Object of the month

November 2023

GWR Network Map

November’s Object of the Month features the iconic GWR Network Map. This version of the map was produced by Emery Walker in the mid 1920’s, following the grouping of the railways. For the railway enthusiast it holds a wealth of information about the GWR at that time.

The map shows the whole of the Great Western network which covered the South West and part of the South East of England, Wales, the Midlands and extending up to Liverpool and Manchester. It identifies every station on the main and branch lines, as well as other notable GWR locations. The key at the top of the map tells us what the different types of lines, dots and other markings on the map mean.

The large scale inset of Wales shows the complex network of small branch lines that criss-crossed the country. While the insets of London and Birmingham show the many stations that served both of the cities, as well as the railway depots based in London.

The company docks are marked with a dot and the shipping routes to Ireland, the Isle of Man and to the Channel Islands and France are all shown. The GWR’s four hotels in London, Devon, Cornwall and Wales are prominently marked on the map, probably in the hope of drumming up some additional business for them.

GWR network maps were kept up to date and regularly reprinted as stations closed and new ones opened. They were kept in stock in the company’s stationery and printing department and were included as a supplement in many GWR publications and timetables.



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