A FEAT of engineering that transformed Oxford forever was celebrated in style this weekend.

The 175th anniversary of the Didcot to Oxford rail line, which opened a two-hour route to London for the first time, was marked along the length of the track on Saturday.

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Events were held in Didcot, Appleford, Culham, Radley and Oxford to bring the history of the railway to life.

In Oxford, at Grandpont pavilion, near the site of the city's first ever station, families took part in special train trips, organised by the Cutteslowe Miniature Railway, and met local history groups.

Organiser Liz Woolley said: "I think it is such an important part of this city's history - it had a huge impact on everyday life.

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"Before then the fastest way to get to London was by horse but, with the railway, you could get there in two hours.

"It made an enormous difference for trade and travel.

"With this event we wanted to look back on how things changed but also look at the role the railways play today and how public transport can help with challenges such as climate change."

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Jim Noble, the great-great-great grandson of celebrated civil engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Tim Dunn, presenter of BBC show Trainspotting Live, spent the day touring all the stations and judging a photo competition.

Mr Noble, a software engineer who lives in East Oxford, has been researching his famous relative's work for more than 30 years but says he still feels he knows 'hardly anything' about the Great Western Railway designer.

He said: "There's no complete inventory of his work and that gives you an idea of how much he did.

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"I grew up in a house where his things were all around so I've always been very aware of his legacy.

"I love to hear what he means to people and the lasting impression he left on the nation."

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Mr Dunn said he felt the scale of the celebrations showed what the railway meant to people.

He said: "It's been lovely to see everyone come together to make this happen.

"So many people living in this area today wouldn't be here if it wasn't for the railway.

"Our local history is so important in helping us understand where we are today."