Jump to content

Swindon and Cricklade Railway

Coordinates: 51°36′25″N 1°50′37″W / 51.607°N 1.8436°W / 51.607; -1.8436
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Swindon and Cricklade Railway
Slough Estates No.3 with a service train at Hayes Knoll
LocaleSwindon, Wiltshire, England
Coordinates51°36′25″N 1°50′37″W / 51.607°N 1.8436°W / 51.607; -1.8436
Commercial operations
Original gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Preserved operations
Length2.5 miles (4.0 km)
Preserved gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Preservation history
1978Preservation Society formed
1984S&CR granted Light Railway Order (following reconstruction of the line)
1985S&CR re-opened and runs its first trains
1999Hayes Knoll Station opened.
2008South Meadow reached
2012Taw Valley Halt reached
2014Taw Valley Halt officially opened
Swindon & Cricklade Railway
Farfield Lane
Hayes Knoll
Tadpole Lane
Taw Valley Halt
Mouldon Hill
Proposed extension towards Swindon

The Swindon and Cricklade Railway is a heritage railway in Wiltshire, England, that operates on a short section of the old Midland and South Western Junction Railway line between Swindon and Cricklade.

Swindon and Cricklade Railway is a registered charity.[1]

Preservation history[edit]

The Swindon and Cricklade Railway Preservation Society was formed by a group of enthusiasts in November 1978 to reconstruct and preserve a section of the Midland & South Western Junction Railway that ran from Andover, Hampshire, to Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

The volunteer-operated railway has reopened three stations: Hayes Knoll, Taw Valley Halt and Blunsdon, the headquarters of the line. Hayes Knoll features a restored signalbox that is operational during special events and a running/restoration shed. The length of the restored line is a little under 2.5 miles (4.0 km).

The line extends north to South Meadow Lane (a few hundred yards from the site of a proposed Farfield Lane halt) near Cricklade, and south to Taw Valley Halt on the outskirts of Swindon, near Mouldon Hill Country Park.[2] A southern terminus, Mouldon Hill, is proposed within the park.[3]


Steam locomotives[edit]

Number & Name Class Notes Photograph
No. 2354 Richard Trevithick Andrew Barclay 0-4-0ST Built in 1954. Undergoing a ten-yearly overhaul.
No. 2157 Fambridge Andrew Barclay 0-4-0ST Built in 1943. Undergoing a ten-yearly overhaul.
No. 1464 MSC No. 70 Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0T Built in 1921. Undergoing overhaul.
No. 3135 Spartan Fablok TKh49 Class 0-6-0T Built in 1953. Under Overhaul
No. 3063 Willy Kerr, Stuart and Company Priestley Class 0-4-0WT Built in 1918. On loan from the Chasewater Railway for the 2024 season.
No. 5637 GWR 5600 Class 0-6-2T No. 5637 was built in 1925. It entered traffic at Cardiff Cathays shed in late September 1925, but was transferred six weeks later to Barry shed and was used on local services in the Newport and Cardiff districts.

No. 5637 spent all its life in South Wales, being withdrawn from traffic in June 1964 and later sold to Woodham Brothers, arriving at Barry scrapyard in September 1964.

In August 1974, No. 5637 became the 61st locomotive to escape from Barry, when it was sold to the Birmingham Railway Museum at Tyseley. In 1981 it was resold, without any restoration having been carried out, to Thamesdown Borough Council for leasing to the Swindon and Cricklade Railway. Some time after, it was purchased by a group of volunteers at the Swindon & Cricklade Railway.

In 1998, after almost 18 years of restoration, No. 5637 was steamed for the first time since 1964. The locomotive was subsequently transferred by road to the East Somerset Railway for running in, and stayed there ever since. It has become the primary engine at the ESR, running most of the services.

No.5637 has moved back to the Swindon and Cricklade railway in March. Undergoing overhaul after current boiler ticket expired in April 2020.

No. 6695[4] GWR 5600 Class 0-6-2T Built in 1928. Operational, moved from the West Somerset Railway in December 2019. Returned to service in September 2022 with an official launch in March 2023.
No. 35011 General Steam Navigation SR Merchant Navy Class 4-6-2 Built in 1944. Arrived in April 2019. Currently part of a scheme to restore the loco to as-built condition with air-smoothed casing and chain link valve gear.[5]

Diesel locomotives[edit]

Number & Name Class Notes Photograph
03 022 (D2022) BR Class 03 0-6-0DM Built in 1958. Operational, returned to service in October 2019 after a general overhaul.
D2152 BR Class 03 0-6-0DM Built in 1960. Cut-down cab variant. Operational, Painted BR Black with wasp stripes.
PWM651 BR Class 97/6 0-6-0DE Built in 1959. Arrived from Strathspey Railway in August 2015. Operational.
D3261 BR Class 08 0-6-0DE Built in 1956. Operational, Returned to service in October 2010.
E6003 Sir Herbert Walker BR Class 73 Bo-Bo electro-diesel Built in 1962, Operational.
No. 21442 "Woodbine" Fowler 0-4-0DM Built in 1941. Operational.
BF7342 Fowler 0-4-0DM Built in 1958. Operational
No 4220031 Fowler 0-4-0DM Built in 1964. Operational. Re-engined with Rolls Royce C6, mainly used as a shed/yard shunter. Fowler 0-4-0DM no. 4220031 at Hayes Knoll in April 2023

Diesel multiple units[edit]

Number & Name Class Notes Photograph
Class 119 unit 119 021 (formed of 51074+51104) Built in 1958/1959. Undergoing repairs.
No. 1302 Class 207 unit 207 203 (formed of 60127+60901) Built in 1962. In service until destroyed in a fire on 20 May 2016.
W79978 BR British Railways AC railbus Built in 1958. Undergoing restoration.

Specialist vehicles[edit]

  • TASC 45 No. 98504, built by Plasser & Theurer for British Rail. A four-wheel vehicle with side-tipping dropside rear body, crew cab with mess facilities and a HIAB crane on the rear. Used regularly on works trains and on galas.
  • Wickham trolley No 9031 (Type 27 Mk III, Works No. 8089), a small four-wheeled vehicle for departmental use.[6] Crew cab seating eight. Smaller than normal railway vehicles to standard loading gauge, as it is roughly 6 feet (1.8 m) tall. Has no external couplings/drawbar or buffers. Operational and fitted with Kohler diesel engine.[7]

Vintage railway coaches[edit]

Origin Number Type Notes Photograph
GWR No. 7545 GWR Toplight Brake corridor Tri-composite [8] built 1907 – extensive restoration in progress
GWR No. 3898 GWR Toplight corridor third [9] built 1920 – awaiting restoration. Later turned into a camping coach.
GWR No. 7362 GWR Collett BCK Sunshine Stored awaiting restoration.
TVR No. 73 Taff Vale Railway Composite coach. built 1890 – restoration completed using ex Fruit D chassis. [10]
CR No. 104 Cambrian Railways Full Brake Recovered from derelict property in North Devon in August 2018. Will run with No. 110 when complete. Now under restoration. [11]
CR No. 110 Cambrian Railways 1st/2nd composite built 1894 – coach body being restored. [12]
NLR No. 111 North London Railway 1st class Underframe suitable for 111 in stock. Work on rebuilding original frame has begun. [13]
GWR No. 422 Luggage Brake New-build brake carriage being converted from a goods brake for use on the vintage trains with Taff Vale 73. This is due to the possibility of obtaining a vintage brake carriage being very slim. Possibility of entering service in 2019.

Express Railway coaches[edit]

Number & Name Class Notes Photograph
No. 645 Norwegian Saloon Static Display at Blunsdon.
No. 1569 BR British Railways MK1 RKB Built in 1960. Operational, painted in Moonraker livery.
No. 4766 BR British Railways MK1 TSO Built in 1957. Operational, painted in Moonraker livery.
No. 1805 BR British Railways MK1 RMB Built in 1957. Stored
No. 4598 BR British Railways MK1 TSO Rebuilt as a QXX Cinema Coach, Operational


Origin Number Type Notes Photograph
LMS PBA27 4-wheel ventilated van Unknown build date. Later used by the Port of Bristol Authority and numbered 27. Recently restored to operational condition and painted blue with a 'Jewson' logo. [14]
GWR 27907, later 17980 4-wheel goods brake van Likely an early date GWR Toad due to the spoked wheels. Heavily modified for passenger use. Previously at Swindon Steam Museum Operational.
Swindon and Cricklade Rly 3 4-wheel weedkilling wagon Converted from a four-wheel wagon underframe. Used for killing of weeds. [15]
GWR 92953, later PBA61047 Four-wheel China Clay Wagon Built in 1913 at Swindon. Previously used by Port of Bristol Authority. [16]
BR 200241 Four-wheel non-ventilated van Built in 1969 at Ashford.

Stations of the S&CR line[edit]

Station Notes
South Meadow Lane Halfway point between Hayes Knoll and Farfield Lane; used as a return point to Hayes Knoll when running north from Blunsdon. No run-round loop, no platform facilities.
Hayes Knoll Depot and workshop; no road access
Blunsdon Headquarters of the line
Taw Valley Halt Opened in 2014. Used as a return point to Blunsdon when running south from Hayes Knoll, and is the current terminus of the line (until funding, planning and issues with the existing utilities can be overcome to allow access to Mouldon Hill station to be built)


  1. ^ "SWINDON AND CRICKLADE RAILWAY, registered charity no. 1067447". Charity Commission for England and Wales.
  2. ^ "The Line". Retrieved 15 November 2010.
  3. ^ Pigott, Nick, ed. (July 2012). "Putting the Swindon in Swindon & Cricklade!". The Railway Magazine. Vol. 158, no. 1335. Horncastle: Mortons Media Group. p. 65. ISSN 0033-8923.
  4. ^ Smith, Roger (8 February 2023). "Swindon and Cricklade Railway to launch steam locomotive No. 6695 in new livery in March". RailAdvent. Retrieved 10 February 2023.
  5. ^ "35011 General Steam Navigation". Swindon and Cricklade Railway. Retrieved 16 April 2019.
  6. ^ "News – Wickham Trolleys – October 2009". ontrackplant.com.
  7. ^ "9031 – Wickham Type 27A Trolley". Retrieved 28 October 2010.
  8. ^ "GWR 7545 Toplight Brake Corridor Tri-Composite built 1907". www.cs.rhrp.org.uk.
  9. ^ "GWR 3898 Toplight Corridor Third, later, Camping Coach built 1920". www.cs.rhrp.org.uk.
  10. ^ "TVR 73 Four-wheel Four Compartment Composite (body only) built 1890". www.cs.rhrp.org.uk.
  11. ^ "Cambrian 104 Six Wheel Full Brake (body only)". www.cs.rhrp.org.uk.
  12. ^ "Cambrian 110 Six-wheel First/Second Composite (body only) built 1894". www.cs.rhrp.org.uk.
  13. ^ "NLR 111 Four-wheel Four Compartment First (body only)". www.cs.rhrp.org.uk.
  14. ^ "LMSR unknown Goods Van built 1932". www.ws.rhrp.org.uk.
  15. ^ "GWR DS 27802 Weedkilling Wagon". www.ws.rhrp.org.uk.
  16. ^ "GWR 92953 China Clay Tipper built 1913". www.ws.rhrp.org.uk.

External links[edit]