Swindon railway station

Swindon Area Railway Map


GWML to London Highworth branch line

Stratton

Stratton Park Halt Stratton St Margaret Works

M&SWJR to Cheltenham

M&SWJR to Southampton Hayes Knoll

Chiseldon Camp Halt Blunsdon

Chiseldon Moredon Platform

Swindon Town Moredon Power Station

Swindon

Rushey Platt Purton

Golden Valley Line



Wootton Bassett

SWML to Swansea

Swindon railway station is in the town of Swindon, Wiltshire, England. The station entrance is on Station Road, to the south of the line. It is approximately 200 metres (220 yd) 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 and the rest of South Wales. Swindon is a major junction, where the former Great Western Railway line to Gloucester and Cheltenham, the Great Western Main Line to Bristol Temple Meads and the Great Western Railway route to Bristol Parkway and South Wales diverge.

History
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. 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. 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.

Awards
  • 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.


Description
The station consists of an island platform containing a buffet, small shop and waiting room. Adjacent to the main entrance is a booking office. Access to the platforms is through a subway and stairs or lifts. Platform 4 opened in 2003 on the location of the former parcels siding to improve operational flexibility. It contains a coffee shop and waiting room. Ticket barriers are in the main entrance subway and at the foot of the access stairs, adjacent to the Research Council buildings on the north side of the line. The barriers are in place to prevent access to the platforms without a valid ticket. Unfortunately the barriers mean that the station is no longer a through route across the line.

Services
The station has a half hourly service to both Bristol and Cardiff westbound on the main lines, with hourly extensions (and peak extras) to Swansea on the latter. These combine to give four trains each hour to Reading and London throughout the day, with a fifth service every second hour from Gloucester. Some westbound Bristol trains continue onwards to Weston-super-Mare or to Taunton, Exeter & Plymouth, whilst there is a single through train each day to Carmarthen via Swansea. There is a basic hourly service on the Golden Valley Line to Gloucester & Cheltenham Spa, with alternate trains running to/from London. There are also two trains per day from here to Westbury via Melksham (which continue to Southampton on Mondays to Fridays only). On Sundays, the service is hourly on both main line routes, either hourly or two-hourly to Cheltenham depending on the time of day and a single train to and from Westbury.

Future plans
It was announced in December 2005 that stations in the Thames Valley region were to be upgraded. Proposed improvements to Swindon station were new waiting facilities, toilets and refreshment facilities, more car parking spaces, ticket machines and help desks. Network Rail has plans to redouble the track between Swindon and Kemble in order to improve rail services between Cheltenham/Gloucester and London. When originally laid in 1842 the line was double-track throughout, however some 12 + 1 â„ 4 miles (20 km) of the second track were removed in 1968/69. 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. The project cost was estimated at £50.2m and received backing from the South West Development Agency and others but stalled when it was left out of the new Coalition Government's Spending Review in October 2010. The project still has strong support from local MPs who are continuing to lobby DfT Ministers. On 1 March 2011, Philip Hammond MP, the UK Coalition Government's Secretary of State for Transport announced that he had resumed plans for electrifying the Great Western main line west from Didcot through Swindon to Bristol and Cardiff at a planned cost of £704m. The DfT's statement confirms that new electric trains would be procured from Hitachi, manufactured in a new factory in the North East, in the related £4.5bn InterCity Express Programme (IEP). The electrification project had first been announced by the previous Labour Government's Transport Secretary, Lord Andrew Adonis, on 23 July 2009. Go! Cooperative, an open access train company, has proposed a train route between Yeovil Pen Mill and Birmingham Moor Street. This would connect Swindon, Oxford and Birmingham without having to change trains at Bristol or Didcot Parkway. GOCO's aspirations were to commence services by 2011 and it is now refining plans for a core 2-hourly service between Westbury and Oxford. 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. The East West Rail Link has proposed plans connecting the Great Western Main Line, West Coast Main Line and the East Coast Main Line. The journey would connect Norwich/ Ipswich via Cambridge to Oxford and Didcot with optional routes to Bristol via Swindon. Before the plans can come to fruition, a replacement alignment would be needed between Bedford and Cambridge. From May 2011 Chiltern Railways will take over the franchise for the line between Oxford and Bicester, which would form part of the route, prior to upgrading for a new Oxford - High Wycombe - London Marylebone station service.

GWML to Bristol Preceding station National Rail Following station Kemble First Great Western London - Cheltenham Spa Didcot Parkway or Reading Bristol Parkway First Great Western London - Cardiff/Swansea Chippenham First Great Western London - Bristol Kemble First Great Western Cheltenham Spa - Swindon Terminus Chippenham First Great Western Wessex Main Line (Limited service)