The Birmingham University Railway Society visited the Didcot Railway Centre and Swindon Panel on Saturday 27 October. The visit was effectively two trips in one as members were able to experience an operating session with the Swindon Panel, a 1960s signalling control panel which now operates as a simulator, and have a look around the Didcot Railway Centre including a short steam train ride.


Above: Alex Hawkins (Left), Matthew Teller (centre) and Rebecca Thomas (right) with the Swindon Panel.

Each group of six students was challenged with operating a realistic timetable under the guidance of volunteers from the Swindon Panel Society. Just when the groups were getting to grips with the frequent flow of trains a variety of operational problems were put into the mix!

Matthew Teller, President of the University of Birmingham Railway Society said of the day "This visit was definitely a highlight for the railway society. Our members were able to support the learning about railway operations in lectures with a realistic practical simulation which was able to have multiple students having a go at any one time. The Swindon Panel Society and Didcot Railway Centre were very welcoming and I would like to thank their volunteers for making the day a success".

Above: Railsoc members operating the Swindon Panel


The visit was kindly supported by The University’s Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education which runs undergraduate BEng and MEng courses in Electrical and Railway Engineering, and in Civil and Railway Engineering; and postgraduate MSc taught courses in Railway Safety and Control Systems, and in Railway Systems Engineering and Integration.