Swindon Railway Festival to return in memory of much-missed event organiser

The Swindon Railway Festival will be returning to STEAM – Museum of the Great Western Railway on Saturday, 10 and Sunday, 11 September 2022.

This year’s event will be held in memory of Owen Rees Gibbon, who along with his brother John was instrumental in helping to organise the festival and attracted the best model railway layouts and demonstrators to the Swindon show over the last 21 years.

Ian Surtees, STEAM’s Deputy Manager, said: “Due to the pandemic we have been unable to stage our popular Swindon Railway Festival event for the last two years, however, the museum is now looking forward to showcasing the finest model railway layouts and all things GWR once again.

“This year’s event will pay tribute to our dear friend Owen, who for many dedicated years worked with staff at STEAM to develop the Swindon Railway Festival and really brought the hobby to life. He will be sadly missed when the show returns in September, but we wanted to highlight the significant role he played in making our event everything it is today.

“More than 20 high quality model railway layouts will be part of this year’s event, all of which were specially selected by Owen before he sadly passed away last year. Among the layouts on show will be Monksbury (0 Gauge by the Weatherbury Magna group) and The Parlour Railway (7mm scale by Peter Boyce).”

Exhibitors at the show include trade stands selling model railway locomotives, kits and accessories, tools, plus railway books and gifts. A considerable number of local and national heritage railway organisations will also attend the event.

Visitors to the festival can observe fascinating modelling demonstrations throughout the weekend and chat to specialist modellers for tips and advice on loco and wagon building, soldering and weathering techniques.

The event is also a great opportunity to view our three new exhibitions for 2022: ‘High Voltage – Electrification of the Western Network’, ‘The Diesel Decades’ and ‘Changing Trains – the Journey from Broad Gauge to Standard Gauge’. Our refreshed displays explore the story of changes to train travel on the GWR network.

Family activities include the special children’s interactive model railways, activity trails, and thought-provoking activities inside the museum.

Admission prices are: £14.50 for adults, £9.70 for children, and £11 for students and seniors. Under threes go free! Family tickets are also available.

STEAM Season Ticket holders receive 10 per cent off the event admission ticket price.

Tickets include both entry to the event, as well as admission into STEAM’s award-winning museum displays.

Doors open between 10am and 5pm on both days.

Tickets are on sale now and visitors are encouraged to book tickets in advance.

For updates on the programme, follow STEAM on Facebook and Instagram, or Twitter.



Owen Gibbon at Swindon Railway Festival in 2016.

‘Port Saint John’ (4mm scale) by David Baverstock. Photo courtesy of Railway Modeller.

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