Swindon railway station


Swindon railway station

Infobox UK station
name = Swindon
code = SWI
ELR = MLN1 77.19


manager = First Great Western
locale = Swindon
borough = Swindon (borough)
usage0405 = 2.257
usage0506 = 2.340
usage0607 = 2.515
platforms = 4
start = 1842

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 m from the central bus station and the town centre. It is served by inter-city services from London Paddington to Bristol Parkway, 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. A detailed and interesting history of the Swindon-to-Gloucester line can be found at: http://homepage.ntlworld.com/davidlloyd/CGWURLYHOME.htm

Network Rail had plans to redouble the track between Swindon and Kemble. From the laying of that track in 1842 to 1968 it was double-track. However, the anti-rail mania that existed in the 1960s saw British Rail remove 12 miles of the second track in 1968. There is heavy interest in getting the second track put back, since it would greatly improve the rail services into Gloucester and Cheltenham from London. Network Rail had planned that work for late 2008, then September 2009 (2007 Network Rail business plan). Lately, however, the Office of Rail Regulation has omitted that work from N.R.'s 2009-2014 plans. Those plans are in draft, and at present (July 2008) submissions are being accepted by O.R.R. for amending the plans. All of the Cotswolds' MPs, Gloucestershire County Council, Network Rail and First Great Western are intending to make a submission to the O.R.R. before the 4 September 2008 deadline to modify the plans to include Swindon-Kemble. More information on this is available at the Gloucestershire Transport website (http://www.visit-gloucestershire.co.uk/boards/). A recent Parliamentary debate on Swindon-Kemble can be read at http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2008-06-30a.703.0&m=1494

History

With the railway passing through 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.cite book
author= Mark Child
title= Swindon : An Illustrated History
origyear= 2002
publisher= Breedon Books Publishing
location= United Kingdom
id= ISBN 1-85983-322-5
]

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 of three storeys, with the refreshment rooms on the ground floor, the upper floors comprising the station hotel and lounge. The building was demolished in 1972, with today's modern station and office block erected on the site. ]

It was announced in December 2005 that stations in the Thames Valley region were going to be upgraded. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/berkshire/4524062.stm Plans for stations improvements] "bbc.co.uk" December 13, 2005]

Improvements to Swindon station were:
*New waiting facilities, toilets, and refreshment facilities.
*More car parking spaces, ticket machines, and help desks.

Current Station

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 [Cite web|url=http://www.dft.gov.uk/press/releases/sra/2003a1/2003b/itsofficialswindonplatform4i1334|title=It's Official: Swindon Platform 4 is Now Open|accessdate=2008-04-01|publisher=DfT] 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.

ervices

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.

References

External links


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