|Location|| Swindon, Borough of Swindon |
|Managed by||Great Western Railway|
|Classification||DfT category C1|
|Original company||Great Western Railway|
|1842||Opened as "Swindon Junction"|
Passenger statistics from the Office of Rail and Road
Swindon railway station is on the Great Western Main Line in South West England,serving the town of Swindon,Wiltshire. It is 77 miles 23 chains (124.4 kilometres) down the line from the zero point at London Paddington and is situated between Didcot Parkway and Chippenham on the main line. It is managed by Great Western Railway,which also operates all the trains.
Being roughly halfway between the English and Welsh capitals of London and Cardiff,it is an important junction,where the former Great Western Railway line to Gloucester and Cheltenham Spa,the main line to Bristol Temple Meads,and the South Wales Main Line via Bristol Parkway diverge.
It is approximately 220 yards (200 metres) from the central bus station and the town centre. It is served by GWR services from Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads,Cheltenham Spa via Gloucester,Cardiff Central,Swansea and the rest of South Wales,and to Westbury.
The main line of the Great Western Railway (GWR) was built and opened in stages. Construction began in late 1835, and by the end of August 1840 the line was open between Paddington and Faringdon Road (later known as Challow), also between Bristol and Bath.The section from Faringdon Road to a temporary terminus at Hay Lane (near Wootton Bassett) was opened on 17 December 1840; this passed to the north of the market town of Swindon (now known as Old Town); but the only intermediate station opened at that time was at Shrivenham.
Meanwhile, the Cheltenham and Great Western Union Railway had in 1836 been authorised to link the GWR with Gloucester and Cheltenham, and for this line, a junction at Swindon had been decided upon. 36 miles (58 kilometres), approximately one-third of the 118-mile (190-kilometre) distance from Paddington to Bristol. They also felt that it would be convenient to change locomotives at Swindon; not only was this almost two-thirds of the way (just over 77 mi or 124 km) and the site of the junction for the Cheltenham line, it was also the summit of the line; and a train from London could have its fast locomotive replaced by a slower but more powerful locomotive for the journey on to Bristol. Accordingly, it was necessary to provide locomotive maintenance facilities at Swindon.The GWR line was planned by Isambard Kingdom Brunel to rise from both London and Bristol to a summit near Swindon, and to have easy gradients east of that summit, and steeper gradients to the west. Brunel, and his colleague Daniel Gooch, decided in October 1840 that one locomotive would not be able to manage the whole distance without taking on fuel; and it would be necessary to change locomotives part-way. Reading was chosen as one place to change engines, being both a major station and, at just under
The proximity of the North Wilts Canal was also a factor, since it would enable coke for the locomotives and coal for the workshops to be supplied from the Somerset Coalfield at a reasonable price.A station was then planned around the junction, and opened at the same time as the first portion of the Cheltenham line (from Swindon to Kemble and Cirencester); the GWR main line was extended from Hay Lane to Chippenham on the same day, 31 May 1841. The GWR had engaged the Westminster firm of Messrs. J. & C. Rigby to build several stations, including all those between Steventon and Corsham; this firm was also given the construction contracts for all of the buildings at Swindon, including the station and its refreshment rooms, the locomotive repair shops, 300 houses and other buildings needed for the workers. The GWR was short of money, and in late 1841 the contractors, instead of asking for payment, agreed to give Swindon station and its refreshment rooms to the GWR free of charge, and to lease back the refreshment rooms for 99 years at one (old) penny per year. Part of the deal was that
All trains carrying passengers, not being Goods trains or trains to be sent express or for special purposes, and except trains not under the control of the Great Western Railway Company, which shall pass the Swindon Station either up or down, shall, save in case of emergency or unusual delay arising from accidents, stop there for refreshment of passengers for a reasonable period of about ten minutes.
In this "reasonable period", not only could the passengers be refreshed but the locomotive would also be changed. Messrs. Rigby would then be able to use the profits from the refreshment rooms to recover their financial outlay.Not long after the contract was finalised, Rigby then sublet the rights to S. Y. Griffiths of Cheltenham for seven years, for which Griffiths paid Rigby £6,000 up front and then £1,100 per year. Before this expired, Rigby sold the lease to J. R. Phillips for £20,000 in August 1848.
With the railway passing through the town in early 1841, the Goddard Arms public house in Old Swindon was used as a railway booking office in lieu of a station. Tickets purchased included the fare for a horse-drawn carriage to the line at the bottom of the hill.
Swindon railway station opened in 1842 with construction of the GWR's engineering works continuing. Until 1895, every train stopped here for at least 10 minutes to change locomotives. Swindon station hosted the first recorded railway refreshment rooms, divided according to class. Swindonians, for a time, were eminently proud that even the current King and Queen of the time had partaken of refreshments there.The station in 1842 was built of three storeys, with the refreshment rooms on the ground floor, the upper floors comprising the station hotel and lounge. Until 1961, when Swindon Town station closed, the station was known as Swindon Junction.
The original building was demolished in 1972, with today's modern station and office block erected on the site.
The Travel Centre (booking office) at Swindon was APTIS-equipped by the end of October 1986, making it one of the first stations with the ticketing system which was eventually found across the UK at all staffed British Rail stations by the end of the 1980s.[ citation needed ]
On 2 June 2003 Platform 4 opened.Prior to this all westbound trains had used Platform 3 and eastbound services Platform 1. Services terminating or starting here on the lines to Westbury via Chippenham and Gloucester use platform 2, a west-facing inset bay.
|Railway lines in Swindon|
All services at Swindon are operated by Great Western Railway.
The station is served by frequent intercity trains to London Paddington eastbound and westbound to Bristol, Cheltenham Spa and Cardiff along the Great Western Main Line as well as a local service to Westbury via the Wessex Main Line.
The typical off-peak service in trains per hour is:
Additional services run during the peak periods and some existing services are extended further afield. One train is extended beyond Swansea to Carmarthen and a number of trains are extended beyond Bristol Temple Meads to Weston-super-Mare, Taunton, Exeter St Davids, Plymouth and Penzance.
|Preceding station||National Rail||Following station|
|Great Western Railway|
|Great Western Railway|
|Great Western Railway|
|Terminus||Great Western Railway|
| Purton |
Line open, station closed
| Great Western Railway |
Cheltenham and Great Western Union Railway
| Stratton Park Halt |
Line open, station closed
| Great Western Railway |
| Wootton Bassett Junction |
Line open, station closed
| Stratton |
Line and station closed
| Great Western Railway |
Highworth Branch Line
The railway in the vicinity of Swindon station and for a distance of about 20–30 miles (30–50 kilometres) in each direction towards Didcot, Bristol, South Wales and Gloucester was controlled from a signal box situated behind platform number 4. The panel box is a Western Region Integra design built by Henry Williams (Darlington) and opened in March 1968. The box was decommissioned in February 2016 and the panel was moved for preservation to Didcot Railway Centre.
It was announced in December 2005 that stations in the Thames Valley region were to be upgraded.
In August 2014, Network Rail completed the redoubling of the track between Swindon and Kemble in order to improve rail services between London and Cheltenham/Gloucester, and to allow for maintenance work in the Severn Tunnel when Swansea services are diverted via Gloucester. When originally laid in 1842 the line was double-track throughout, however some 12+1⁄4 miles (19.5 kilometres) of the second track were removed in 1968/69. As of July 2008 [update] , the Office of Rail Regulation was receiving submissions to restore this project (previously omitted) to Network Rail's plans for 2009–2014. The project cost was estimated at £50.2 million and received backing from the South West Development Agency and others but stalled when it was left out of the new Coalition Government's Spending Review in October 2010. Work commenced in January 2013 and was completed in August 2014.
On 1 March 2011, Secretary of State for Transport Philip Hammond announced that plans for electrifying the Great Western main line west from Didcot through Swindon to Bristol and Cardiff had resumed at a planned cost of £704 million. The electrification project had first been announced by the previous Government's Transport Secretary Andrew Adonis, on 23 July 2009.
The Great Western Railway (GWR) was a British railway company that linked London with the southwest, west and West Midlands of England and most of Wales. It was founded in 1833, received its enabling Act of Parliament on 31 August 1835 and ran its first trains in 1838 with the initial route completed between London and Bristol in 1841. It was engineered by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who chose a broad gauge of 7 ft —later slightly widened to 7 ft 1⁄4 in —but, from 1854, a series of amalgamations saw it also operate 4 ft 8+1⁄2 in standard-gauge trains; the last broad-gauge services were operated in 1892.
The Great Western Main Line (GWML) is a main line railway in England that runs westwards from London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads. It connects to other main lines such as those from Reading to Penzance and Swindon to Swansea. Opened in 1841, it was the original route of the first Great Western Railway which was merged into the Western Region of British Railways in 1948. It is now a part of the national rail system managed by Network Rail with the majority of passenger services provided by the current Great Western Railway franchise.
The Great Western Railway Swindon Class 0-6-0 broad gauge steam locomotives for goods train work. This class was introduced into service between November 1865 and March 1866, and withdrawn between June 1887 and the end of the GWR broad gauge in May 1892. The entire class was sold to the Bristol and Exeter Railway between July 1872 and September 1874, where they were numbered 96-109, but returned to the GWR when that railway was absorbed. The locomotives were then renumbered 2077-2090; their names were not restored.
Didcot Parkway is a railway station serving the town of Didcot in Oxfordshire, England. The station was opened as Didcot on 12 June 1844 and renamed Didcot Parkway on 29 July 1985 by British Rail to reflect its role as a park and ride railhead. It is 53 miles 10 chains down the line from London Paddington and is situated between Cholsey to the east and Swindon to the west.
Gloucester railway station is a railway station serving the city of Gloucester in England. The station was originally built as the terminus of the Birmingham and Gloucester Railway in 1840, but the arrival of the Bristol and Gloucester Railway and Cheltenham and Great Western Union Railway in 1844, and then conversion to a through station for the South Wales Railway in 1851 resulted in a very complex layout. Subsequent closures and rationalization have left Gloucester with a station that is located off the main Bristol-Birmingham line, meaning Great Western Railway services must reverse, while CrossCountry and Transport for Wales services continue to Newport.
Stroud railway station is a railway station that serves the town of Stroud in Gloucestershire, England. Stroud railway station was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
Kemble railway station is a railway station that serves the village of Kemble in Gloucestershire, England. The station is on the Swindon to Gloucester "Golden Valley" line. Despite its rural location, Kemble station has a high number of passengers, due mainly to the proximity of Cirencester.
Castle Cary railway station is on the Reading to Taunton line 115.25 miles (185.48 km) south west of London Paddington and the Bristol to Weymouth line 47.75 miles (77 km) south of Bristol Temple Meads. The two routes share tracks between Westbury and Castle Cary stations and are both operated by Great Western Railway, which also manages the station. The station is 1 mile (1.6 km) north of the town of Castle Cary and 5 miles (8 km) south of Shepton Mallet in a largely rural area of Somerset, England.
Chippenham railway station is on the Great Western Main Line (GWML) in South West England, serving the town of Chippenham, Wiltshire. It is 93 miles 76 chains down the line from the zero point at London Paddington and is situated between Swindon and Bath Spa on the GWML. The Wessex Main Line diverges from the GWML to the southwest of Chippenham and runs to Trowbridge via Melksham.
Melksham railway station serves the town of Melksham in Wiltshire, England. It is 100 miles 13 chains measured from London Paddington, on the TransWilts Line between Chippenham and Trowbridge that was originally part of the Wilts, Somerset and Weymouth Railway, absorbed in 1850 by the Great Western Railway.
The Cheltenham and Great Western Union Railway was a railway company intended to link Cheltenham, Gloucester and Swindon, in England. It was authorised in 1836 but it found it very hard to raise money for the construction, and it opened only a part of its line, between Swindon and Cirencester, in 1841. It sold its business to the Great Western Railway, which quickly built the line through to Gloucester in 1845 and Cheltenham in 1847; part of that route was shared with other companies.
Steventon railway station was built when the Great Western Railway extended their main line from Reading to the village of Steventon, opening the line on 1 June 1840. Two months later, on 20 July, it was extended to Faringdon Road, and in December of that year, to Swindon.
Brimscombe was opened on 1 June 1845 on what is now the Golden Valley Line between Kemble and Stroud in Gloucestershire. This line was opened in 1845 as the Cheltenham and Great Western Union Railway from Swindon to Gloucester, and this station opened 3 weeks after the general opening of the line, originally as "Brimscomb". The station was renamed as "Brimscomb near Chalford" in June 1865 and finally to Brimscombe on 2 August 1897.
The Tetbury branch line was a 7.5-mile (12.1 km) single-track branch railway line that connected Tetbury with the main line at Kemble on the line between Swindon and Gloucester.
The Cirencester branch line was a five-mile-long single-track branch railway line in Gloucestershire, England that connected Cirencester to the main line at Kemble. It was opened by the Cheltenham and Great Western Union Railway in 1841. The main line was extended from Kemble to a junction near Gloucester in 1845, by the GWR which had taken over the C&GWUR. The branch supported a busy passenger and goods business, but these declined in the 1930s, and closure was threatened in the 1950s. To reduce costs and maintain the viability of the line, lightweight four-wheel diesel railbuses were introduced, and they proved popular. Nevertheless, the line's decline was inexorable, passenger service closed in 1964 and the goods service ending the following year.
Tetbury Road railway station was built by the Cheltenham & Great Western Union Railway to serve the Gloucestershire villages of Kemble and Coates, and the town of Tetbury.
Chalford railway station was situated on the Great Western Railway's Golden Valley Line, between Swindon and Gloucester. It was just east of the bridge carrying Cowcombe Hill over the railway. To the east of the station site lies Chalford Viaduct, and beyond that, Sapperton Long Tunnel.
Minety and Ashton Keynes railway station serving the village of Minety in Wiltshire, England, was opened in 1841 on the former Cheltenham and Great Western Union Railway line from Gloucester to Swindon; it was originally called just Minety.
The Cheltenham and Great Western Union Railway through Purton parish was opened in 1841 and was absorbed by the Great Western Railway in 1843. Purton railway station opened in 1841, in the hamlet of Widham, about 700 metres north of Purton village at the bridge over the Purton-Cricklade road. British Railways closed the station in 1964 but the line remains open. The booking office building survives with a small part of its platform.
Media related to Swindon railway station at Wikimedia Commons