    What an attractive looking piece of heritage.
     
  28. pdeaves

    pdeaves Established Member

    Messages:
    2,570
    Joined:
    14 Sep 2014
    Location:
    Gateway to the South West
    Did you get any others of the bus, please? I would be interested in seeing the sides.
     
  29. Peter C

    Peter C Established Member

    Messages:
    1,592
    Joined:
    13 Oct 2018
    Location:
    Loading...
    The bus is like that normally. There may be a few of these buses which do the Oxford Park and Ride services and sometimes the S3 bus service through Woodstock. I've seen it quite a few times and a Google for GWR Park and Ride bus may give more photos.

    -Peter


    EDIT: from https://cbwmagazine.com/oxford-bus-company-streetdeck-mimics-gwr-train/amp/

    Photo:
    https://images.app.goo.gl/8mYgQFmfqR4C918r7
    Just found this. Hope this is a good photo. There are many more on Google as already mentioned.
     
  30. Stewart2887

    Stewart2887 Member

    Messages:
    51
    Joined:
    29 Apr 2013
    Culham Station looks great! Couldn't make it saturday, hope to see it again sometime soon. And have a pint in the Railway Inn
     
  31. Peter C

    Peter C Established Member

    Messages:
    1,592
    Joined:
    13 Oct 2018
    Location:
    Loading...
    Another one of my photos from the day.
    GWR Hall Class "Foremarke Hall" 7903, Didcot Railway Centre, 15.6.2019
    Am I right in thinking that this engine was one of the ones that was there especially for the 175th event? The website said that they had some engines from the line's steam days.

    -Peter
    20190615_132307.jpg
     

Share This Page