RCTS Logo

STEAM at Swindon

A forum for the discussion of railway related topics

STEAM at Swindon

Postby mikegayton » Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:48 pm

STEAM at Swindon
Yesterday, 10th September 2018, I joined friends on a hurriedly arranged visit to STEAM. It was not until after tickets were booked that I realised that it was to be my first visit since I left employment there in 1963.
Travel from Paddington and back was in Class 800s. We were expecting electric traction as far as Didcot, but as we heard nothing from the engine beneath, it is presumably at least as far as Swindon now (should have paid more attention to pantographs!).
Although the class 800 interior is somewhat basic, the seats are reasonably comfortable and the view through the windows from most seats is very good. We certainly had an enjoyable journey, considerably enhanced by the refreshment trolleys, manned by friendly ladies.
I was delighted to find that the entrance to STEAM is still through the same entrance as I knew from my working days and by all of us in spotting days.
To my surprise a considerable portion of the eastern end of the works is still standing, with much of it in some sort of use.
The museum is entirely centred on GWR to the exclusion of anything else.
All aspects are covered, locomotives in immaculate condition (with the exception of a partly stripped 4200 – is it known which this is?), all types of rolling stock, repair procedures, stations, track, delivery vehicles, ships, tools and everything else. It is a good long walk to get round them all, and a huge amount of information to look at, but well worthwhile.
An excellent and most recommendable visit.
mikegayton
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2014 6:43 pm

Re: STEAM at Swindon

Postby pdeaves » Tue Sep 11, 2018 4:04 pm

mikegayton wrote:Travel from Paddington and back was in Class 800s. We were expecting electric traction as far as Didcot, but as we heard nothing from the engine beneath, it is presumably at least as far as Swindon now (should have paid more attention to pantographs!).

Trains do not yet use the OLE west of Didcot; there is an issue at Steventon crossing, which you can read all about in the October RO when it comes out! Whatever people may or may not like about the 800-series, there is no doubt that the engines are very quiet, possibly the quietest in the country (though I have no empirical evidence for this). In addition, the driving vehicles have no engines (and, on 9-car versions, some of the other vehicles, too), so if you were in one of these you wouldn't notice any traction change.

Did you notice the suspension bottoming out at any time? It makes a characteristic 'bonk' at certain times.
User avatar
pdeaves
 
Posts: 104
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2014 8:35 pm

Re: STEAM at Swindon

Postby mikegayton » Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:34 pm

Thanks for this. We took care to be right over an engine on the return journey, and double checked on the other side on arrival at Paddington!
We certainly got the bottoming suspension sensation a few times, but nothing severe.
mikegayton
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2014 6:43 pm

Re: STEAM at Swindon

Postby Ebbw Junction 1 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:02 pm

The 4200 Class 2-8-0T is No. 4248, built at Swindon in 1916, withdrawn in 1963 and sent for scrap at Barry where it remained until 1986.
Ebbw Junction 1
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:36 pm

Re: STEAM at Swindon

Postby Ian Prince » Mon Nov 26, 2018 6:40 pm

Visited Swindon for a private invited visit to the Historic England HQ now based in the Eastern end of the old works. Whilst much is still recognisable and as it was forty plus years ago, sadly, everything stops at the old turntable, now looking forlorn with rotten timbers. Because of my commitments at HE, I only got to wander past and look through the windows of Steam.

A Cl.800 passed by, on the mainline and I took a long walk around the rear of the site, but they do say you should not go back and how true in this case.

It is good the buildings still standing have found reuse, but a sad reflection that more could not have been made of this location as an engineering excellence outstation to the NRM. The GW heart has been ripped out of Swindon, (and had perpetuated into the BR (WR) era), with even odd items still present in the 1970s and of course the continued overhaul of the VoR engines.

Zeitgeist (of its time) indeed.

Time to move on.
Ian Prince
 
Posts: 102
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2016 5:42 pm


Return to Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 1 guest

cron