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View of Swindon Station, c. 1880s

View of Swindon Station, c. 1880s


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Filename: S7b 046.jpg

Size: 3000 x 2204 (795KB)

Date: 11th July 2008

Source: STEAM Museum of the GWR

Unique Reference Number: S7b 046

© STEAM Museum of the GWR

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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

STEAM - Museum of the Great Western Railway

Media ID 1107598

© STEAM Museum of the GWR

Broad Gauge Junction Station Swindon Swindon Junction Wiltshire 1880s Gauge


EDITORS COMMENTS
This evocative photograph captures Swindon Junction station in the 1880s, a time of significant transformation in the railway industry. The image showcases the station's grand architecture, with its impressive red-brick buildings and intricate ironwork. However, the true focus of this photograph lies in the railway tracks. Swindon Junction was a major hub for the Great Western Railway (GWR), connecting various lines and routes. The centre and left tracks in this photograph display a unique feature of the time – mixed gauge. Before the change of gauge in 1892, the GWR operated both broad and standard gauges on its network. Broad gauge trains, which measured 7ft 0in between the rails, were predominantly used for long-distance passenger and freight services. Standard gauge trains, with a width of 4ft 8.5in, were more common for local and suburban services. The presence of mixed gauge tracks at Swindon Junction allowed for the seamless transfer of passengers and freight between trains of different gauges. This was a crucial aspect of the railway system during the late 19th century, as the GWR was gradually converting its network to standard gauge. The photograph provides a fascinating glimpse into this transitional period, showcasing the diversity and complexity of the railway system during the 1880s. Swindon Junction station, located in Swindon, Wiltshire, was a vital part of the GWR network and played a significant role in the development of the railway industry. This photograph, taken before the change of gauge in 1892, offers a captivating look into the past and the rich history of railway engineering.

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