On Wednesday I took a trip to somewhere that I have not been to before. Although only an hour and a bit from home the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre is not fully open all the time. However it was half term and they were running a small steam engine for the day.
The entrance is an old engine shed with a couple of platforms where there is a train and some coaches on display. There is also a small café and shop.
Outside there are a number of very early London Transport underground trains and other coaches in various states of dis-repair waiting to be restored. One of the trains is a large American locomotive which I thought that I had seen before. Then I remembered that it was on a low loader on the M40 one day when I was on my way to Grandma.
From a platform there was a saddle tank locomotive with a couple of carriages giving trips up and down a short length of line. They also have a small ride on railway (extra charge) and a large O/G scale model railway to look at.
One of their attractions are a couple of Royal Mail coaches that you can go on-board where there is an exhibition about the night mail trains that ran across the country delivering mail to towns. These coaches are special because they have nets on the side for catching mail bags onto the train without the train having to stop. The mail was then sorted in an on-board sorting office and put into sacks for the various towns along the route. As the train approached each town the relevant bag was swung out on an arm and caught by a net as the track-side.
The railway centre is next to a main line which seems to carry a lot of interesting freight trains.
Access is OK but there were a couple of sheds on the other side of the main line that I could not get to see as the lift for the footbridge was out of order. Entrance was £11 but on non-steam days it is £6.