Object of the month

November 2022

GWR’s First Passenger Timetable

November’s Object of the Month takes a look at this incredibly rare passenger timetable from about 1838. This is believed to be the first timetable published by the GWR.  At the time the railway only operated between Paddington and Maidenhead as the line had not yet been completed beyond this point.

The fold out timetable shows fares for different classes of passengers; these being first class, second class in a closed carriage with a roof and second class in an open carriage which would have meant a cold and sooty journey. The timetable also includes rules and regulations for travelling on the railway and useful information on the cost of horse drawn hackney coaches to and from Paddington Station.

For many years the timetable was owned by Mr Barnard, who was Chief Clerk at Bristol Station. A series of letters show that during the 1930s the timetable came to the attention of the honorary Curator of the original GWR Museum at Paddington. The Curator initially asks to photograph the timetable as the museum did not have a copy of it in their collection. He then asks Mr Barnard if he will consider selling it to the museum but Mr Barnard refused this request and held onto it.

The timetable is a recent acquisition for STEAM and we are honoured that that this wonderful timetable has at last made it into a museum collection and is now in the public domain.

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