A 7.9m (almost 26ft) long model railway is the new exhibit in the Main Gallery of the Museum in Wantage. The Railway through the Vale exhibit provides some much needed emphasises to the relevance of railway transport to local trades and industries of the area.
Space does not allow a true representation of the Great Western Railway near to Wantage, but this model does bring a flavour of the railway as it passes through the Vale downland. Undulating landscape, chalk cuttings, woodland, horses, and grazing sheep & cattle are all represented. The fine panoramic photograph is by Tony Hadland.
Children, and many adults, will be especially attracted to the interactive aspect of the Railway through the Vale exhibit. Press one of the buttons on the exhibit and a train will travel from one end to the other and then back again – all with realistic acceleration and top speed. There are two trains here; one is a 1930s diesel railcar in GWR brown & cream – nicknamed the flying banana, and the other, a 2-car diesel unit – a 1987 a type 155 Sprinter.
This new Railway through the Vale exhibit can be seen and operated during the usual Museum opening hours: Monday – Saturday (not Bank Holidays) 10.00 am to 4.00 pm