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Cholsey and Wallingford Railway


RCD’s Overview

A short railway line, on a former Great Western Railway branch, very convenient to reach via Cholsey which has frequent rail services on the Reading - Oxford line. It was a typical GWR branch, a feel that the heritage railway aims to re-create. Its most recent success is the relocation of the GWR canopy from Maidenhead station and repositioning at Wallingford.

Most trains are hauled by diesel shunters at present, and occasionally by a Sentinel steam locomotive. The railway is close to the Didcot Railway Centre, and a combined visit to both can be easily made.

The support group operates directly via membership of the Railway

Happening This Month on the Railway

  • Go to 'Homepage' and click into 'Railway Club Calendar'

Key Facts (where and when)

Extent of Railway (where to where):

Cholsey to Wallingford (Oxfordshire)

Principal Visitor Centre:

Wallingford station (OX10 9DA)

Period of Operation*

- February to April: 1 to 2 running days per month, usually on a Saturday

- May to July, also October: 2 to 5 running days per month, usually a Saturday or Sunday

- August: Selected Saturdays and Sundays. Also most Thursdays

- September: Around 7 running days during the month, on selected Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays

- November and December: Special event trains

 [* This is a summary. Please go to the railway’s website for definitive operating days] 


Key Facts (what you’ll see)

Services usually steam or diesel?

Usually Diesel

Type of Steam / Diesel Locomotives Used:

Class 08 diesel shunter locomotives

Length of Line:

2.5 miles

Time taken for a round trip:

45 minutes

Number of trains per day:

Ranges from 3 to 7 in each direction

Number of Stations:

2 stations


Adult: £12 Child: £5. Table of up to 4 passengers: £24. Compartment of 6:  £40

Time to allow for Visit:

2 hours





Picnic/Play areas:


Preservation Established:


Car Park Facilities:

Free parking near to Wallingford Station. Limited paid parking at Cholsey


Key Facts (Galas/Events/Dining)

Dining Trains:

- The Wallingford Fryer                                                                             

Event Trains:

- Polar Express: Late November and December                                                                               

Principal Galas:

- Spring Bank Holiday: April/May



Email:                                                                     No email

Telephone:                                                           01491 835067


Social Media:                                              

                                                                                Also on Twitter



Brief History of the Railway and its Preservation  

The heritage line operates along most of the former Wallingford branch of the Great Western Railway from Cholsey station (on the London- Bristol main line) to the market town of Wallingford, 3 miles away. The line was opened in 1866 and sold to the GWR in 1872. The line closed to passengers in 1959 however most of the line was retained for freight services to maltings adjacent to the railway close to Wallingford Station. This freight traffic closed in 1981. The Cholsey and Wallingford Railway Preservation Society was formed intending to operate a heritage line. Its first trains ran in 1985, with regular services over the line to Cholsey starting in 1997.


Principal Aspiration

At Wallingford station, complete the re-build of its station building, as well as its historic signal box.


Steam Operational Locomotive:

- Sentinel steam engine 0-4-0: No. 6515

Diesel Operational Locomotives:

(1) BR Class 08 - 08022 'Lion'

(2) BR Class 08 - 08060 (D3074/13074) 'Unicorn'

(3) BR Class 08 - 08123 'George Mason'


Stored/ Under Restoration/ Out of Service:

- F.C. Hibberd 0-4-0 diesel mechanical shunter - No. 3270/1948 ‘Carpenter’



Name of Support Group:

Cholsey and Wallingford Railway has its own membership which provides support.

Annual membership fee:

Adult: £24. Senior: £16. Junior: £8 Family: £38


Benefits of membership:

-          Travel Vouchers exchangeable for one return ticket valid for travel all day

-          Members’ Running Day with free rides          

-          Magazine, ‘The Bunk’ issued three times a year


How to Join:                                      


What They Say About Volunteering:

Want to join a winning team? In 2022 the CWR won the ‘Small Groups’ award at the Heritage Railway Awards, a fantastic reward for all the volunteers. As a 100% volunteer run organisation, the volunteers are the heart of the CWR. We would not be able to run the railway without our fantastic team of volunteers, who are responsible for everything from running trains, keeping our station looking great to selling tickets & refreshments and much, much more.


How to Volunteer:                                    Go to


How to Donate:                                        Go to and scroll to the bottom of that page.

WHY JOIN: Help the railway complete the re-build of its station building and its historic signal box.          



Those interested in this railway may also be interested in the following railway societies also listed on this



Traditional Railway Societies:

- Great Western Railway Society (Didcot Railway Centre)

- Oxfordshire Railway Society

- Reading Transport Group

Model Railway Clubs:

- Abingdon & District Model Railway Club

- Oxford and District Model Railway Club

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