Swindon railway station

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Swindon National Rail
Swindon
Location
Place Swindon
Local authority Borough of Swindon
Coordinates 51°33′56″N 1°47′07″W / 51.5656°N 1.7854°W / 51.5656; -1.7854Coordinates: 51°33′56″N 1°47′07″W / 51.5656°N 1.7854°W / 51.5656; -1.7854
Grid reference SU149851
Operations
Station code SWI
Managed by First Great Western
Number of platforms 4
Live arrivals/departures and station information
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2002/03   2.117 million
2004/05 Increase 2.257 million
2005/06 Increase 2.340 million
2006/07 Increase 2.515 million
2007/08 Increase 2.759 million
2008/09 Increase 2.905 million
2009/10 Decrease 2.835 million
2010/11 Increase 3.039 million
2011/12 Increase 3.235 million
2012/13 Decrease 3.220 million
History
Original company Great Western Railway
Pre-grouping GWR
Post-grouping GWR
1842 "Swindon Junction" opened
1961 Renamed "Swindon"
National RailUK railway stations
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Swindon from Office of Rail Regulation statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
Portal icon UK Railways portal

Swindon railway station is a main line railway station serving the town of Swindon in Wiltshire, South West England. It is an important junction, where the former Great Western Railway line to Gloucester and Cheltenham Spa, the Great Western Main Line to Bristol Temple Meads and the South Wales Main Line route to Bristol Parkway and South Wales diverge. The station is managed by First Great Western, who operate all trains serving it.

It is approximately 220 yards (200 m) from the central bus station and the town centre. It is served by First Great Western services from London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads, Cardiff Central, Cheltenham Spa via Gloucester, Swansea and the rest of South Wales. There is also an early morning service to Southampton which originates at Gloucester reversing at Swindon.

History[edit]

The National Rail logo above the station can be seen from a distance and helps travellers locate it

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.[1]

Swindon railway station opened in 1842 with construction of the Great Western Railway'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.[1] 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 building was demolished in 1972, with today's modern station and office block erected on the site.[1]

The Travel Centre (i.e. booking office) at Swindon was APTIS-equipped by the end of October 1986, making it one of the very 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.[2] Prior to this all westbound trains had used Platform 3 and eastbound services Platform 1.

Awards[edit]

  • 2004 - Station Excellence of the Year Award won. The year-old Platform 4 had saved hundreds of minutes of passenger time, as it removed a bottleneck at the station.
  • 2005 - Staff at the station received an internal award, First for Service, for their outstanding customer treatment.

Services[edit]

A 1906 Railway Clearing House map of railways in the vicinity of Swindon
Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Terminus   First Great Western
Cheltenham Spa - Swindon
  Kemble
Didcot Parkway First Great Western
London - Cheltenham Spa
Didcot Parkway
or
Reading
  First Great Western
London - Cardiff/Swansea
  Bristol Parkway
Didcot Parkway
or
Reading
  First Great Western
London - Bristol/South West/West Country
  Chippenham
Terminus   First Great Western
Swindon-Westbury/Southampton (Limited service)
  Chippenham
Historical railways
Terminus   Great Western Railway
Cheltenham and Great Western Union Railway
  Purton
Line open, station closed
Stratton Park Halt
Line open, station closed
  Great Western Railway
Main Line
  Wootton Bassett
Line open, station closed
Disused railways
Stratton
Line and station closed
  Great Western Railway
Highworth Branch Line
  Terminus

Plans[edit]

It was announced in December 2005 that stations in the Thames Valley region were to be upgraded.[3]

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 14 miles (19.7 km) of the second track were removed in 1968/69.[4] As of July 2008, the Office of Rail Regulation was receiving submissions to restore this project (previously omitted) to Network Rail's plans for 2009-2014.[5] The project cost was estimated at £50.2 million and received backing from the South West Development Agency and others[6] but stalled when it was left out of the new Coalition Government's Spending Review in October 2010.[7] Work commenced in January 2013[8] and was completed in August 2014.[9]

On 1 March 2011, Secretary of State for Transport Phillip 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.[10] The electrification project had first been announced by the previous Government's Transport Secretary Andrew Adonis, on 23 July 2009.[11]

In February 2011, Wiltshire County Council and Wessex Chamber of Commerce jointly commissioned Network Rail to evaluate construction of a new station at Wootton Bassett, west of Swindon, to serve the Interface Business Park. The station would be built on the site of the previous station which closed in 1965.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Mark Child (2002). Swindon : An Illustrated History. United Kingdom: Breedon Books Publishing. ISBN 1-85983-322-5. 
  2. ^ "It's Official: Swindon Platform 4 is Now Open". DfT. Retrieved 2008-04-01. 
  3. ^ Plans for stations improvements bbc.co.uk 13 December 2005
  4. ^ The Western since 1948, G.Freeman Allen, pub. Ian Allan, 1979; pp27-29, 153, 157-8
  5. ^ A recent Parliamentary debate on the Swindon-Kemble line
  6. ^ 'This is Gloucestershire' reporting on doubling the Swindon - Kemble line
  7. ^ 'This is Gloucestershire' Swindon - Kemble redoubling project
  8. ^ m Swindon to Kemble rail upgrade begins BBC News 11 January 2013
  9. ^ Swindon to Kemble rail line redoubling work complete BBC News 25 August 2014
  10. ^ Cabinet Office[dead link]
  11. ^ Adonis, Andrew (23 July 2009). "How to get Britains railways back on track". The Times (London). 
  12. ^ Rail Magazine Issue 664, p.24

External links[edit]

Media related to Swindon railway station at Wikimedia Commons