Swindon Panel Recovery Programme Dates

We are delighted to be able to publish our programme of dates for the recovery of Swindon Panel.

At the start of this work Swindon Panel will be full Network Rail use, signalling trains at 125mph, and by the end it will be owned by us at Didcot Railway Centre! We intend to be in full force at weekends after the panel closure on 20 February to the hopeful move date on 2/3 April.

This really is the time for everyone with any involvement or interest in the preservation of Swindon Panel to put their hands to the pumps and help out. We will never have a job of this magnitude or significance again. If you only intend to get practically involved with the project once this year, this is the time.

We invite all members and supporters to accept the Swindon Panel ‘Take Your Turn’ Challenge! Your challenge (which we hope you will accept!) is for every single member to help by ‘taking your turn’ on at least one turn of this programme of dates.

No particular special skills are required (but if you have them we’ll be happy to use them!), just a willingness to get stuck in with the work. Full instruction will be given and no-one will be expected to work alone or doing any work they’re not comfortable with. The work is changeable by its nature, and a lot will depend on progress, but we will certainly have work to do on all the dates below.

To help us plan it would be great if you could let us know which turn you are able to help out by getting involved in from the programme below by contacting us in whichever way you are used to, or via the Contact Us page of this website if it is your first time!

If your availability is such that you’re happy to attend ‘and two from these six’, or ‘any two non-consecutive days’ or ‘both days of any one weekend’ or any other special requirements and are happy to be guided then please tell us this, and we will align you to where we need help the most. Half/part day attendance is also very welcome.

On all days we’ll have tea and coffee making equipment available and intend to co-ordinate some evening meals wherever possible.

Don’t forget there are plenty of other reasons to combined your ‘excuse’ to visit Swindon with other attractions such as the GWR museum STEAM, the Designer Outlet shopping centre, a walk around the railway village and the GWR park, a visit to the Pattern Store, the Swindon & Cricklade Railway… something for everyone!

(Note that the dates shown in the program below are accurate, but the work carried out on each session will almost certainly vary as we make progress.)

Date Activity at Swindon Activity at Didcot
Fri 19 / Sat 20 Feb 0115 (Sat)
Panel booked to close, approx 0100 Saturday 20 Feb.
-
Saturday 20 Feb 0600 – 0900 – A TURN
Morning watch-man duties at Swindon.
0900 – 1700 – B TURN
Panel Domino recovery in Swindon (if not completed on Saturday): Removing, wrapping, labelling and boxing the panel Dominos. Then sheeting over the panel and sheet-wrapping.
1800
Evening meal (if rqd).
-
Sunday 21 February 0900 – 1700 – E TURN
Panel Domino recovery in Swindon (if not completed on Saturday): Removing, wrapping, labelling and boxing the panel Dominos. Then sheeting over the panel and sheet-wrapping.
1800
Evening meal (if rqd).
-
Saturday 27 February (Reserve day) -
Sunday 28 February (H) - 1000-1600
Swindon Panel Sunday at DRC. CE work relating to the building.
Sat 5 March (I)
Sun 6 March (J)
- 1000-1600
Work at DRC preparing the building for the panel’s arrival.
Sat 12 March (K)
Sun 13 March (L)
1000 – 1600
Panel recovery preparation (Swindon).
* Removal of VDUs and other fragile components
* Jacking up of panel
* Construction of lifting cage
1800
Evening meal (if rqd).
Building preparation and flooring in readiness for arrival of panel (exact dates and times TBC).
Sat 19 March (M)
Sun 20 March (N)
1000 – 1600
Panel recovery preparation (Swindon).
* Jacking up of panel
* Construction of lifting cage
* Building of rail track-way for sliding out
1800
Evening meal (if rqd).
Building preparation and flooring in readiness for arrival of panel (exact dates and times TBC).
Sat 26 March (P)
Sun 27 March (R)
1000 – 1600
Panel recovery preparation (Swindon).
* Removal of end door and step.
* Removal of fire stairs.
* Building of rail track-way for sliding out
1800
Evening meal (if rqd).
Building preparation and flooring in readiness for arrival of panel (exact dates and times TBC).
Sat 2 April (S) PLANNED PANEL MOVE WEEKEND (subject to sufficient progress made in previous weekends).
In SWINDON:
* Crane Lift
* Lorry haulage
* Reinstatement of panel building end doors
* Replacement of fire stairs
In DIDCOT:
* Transhipment of panel onto railway wagon
* Trip working into Railway Centre
* Stabling of panel in Railway Centre
Sun 3 April (T) - 1000 – 1600
Preparation work at DRC
1800
Evening meal (if rqd).
Thursday 7 April (V)
Friday 8 April (W)
Saturday 9 April (X)
Sunday 10 April (Y)
- 1000 – 1600
Panel moving into the new building
1800
Evening meal (if rqd).

This may look familiar to some members from the previous planned closure date of the panel. The closure date of 20 February is more confident than previous closure dates, and we have waited until slightly closer to the time before asking for support this time round. Of course, nothing is ever guaranteed, but we are as confident as we can be that these dates will go ahead!

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