Living Museum of the Great Western Railway

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The Signalling Centre

The Signalling Centre tells the story of how signalling has developed since the earliest days of the railways and offers hands-on opportunities to try some of this equipment out for yourself.

  • See some of the very basic apparatus in use when the GWR opened in 1835 and find out more about the broad gauge era signalling equipment elsewhere at Didcot Railway Centre
  • Experience the job of the signalman in an 1875 mechanical signalbox. Pull the levers and watch the semaphore signals respond. Operate the block instruments to pass a train to an adjacent signalbox
  • Look at the equipment from the GWR modernisation of 1935 at Bristol Temple Meads. Watch the trains move across the original signalbox diagram - and control a few of the trains yourself if you wish!
  • Watch the trains move across the 1960s Swindon Panel and, on Steam Days and certain other days, have a go at controlling them yourselves under the instruction of the signal operator.

This is a newly opened exhibition and more exhibits will be added shortly - so do come back and have another look next time you visit.

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