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Broad Gauge Collection

The broad gauge revolutionized the railway industry in the mid-19th century, and these captivating images provide a glimpse into its fascinating history

Background imageBroad Gauge Collection: Bristol & Exeter Railway Broad Gauge Locomotive

Bristol & Exeter Railway Broad Gauge Locomotive
Built 1853-54

Background imageBroad Gauge Collection: Bulkeley

Bulkeley
4-2-2 broad gauge locomotive built 1865. Rover class

Background imageBroad Gauge Collection: Swindon Works Broad Gauge Wagon Dump, 1892

Swindon Works Broad Gauge Wagon Dump, 1892
Dozens of wagons can be seen here lined up at Swindon Works waiting to be scrapped. The GWRs broad gauge came to a final end in May 1892

Background imageBroad Gauge Collection: Close up view of broad gauge train at Chepstow Station, c. 1850

Close up view of broad gauge train at Chepstow Station, c. 1850
Shows broad gauge locomotive " Vulcan", built in 1837 by Charles Tayleur & Co. Taken from a lithograph

Background imageBroad Gauge Collection: The last broad gauge train leaving Paddington Station, 20th May 1892

The last broad gauge train leaving Paddington Station, 20th May 1892
A posed image of the last broad gauge train leaving Paddington station on 20th May 1892. The service is the 5pm to Plymouth, and the locomotive is Bulkeley (named after Captain Bulkeley)

Background imageBroad Gauge Collection: New Swindon, 1847

New Swindon, 1847
Lithograph of New Swindon in 1847 with broad gauge locomotive, Fire Brand, in foreground. Swindon Works can be seen to the right on the image, with the Railway Village to the left

Background imageBroad Gauge Collection: Sultan

Sultan
4-2-2 Broad Gauge locomotive built 1876. Rover class

Background imageBroad Gauge Collection: Fire Fly

Fire Fly
2-2-2 Broad Gauge locomotive designed by Daniel Gooch and built in 1840. Withdrawn 1870

Background imageBroad Gauge Collection: Broad Gauge Locomotive Aries seen outside Faringdon Engine Shed, c. 1865

Broad Gauge Locomotive Aries seen outside Faringdon Engine Shed, c. 1865
A view of the 2-4-0 broad gauge Leo Class locomotive Aries (built in 1841) outside the engine shed at Faringdon station in Oxfordshire, c.1865

Background imageBroad Gauge Collection: Bristol Temple Meads station alterations, 1934

Bristol Temple Meads station alterations, 1934
Views of the cellars beneath the broad gauge platforms during the alterations at Bristol Temple Meads station in 1934. The expansion of the station started in 1930 and lasted until 1935

Background imageBroad Gauge Collection: Steam locomotives undergoing repair in A Shop in 1957

Steam locomotives undergoing repair in A Shop in 1957
Steam locomotives undergoing repair in A shop in 28th September 1957. The replica Broad Gauge locomotive North Star is on its plinth in the centre of the image

Background imageBroad Gauge Collection: View of Swindon Station, c. 1880s

View of Swindon Station, c. 1880s
This image of Swindon Junction station was taken before the change of gauge in 1892. Mixed gauge can be seen on the centre/left tracks

Background imageBroad Gauge Collection: Great Western

Great Western
4-2-2 Broad Gauge locomotive. Rover class

Background imageBroad Gauge Collection: No 6000 King George V and North Star outside Swindon Works, June 1927

No 6000 King George V and North Star outside Swindon Works, June 1927
4-6-0 King class locomotive, King George V, and 2-2-2 broad gauge locomotive, North Star, prepare to be transported to the USA for display on the Baltimore and Ohio Railway

Background imageBroad Gauge Collection: No 1208

No 1208
0-6-0 Broad Gauge locomotive

Background imageBroad Gauge Collection: Purton Station on the Gloucester Line

Purton Station on the Gloucester Line
A view of Purton Station on the Gloucester Line when it was still Broad Gauge. A broad gauge locomotive is approaching the station. The station opened in 1841 and closed in 1964

Background imageBroad Gauge Collection: Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1806-59) (oil on canvas)

Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1806-59) (oil on canvas)
BAG126996 Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1806-59) (oil on canvas) by Horsley, John Callcott (1817-1903); 127x101.6 cm; Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, UK; eBristol Museums

Background imageBroad Gauge Collection: King George V and North Star, 1927

King George V and North Star, 1927
Replica broad gauge locomotive North Star being craned out of Swindon works above King George V in July 1927. Both locomotives are being prepared for their journey to the Baltimore

Background imageBroad Gauge Collection: Illustration depicting an Interior of a Box tunnel on the Broad Gauge railway at Bath, England. 1892

Illustration depicting an Interior of a Box tunnel on the Broad Gauge railway at Bath, England. 1892
5311450 Illustration depicting an Interior of a Box tunnel on the Broad Gauge railway at Bath, England. 1892; (add.info.: Date: 1838); Universal History Archive/UIG

Background imageBroad Gauge Collection: Open carriages running on a broad gauge track

Open carriages running on a broad gauge track
5308304 Open carriages running on a broad gauge track.; (add.info.: Engraving depicting open carriages running on a broad gauge track. Dated 19th century. 01/01/1850); Universal History Archive/UIG

Background imageBroad Gauge Collection: The interior of Box Tunnel near Bath

The interior of Box Tunnel near Bath
5308382 The interior of Box Tunnel near Bath.; (add.info.: Engraving depicting the interior of Box Tunnel near Bath, showing a broad gauge train passing through. Dated 19th century)

Background imageBroad Gauge Collection: Dragon 4-2-2 Locomotive

Dragon 4-2-2 Locomotive
4-2-2 broad gauge Alma Class locomotive, Dragon, seen here at a station with several members of railway staff. Dragon was built in August 1880 and withdrawn in 1892

Background imageBroad Gauge Collection: Leopard, after boiler explosion, 1857

Leopard, after boiler explosion, 1857
This photograph shows the damage done to the broad gauge locomotive Leopard after its boiler exploded

Background imageBroad Gauge Collection: Actaeon, after boiler explosion, 1855

Actaeon, after boiler explosion, 1855
This drawing shows the damage done to the Actaeon broad gauge locomotive when its boiler exploded in Gloucester Station yard on 7th February 1855

Background imageBroad Gauge Collection: The Burial of the Broad-Gauge, 1892

The Burial of the Broad-Gauge, 1892
Cartoon from Punch 1892 titled The Burial of the Broad-Gauge. 1892 marked the end of the use of broad-gauge (7 feet) which was scrapped in preference to the narrow-gauge (4feet 8 and 1Ôüä2 inches)

Background imageBroad Gauge Collection: Isambard Kingdom Brunel, 1876 (oil on canvas)

Isambard Kingdom Brunel, 1876 (oil on canvas)
2829348 Isambard Kingdom Brunel, 1876 (oil on canvas) by Horsley, John Callcott (1817-1903); Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, UK; (add.info.: ); eBristol Museums, Galleries & Archives; Given by W

Background imageBroad Gauge Collection: The Last of the Broad Gauge (engraving)

The Last of the Broad Gauge (engraving)
1056206 The Last of the Broad Gauge (engraving) by English School, (19th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: The Last of the Broad Gauge)

Background imageBroad Gauge Collection: The Great Western Railway (GWR) (litho)

The Great Western Railway (GWR) (litho)
6014175 The Great Western Railway (GWR) (litho) by Ward, Enoch (1859-1922); Private Collection; (add.info.: The Great Western Railway (GWR)

Background imageBroad Gauge Collection: The Break of Gauge at Gloucester (engraving)

The Break of Gauge at Gloucester (engraving)
1101930 The Break of Gauge at Gloucester (engraving) by English School, (19th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: The Break of Gauge at Gloucester)

Background imageBroad Gauge Collection: An Early Broad Gauge Train - Great Western Railway, c1930. Creator: Unknown

An Early Broad Gauge Train - Great Western Railway, c1930. Creator: Unknown
An Early Broad Gauge Train - Great Western Railway, c1930. From " The Splendid Book of Locomotives", by C. Gibbard Jackson. [Sampson Low, Marston Co Ltd London, c1930]

Background imageBroad Gauge Collection: Lord of the Isles

Lord of the Isles
4-2-2 broad gauge locomotive. Designed by Daniel Gooch. Built in 1851 and withdrawn in 1884. Iron Duke class

Background imageBroad Gauge Collection: Lord of the Isles at Westbourne Park

Lord of the Isles at Westbourne Park
4-2-2 broad gauge locomotive, built 1851 in Swindon. Iron Duke Class. Withdrawn 1884

Background imageBroad Gauge Collection: First Class broad gauge carriage

First Class broad gauge carriage
Built by Wright and Sons, 1854. Originally built for the Chester and Birkenhead Railway

Background imageBroad Gauge Collection: Close up view of broad gauge train at Bridgend Station, c. 1850

Close up view of broad gauge train at Bridgend Station, c. 1850
Close up view of broad gauge train at Bridgend Station, c.1850

Background imageBroad Gauge Collection: Detail of broad gauge locomotive and carriages at Swindon, 1849

Detail of broad gauge locomotive and carriages at Swindon, 1849
Taken from a painting by Edward Snell. Edward Snell worked at Swindon Works in the late 1840s

Background imageBroad Gauge Collection: Broad Gauge Iron Bodied 3rd Class Coach, built c1844

Broad Gauge Iron Bodied 3rd Class Coach, built c1844
Came to the GWR from the Vale of Neath Railway in 1864

Background imageBroad Gauge Collection: Broad Gauge locomotive, Centaur

Broad Gauge locomotive, Centaur
2-2-2 Fire Fly Class locomotive built in 1841 by Nasmyth, Gaskell & Co. Manchester

Background imageBroad Gauge Collection: The Broad Gauge dump at Swindon in c1892

The Broad Gauge dump at Swindon in c1892
The sorry sight of disused broad gauge locomotives at the broad gauge dump in Swindon c1892 following the abandonment of Brunels Broad Gauge

Background imageBroad Gauge Collection: North Star

North Star
2-2-2 Broad Gauge locomotive, North Star, in Swindon Works c1960

Background imageBroad Gauge Collection: No 3560

No 3560
0-4-4 Broad Gauge tank engine

Background imageBroad Gauge Collection: Broad Gauge crossbar signal, c1870s

Broad Gauge crossbar signal, c1870s
Showing the " danger" signal

Background imageBroad Gauge Collection: Broad Gauge Disc Bar Signal, c1870s

Broad Gauge Disc Bar Signal, c1870s
Showing the " All Right" signal



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The broad gauge revolutionized the railway industry in the mid-19th century, and these captivating images provide a glimpse into its fascinating history. In this close-up view of a broad gauge train at Chepstow Station circa 1850, we witness the sheer magnitude and power of these locomotives. The Bulkeley, Fire Fly, Sultan - names that evoke a sense of grandeur and adventure. Swindon Works Broad Gauge Wagon Dump in 1892 showcases the scale of operations required to keep these mighty machines running smoothly, and is an awe-inspiring sight as rows upon rows of wagons stand tall, ready for their next journey. The Bristol & Exeter Railway Broad Gauge Locomotive captures the elegance and sophistication that defined this era. Its sleek design exudes both strength and grace as it glides along the tracks with effortless precision. As we bid farewell to the last broad gauge train leaving Paddington Station on May 20th, 1892, we cannot help but feel a tinge of nostalgia for an era coming to an end. The significance of this momentous occasion is palpable as history transitions towards standardization. Broad Gauge Locomotive Aries outside Faringdon Engine Shed around 1865 offers us a glimpse into daily life behind-the-scenes. We can almost hear the clanking sounds echoing through time as workers tirelessly maintain these magnificent beasts. Bristol Temple Meads station alterations in 1934 mark yet another chapter in broad gauge's evolution. As technology advances, so does our need to adapt infrastructure accordingly - progress marching forward hand-in-hand with tradition. New Swindon in 1847 presents us with a snapshot from early days when innovation was transforming landscapes across Britain. This bustling town became synonymous with engineering excellence thanks to its association with Isambard Kingdom Brunel's Great Western Railway.