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RMWEB Tour of Didcot & Fawley 25th & 26th May 2019

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Castle Tours 2019 - Bigger, Better, Longer


Hi All,


This year’s Castle Tours outing is a whole weekend extravaganza so hold on to your hats! The plan is to do a two day event - making it worthwhile for those who have some distance to travel hopefully. The dates are Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th of May. Here’s how I see it happening:


Saturday 25th May - Modellers Tour of Didcot Railway Centre


My usual ‘all the trimmings’ extended and behind the scenes tour of the entirety of Didcot Railway Centre. This will include the unrestored carriage and wagon stock, the carriage works, then locomotive works and anything else you need to look at, measure, photograph and so on. The GWS collection is your oyster!




The plan is for you to get there just after the centre opens, get your rides, shopping and food sorted out. We will meet up at the main entrance at 12:30hrs and we will then tour the centre under the direction of myself and some of my fellow volunteers from the No. 4079 restoration project. We usually go through until about 16:30hrs or so.




Normal steam day entrance fees apply. Parking is best done by grabbing a place opposite Didcot Parkway Railway Station which is cheaper and more convenient than the Network Rail alternative.


Sunday 26th May - Fawley Hill Railway


You’ve seen it on television, now see it for yourself!


Fawley is the remarkable collection of the late, great Sir William McAlpine. It Includes one of the greatest railwayana collections ever assembled by one man and one of the most amazing garden railways you could possibly imagine. Locomotive No. 31 has been owned by the McAlpines since her construction by Hudswell Clarke in 1913. It was used to build among other projects, the original Wembley Stadium and the Empire Exhibition and was retired in 1960 as the last loco in use by the McAlpine firm. Instead of being sent for scrap, Sir William had it delivered to Fawley and built a railway around it. Also resident is a class 03 Diesel No. D2120 (03 120) which is of the lowered cab variety for use on the Burry Port & Gwendraeth Valley Line and was constructed at Swindon in 1959. There is also a pair of Planet type diesel shunters very similar to the latest kit release by Narrow Planet too!




The railway they run on its travels through the McAlpine Estate and there are dozens of architectural treasures as well as a wide range of exotic animals that run wild through the grounds. The piece de resistance is the climb back to the station which is the steepest adhesion worked railway incline in the UK at an almost torturous 1:13. The sound of No. 31 working up the incline at full regulator is once heard, never forgotten. Just like at Didcot, you are free to take as many rides as you like. The doors open at 11:00hrs, the first couple of trips usually being 03 powered. The last trip up the hill by steam is usually about 16:00hrs and a couple of diesel trips will follow before the toys go away for another day...




A £10 donation to pay for fuel and maintenance on the railway is requested from a visitor to Fawley. Free parking is available in large quantities.


The places for this trip are strictly limited to 50 and as Andy Y and his cameraman have already taken 2 (yep - it’s going to be a BRM DVD too!) and our signalbox tourguide Stationmaster Mike has to be catered for as well, that leaves 46... Please remember that Fawley is a private site and the home of Lady Judy. As such it is only accessible via a pre arranged visit such as this.


Over to you good people!


All the best,



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Hi All,


James - one place good sir!


Stationmaster - yes it will. Perhaps some of Little Didcot might be on show as well on William Street Loco Shed too?


Ian, Cornelius, Ickneldobin, 3rd Rail Exile and Mulgabill - you’ve got it!


Clearwater - sorry to hear that mate!


All the best,



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