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The Last Broad Gauge Locomotive, May 1892

The Last Broad Gauge Locomotive, May 1892


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Filename: sonning cutting - slide.jpg

Size: 4200 x 3106 (1.2MB)

Date: 26th February 2008

Source: STEAM Museum of the GWR

© STEAM Picture Library 2008 - All Rights Reserved

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The Last Broad Gauge Locomotive, May 1892

The last broad gauge locomotive to leave Paddingon can be seen here passing through Sonning Cutting

STEAM - Museum of the Great Western Railway

Media ID 697590

© STEAM Picture Library 2008 - All Rights Reserved

B Road Cutting Gauge Sonning


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EDITORS COMMENTS
This evocative photograph captures the historic moment as The Last Broad Gauge Locomotive, named "Swindon," slowly passes through Sonning Cutting on May 1, 1892. The broad gauge railway line, measuring 7 ft 0 in (2,134 mm) between the rails, had been in use since the Great Western Railway (GWR) opened in 1835. However, with the introduction of the standard gauge (4 ft 8.5 in or 1,435 mm) line, which was more compatible with European railways and offered operational efficiencies, the broad gauge line was phased out. The Swindon locomotive, a 2-8-0 Tank Engine, was one of the last broad gauge engines to be built, and its retirement marked the end of an era in British railway history. The image, taken from a vantage point on the B road near Sonning Cutting, shows the steam engine in all its glory, with its large driving wheels, high stack, and distinctive broad gauge rails stretching into the distance. The scene is a poignant reminder of the transition from the broad gauge to the standard gauge system, a change that would ultimately bring about greater connectivity and integration with European rail networks. The photograph is part of the extensive collection of the Steam Museum of the Great Western Railway, which preserves and celebrates the history of the GWR and its impact on the railway industry. This image not only showcases the engineering marvels of the past but also serves as a testament to the enduring allure of steam power and the transformative role of railways in shaping our world.

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