DIDCOT Railway Centre has announced that its popular steam train rides have started up again as lockdown restrictions are eased.

Visitors will be able to take a trip behind one of the Great Western Railway’s steam express engines on the centre’s demonstration line at weekends and on Wednesdays.

Locomotive 2999 Lady of Legend is set to be in action with the Edwardian engine hauling restored carriages from the early 20th century, allowing each group of visitors to be accommodated in their own individual compartment.

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The return of working steam trains to the centre’s activities, comes after a series of successful open days at the 21-acre living museum since reopening on July 4.

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Chief executive Emma Jhita said: “Visitor feedback about the measures we have implemented to welcome our audiences back safely has been very positive. We have limited numbers, staggered arrival times and set up extra outdoor displays.”

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"Our preserved steam locomotives have been like slumbering giants so we are delighted that we can now reawaken them and start running trains.

"There will be a separate entrance and exit to the platform and we will invite visitors to board one group at a time, but once aboard they can really experience rail travel as it was a century ago in absolutely beautiful carriages.”

Earlier this month the centre learnt that the scheme to create Lady of Legend has been shortlisted in the Best Conservation/Restoration Project national Museums & Heritage Awards.

The task took dedicated volunteers at the centre over 24 years to complete and cost £825,000.

Further details can be found, and tickets booked, at DidcotRailwayCente.org.uk.