top of page

Swindon and Cricklade


RCD’s Overview

A comparatively short railway line, but with realistic aspirations to extend. Its located close to the historic market town of Cricklade, close to the source of the River Thames. Built by independent companies, it was absorbed in time by the Great Western Railway. It is Wiltshire’s only standard gauge heritage railway, easily accessible by car. The railway town of Swindon is a short distance away, and visitors can readily combine a visit to this railway with a visit to STEAM museum, built in a surviving part of Swindon Railway Works. The railway operates diesel multiple unts as well as visiting steam locomotives.

The support group operates directly via membership of the Railway.

Happening This Month:

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

Key Facts (where and when)

Extent of Railway (where to where):

Hayes Knoll to Taw Valley Halt via Blunsdon (Wilts)

Principal Visitor Centre:

Blunsdon Station (SN25 2DA)

Period of Operation*

- March to September (Most Weekends)

- October (Sundays)

- Late 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:

Small diesel locomotive or DMU. Occasional steam loco visitor

Length of Line:

2.25 miles

Time taken for a round trip:

1 hour

Number of trains per day:

4 in each direction

Number of Stations:

3 stations


Adult Rover: £10. Senior Rover: £9. Child Rover: £7.

Time to allow for Visit:

2 to 3 hours


Yes, at Blunsdon Station



Picnic/Play areas:


Preservation Established:


Car Park Facilities:

At Blunsdon Station (free)

Key Facts (Galas/Events/Dining)

Dining Trains:

- None currently advertised                                                                               

Event Trains:

- Santa Specials: Late November and December 

Principal Galas:

- Diesel Gala: May

- Mixed Traffic Gala: June

- Steam Gala: September


Email:                                                                     Use contact box on railway website

Telephone:                                                           01793 771615


Social Media:                                              

                                                                                Also on Twitter/ Instagram/ YouTube


Brief History of the Railway and its Preservation  

The heritage railway runs along a short section of the former Midland and South Western Junction Railway (MSWJR) that ran from Cheltenham to Andover, with connections to Southampton. The MSWJR was formed in 1884 from the amalgamation of two companies operating north and south of Swindon, and was absorbed by the Great Western Railway at the 1923 Grouping. It never achieved its potential as a north-south corridor, there being more convenient alternative routes. The line was closed by British Rail in 1961, with a few sections remaining open for freight for a number of years thereafter. A preservation society was formed by enthusiasts in 1978 to reconstruct and preserve a section of the line, which successfully re-opened a section based at Blunsdon, a few miles south of Cricklade, in 1985.

Principal Aspiration

To extend the railway to Cricklade

Steam Operational Locomotives:

None at present, but occasional visitors

Diesel Operational Locomotives/DMU:

(1) BR Class 03 shunter - D2152

(2) BR Class 03 shunter - D2022 (out on loan)

(3) BR Class 08 shunter - D3261

(4) BR Class 09 shunter - D3668 (09004)

(5) Fowler 0-4-0 shunter - 4220031

(6) Fowler 0-4-0 shunter - FB7342

(7) Rushton and Hornsby shunter - PWM651

(8) Heritage DMU Class 119

(9) Heritage DMU Class 121 Driving Trailer Standard - W56287

Steam Locomotives Under Overhaul:

Fablok Company - 3135 ‘Spartan’

Diesel Locomotives/DEMU Under Overhaul:

(1) BR Class 73 - No. E 6003 ‘Sir Herbert Walker’

(2) Heritage DMU Class 119 2 car set - 51074 and 51104

(3) Heritage DEMU Class 207 ‘Hampshire’ Unit 2 car set - 1302

Stored/ Under Restoration/ Out of Service:

- None reported


Name of Support Group:

Swindon & Cricklade Railway has its own membership which provides support.

Annual membership fee:

Premium Adult: £36. Senior: £30.

Standard: Adult: £15. Senior: £9. Junior £8 Family: £25 to £27. Life: £175

Benefits of membership: Premium                 

-          Free travel on all services (except Santa Specials) as many times as wanted

-          Up to two children aged up to 16 can travel free with member

-          Shed and signal box visits (by arrangement)

-          Quarterly Magazine, ‘Tiddly Dyke’

Benefits of membership: Standard

-          Free access to the site

-          Four free train rides a year on non-Special Event days

-          Quarterly Magazine, ‘Tiddly Dyke’  

How to Join:                                            Go to

What They Say About Volunteering:

Have you ever thought about becoming a volunteer?  It's a great way to make new friends and help the Railway. Whether you are looking for something to do at the weekends, in retirement, or as a stepping stone to your first career, we have the role for you. 

How to Volunteer:                                         Go to

How to Donate:                                             Email the railway to enquire about donations

WHY JOIN: Help the railway extend the line to Cricklade.



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)

- Great Western Study Group

Model Railway Clubs:

- Swindon Model Railway Club 

bottom of page