LAST week I wrote about fast passenger trains 170 years ago but the Great Western Railway did much more than speed people from London to Didcot and the West Country.

The GWR, like the other railway companies, was a major transporter of goods of all descriptions.

At Didcot Railway Centre we like to run goods trains occasionally, and on September 22 and 23 we are celebrating this side of the business with our ‘Delivering the Goods’ event.

We have a wonderful selection of goods wagons and our team have done a lot of work over the summer to conserve and paint them.

Now we want to show them off so we will be running demonstration goods trains during the day as well as our usual passenger trains.

There will be a number of set pieces around the centre showing different types of goods train.

Some of our smaller engines would have been used to shunt in goods yards and we’re planning to have Bonnie Prince Charlie on display with a couple of wagons, including our unique propeller crate wagon, which shows how plane propellers would have been transported during the Second World War.

GWR freight engines were painted black, not the usual green. Our heavy freight steam engine, GWR No 3822, which was used to pull the heaviest goods trains, GWR Mogul No 5322 and GWR Pannier Tank No 3738 are all in black livery at the moment and will be displayed around the centre with a variety of goods wagons.

In the siding on our Branch Line we are planning to display another small shunting engine, GWR No 1338, with vehicles from the beginning of the twentieth century.

We also have some modern wagons which we use to transport our own goods in and out of Didcot Railway Centre – coal and building materials in and rubbish out – and these will be in the turntable area.

We know our visitors enjoy train rides so, like the GWR, we will fit the goods trains in with the passenger workings. There will be some swapping around on the day, which is always interesting for visitors to watch.

When we shunt in the yard we are always very careful to make sure we do it safely with every move supervised by one of our qualified shunters.

The passenger trains date from the 1900s to 1950s. The Steam Rail Motor, which is 110 years old this year, will be running with our 1930s Art Deco Auto Trailer, no 190. And of course our colleagues on the main railway will run their modern passenger and freight trains past the centre all day.