STEAM – Museum of the Great Western Railway is housed in a beautifully restored Grade II railway building in the heart of the former Swindon railway works, which was once one of the largest railway engineering complexes in the world.
The Swindon Railway Works opened in January 1843 as a repair and maintenance facility for the new Great Western Railway. By 1900 the works had expanded dramatically and employed over 12,000 people. At its peak in the 1930s, the works covered over 300 acres and was capable of producing three locomotives a week.
STEAM tells the story of the men and women who built, operated and travelled on the Great Western Railway. It celebrates the achievements not only of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the engineering genius behind the GWR, but also the many thousands of ordinary people who made the GWR one of the world’s greatest railway networks. The exhibits take you back in time to a period of great technological innovation and strenuous manual labour. The result was undoubtedly the most advanced and respected railway network in the world.
Where do we go?
Kemble Drive, Swindon, SN2 2TA (Map)
Daily 10.00am to 5.00pm
Closed 25 and 26 December and 1 January.
How do we get there?
- Follow the brown tourist signs for the Outlet Centre, Great Western Heritage Area, or the ‘M’ for STEAM Museum sign.
- STEAM can be found to the left of the Food Court entrance of the Outlet Centre.
- There are two Park-and-Ride services in Swindon which will take you into the town centre. STEAM is a 10- to 15-minute walk from the drop-off point. The Copse Park-and-Ride is based just off the A419 at Groundwell, the other is in Wroughton just off the A4361. Both are clearly signposted. The adult fare is £2.20 return.
- Swindon Station is on the main London Paddington to Bristol line.
- (If you travel to Swindon on First Great Western, you can get a 20% discount on normal admission prices by buying your admission ticket at the same time you buy your FGW rail travel ticket.)
- Walking from Swindon railway station – turn right outside the station and walk along Station Road towards Emlyn Square, staying on the right-hand side of the road. Walk through the second underpass on the right – signed Great Western Business Centre, and up the ramp at the end.
- At the top of the ramp, you will see the National Monuments Record Centre on your right. Walk past the NMRC, turn left and follow the pedestrian route to STEAM. At the far end, turn left for the main entrance.
- This is a 10- to 15-minute walk.
How do I find out more?
Tel: 01793 466 646
Fax: 01793 466 615