STEAM - Museum of the Great Western Railway

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Awarded a Special Commendation for European Museum of the Year 2002, STEAM tells the remarkable story of the men and women who built, operated and travelled on 'God's Wonderful Railway'. Hands on displays, world-famous locomotives, archive film footage and the testimonies of ex-railway workers bring the story to life. A reconstructed station platform, posters and holiday memorabilia recreate the glamour and excitement of the golden age of steam. Located next door to the Swindon Designer Outlet, STEAM offers a great day out for all. With excellent value group packages, special events and exhibitions, shop and refreshments.

Venue Type:

Archive, Museum

Opening hours

Open Daily, 1000 - 1700

Closed: 25 and 26 December, and 1 January

Admission charges

Adults £8.00, Children and Students £6.00, Seniors £6.50, Family (2 adult & 1 child) £20.00, Family (2 adults & 2 children) £25.00, Family (2 adults & 3 children) £30.00

Collection details

Architecture, Archives, Costume and Textiles, Industry, Land Transport, Personalities, Science and Technology, Social History, Trade and Commerce

Key artists and exhibits

  • Transport
  • Railways
  • Social History
  • Industry
  • Steam locomotives
  • Trains
  • Locomotives
  • GWR Great Western Railway
  • I K Brunel
  • Isambard Kimgdom Brunel
  • Caerphilly Castle
  • King George V
  • GWR Royal Carriage
  • 1930s Station Platform
  • Education
  • School Visits
  • Queen Victoria Royal Carriage
  • Swindon
  • Swindon Railway Works
  • Steam engines
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
War memorial

A Railway at War

  • 22 August 2014 — 31 December 2015 *on now

In this centenary year (2014) the Museum looks at the role the GWR took in World War One. From munitions work, to specialist carriages, the GWR built a multitude of items for the war effort. The exhibition also looks at how GWR employees were affected by war, not only the men who went to fight, but also the men and women who were left behind and continued to be employed by the company in many different roles. A range of never seen before material and objects will be on display. Free with standard admission.

Suitable for

  • Any age
  • Family friendly


Adults £8.00, Children and Students £6.00, Seniors £6.50, Under 3s Free
Group booking discounts for over 15 people available. Please call 01793 466646 to book a group visit.


Swindon Railway Festival 2015

  • 12 — 13 September 2015

The big GWR event of the year


Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.

Swindon Railway Festival 2015

  • 12 — 13 September 2015 10am-5pm

We're gearing up for this year's Swindon Railway Festival, with some fantastic model railway layouts - many being shown for the first time!

Live steam from Hatch Heritage & Steam Engineers and the evocative sound of the steam whistle welcome each day of the festival, now in its 14th year.

All model railway layouts, demonstrations and trade stands are displayed throughout the Museum so you'll get to enjoy STEAM's permanent exhibitions that include iconic GWR locomotives like No. 4073 Caerphilly Castle and No. 4003 Lode Star.

Among our special guests and attractions will be top music producer, author and keen railway enthusiast, Pete Waterman. Pete will be exhibiting his amazing Just Like the Real Thing models and signed copies of his railway books will be available too.

Special guest model railway layout this year will be 'Hewisbridge', a fabulously intricate Borders layout by the 57 Model Railway Group.

We have a great variety of modelling demonstrations lined up for you this year. These will run throughout the weekend - from locomotive and wagon construction to signalling, soldering and weathering.
Trade stands will be stocked with plenty of bargains too - from model railway kits and accessories, to railway art, books and memorabilia.

Heritage railway organisations will also be among the traders to showcase their attractions.

More book signings include STEAM’s pictorial book, Wartime GWR by STEAM authors Elaine Arthurs and Felicity Jones.

A Real Ale Bar, courtesy of Box Steam Brewery and a barbecue will be on hand both days for refreshments, alongside STEAM’s own Platform One Café.

So don't miss this unique day out - there 's something for all ages to enjoy!

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


Adults £12
Seniors (over 60) £9
Children (3-15 yrs) £8
Family tickets £28 (2 adults, 1 child) and £32 (2 adults, 2 children).
Under threes go free.


Great Western Brick Show 2015

  • 3 — 4 October 2015

See gigantic models, inventions and displays as you've never seen them before!

This LEGO extravaganza is a great day out for families and all who enjoy the wonderful world of LEGO bricks. In fact, anyone who enjoys having their imagination stretched to the limits will love this show!

Unique models made exclusively for the show!
Classic LEGO model train layouts, complete with steam and diesel locomotives, scenery, bridges and stations
Interactive Building – help the Brickish Association create a gigantic LEGO mosaic!
LEGO Shops for some great deals and exclusive products
LEGO play tables for the children (and for adults!)
Competitions – lots of LEGO prizes to be won
Brick Café – to keep you refreshed in first class style

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

Smiley Cats Kidz Club

This popular OFSTED registered club is for children aged 5+ years. Smiley Cats offers parents the chance to leave their children at STEAM for creative mornings of arts, crafts and games. Each holiday week or half-term has its own theme and activities include a supervised tour around the Museum. All materials and healthy mid-morning snacks are included in the price of £12.00 per session, or £9.50 with a Swindoncard. All Smiley Cats staff are CRB checked and NVQ qualified.

How to obtain

Bookings must be made in advance. Forward all bookings and enquiries to STEAM on 01793 466637 or 466619, or email

STEAM - Museum of the Great Western Railway
Fire Fly Avenue




01793 466637


01793 466615

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.