The Maidenhead Canopy

The magnificent Maidenhead Canopy dates from the early days of Brunel’s Great Western Railway. It was rebuilt here at Wallingford in 2020 thanks to funding from the Railway Heritage Trust and the hard work of our volunteers.

Early Days

We don’t know exactly when the Canopy was first built but believe it was erected in 1871. It appears on the Ordnance Survey map of 1894 but not on that of 1877, although it is unclear when the surveys were conducted for these editions.

What is clear is that it originally spanned Brunel’s broad gauge tracks. With the change to standard gauge the Canopy spanned the track for the Marlow branch.

The horizontal extension, which may have been a later addition, protected the train on the down main (Platform 4) at Maidenhead Station.

A variety of trains, both passenger and freight, used the Marlow branch and, even after withdrawal of steam locomotives, the occasional steam railtour. The wide platform supported a stairway up from the underpass, a newsagent stand and many railway artefacts.

Agatha Christie Day - Murder Mystery

Help us solve a murder! Saturday 7th September.

Enjoy a day out or evening on the Bunkline working out "who dunnit" in a murder mystery. Watch as the story unfolds, listen out for clues, get those grey cells working, question the cast if you wish to try and piece together the puzzle. Book your seat

End of the Line?

With the advent of Crossrail the Maidenhead Canopy was incompatible with electrification and had to be removed. Cholsey & Wallingford Railway asked if it could be re‑erected at Wallingford as the building, being nearly 150 years old, perhaps should have been a listed structure.

Canopy Revived

It was some years later that the Canopy was finally taken down, but it was taken down in a hurry and several of the ornate cast iron components were damaged.

Assessment by The Morton Partnership, funded by the Railway Heritage Trust, suggested several options for restoration, including reducing the overall length. Fortunately modifications at neighbouring Burnham Station released two further, albeit larger, columns. These are now positioned at each end, the middle three columns being originals. This has allowed the full length of the Canopy to be restored as you see it today.

The original broad gauge width of the Canopy has allowed us to build the Canopy to overarch two tracks with the columns at the rear of our platform. The horizontal extension of the Canopy then protects our Cambrian museum coach positioned alongside the rear of this platform as if waiting in the station.

All of the work has been financed by grants from the Railway Heritage Trust for which we are extremely grateful. With the line closed due to the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic, the Canopy was reconstructed at Wallingford and other works were undertaken to extend the platform and restore many platform artefacts. The work was supported by many local businesses such as Grundon, Oxford Construction and Blanchford Building Supplies, as well as donations from many members and others. We are grateful for all this support.

Start your heritage railway journey today and book your tickets to travel through the countryside on "The Bunk"

Midweek School Holiday Specials

Midweek School Holiday Specials. Thursday 25h July, 1st August, 8th August, 15th August.

Enjoy a fabulous journey behind a heritage locomotive through the South Oxfordshire countryside.

Agatha Christie Day - Murder Mystery

Help us solve a murder! Saturday 7th September.

Enjoy a day out or evening on the Bunkline working out "who dunnit" in a murder mystery. Watch as the story unfolds, listen out for clues, get those grey cells working, question the cast if you wish to try and piece together the puzzle. Book your seat

Cream Tea

Enjoy a fabulous cream tea whilst riding behind a heritage locomotive through South Oxfordshire. Available Sunday 16th June - SOLD OUT, Sunday 25th August and Monday 26th August.

Our amazing cream teas are back in 2024 with Cream Tea trains running on Fathers Day and various dates during the year.

Start your heritage railway journey today and book your tickets to travel through the countryside on "The Bunk"

Running Days 2024

July 2024

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September 2024

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