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This year, STEAM is marking 130 years since the end of Brunel’s broad gauge on the Great Western Railway with a brand new special exhibition programme. Entitled ‘Changing Trains’, the exhibition programme explores the modernisation of the Great Western Railway with three new temporary displays.
The first exhibition, High Voltage – Electrification of the Western Network, opened at STEAM on Saturday 19th February.
The second exhibition in this year’s series opens on Saturday 9th April. The Diesel Decades follows the journey as Britain’s railways moved from using steam engines to using diesel-powered locomotives instead.
The Diesel Decades looks at the early diesel experiments by various railway companies and the effect of the British Railways Modernisation Plan to change to diesel locomotives in the 1950s, with the introduction of the InterCity 125 and beyond. The exhibition explores the impact that dieselisation had on the locomotive driver, passengers and Swindon Railway Works.
The Diesel Decades features an array of fascinating images and objects from the STEAM collection on display for the very first time. A particular highlight is an original livery drawing for the Class 52 Western locomotive showing the experimental colour Golden Ochre.
Admission to special exhibitions is included with STEAM admission and free to STEAM Season Ticket holders.
Main photo: British Railways commissioned the artist Terence Cuneo to paint Progress in 1957 for the cover of Unilever Magazine. It depicts a Warship Class locomotive under construction at Swindon Works.