A new railway exhibition is open at STEAM – Museum of the Great Western Railway, Swindon which lifts the lid on the rivalry that drove the big four railway companies in the early 1900s to be the fastest.
Entitled Time on Trial, the special exhibition takes a look at the exhilarating speed trials that took place between the GWR and other railway companies between 1910 and 1948.
In 1910 a Great Western Railway Star Class engine entered into a race against a London and North Western Railway Company Experiment Class engine. The competition was held to determine who had the fastest locomotive. This was the first officially-recorded time trial between locomotives from different railway companies and many more followed.
Pride and reputation were at stake as the rival railway companies attempted to prove their locomotive building expertise and this need for speed still drives our railway companies to this day.
A collection of stunning images and rare archive material from the STEAM collection are used to illustrate the fascinating story of locomotive time trials. The exhibition is now open and visitors can find out which railway companies emerged victorious.
Admission to view Time on Trial is included with STEAM entrance fee and free to STEAM Season Ticket holders.
STEAM is open every day Monday to Saturday between 10am and 5pm, and on Sundays between 11am and 4pm.