Schools & Youth Groups

A "Living History" resource for Swindon and the surrounding area

The Railway has a lot to offer for Schools and Youth Groups. Visits take place when the Railway is closed to the public.

Take advantage of our free 'Check Out Day' offer and find out for yourselves.  A free Check Out Day visit allows you to tour the Railway, put any questions you may have and discuss your programme for a proposed visit.

About the Railway

The Swindon & Cricklade Railway re-creates the kind of railway that today's children may only have been told about by their fathers and grandfathers.
The railway presents a typical country branch line of fifty years ago - something long gone from much of today's railway map, but essential to the social and economic life of the country for upwards of a hundred years. With its locomotives, carriages, wagons, buildings and ways of working, it recreates an essential aspect of daily life from the "pre-electronic" age.
The Swindon & Cricklade Railway is a Registered Charity, and is wholly run by volunteers.

Much more than a train ride!

Clearly, the four-mile round trip on a vintage train is central to any visit. But there is a great deal more to see and learn, all within the environment of a working railway.
Here, there are opportunities to "go behind the scenes" and find out what is needed to keep a heritage railway running.
Examples are the locomotive shed at Hayes Knoll, where engines are restored and maintained. Also to be seen at Hayes Knoll are historic passenger carriages being bought back to their original condition, so they can take their place in future passenger trains.
It is also possible to visit a typical signal box, and learn how trains were controlled before computer-based control systems came into general use.

Your own space

An unusual "classroom" is provided free for all schools visits - a specially-converted 1930s railway carriage from the Norwegian State Railways. This may also be used to consume packed lunches. Or, in fine weather, there are attractive opportunities to relax out of doors.

A free Check Out Day visit allows you to tour the Railway, put any questions you may have and discuss your programme for a proposed visit.


Use the button to email Mr Dave Durham, School & Youth Group Visits Organiser.


Other information

Management: Visits are co-ordinated at the Railway by a retired Primary School teacher, working with an established team of volunteers.

Parking: The Railway has its own off-road car park, suitable for all vehicles including coaches.

Disabled Access: All areas are hard, flat surfaces with easy ramps to station platforms and locomotive shed.

Toilets: Toilets available at Blunsdon and Hayes Knoll stations.

Gift Shop: At Blunsdon station, opened by prior arrangement.

Railway Museum: At Blunsdon station, opened by prior arrangement.

Risk Assessment: Full documentation is made available to Schools / Youth Groups, to assist with their planning.

Pre-Visit: Check-out day available if required.