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Monday 2nd September 2019 STEAM Museum, Fire Fly Avenue, Swindon, SN2 2EY

A star-studded cast of GWR locos brought to life using smoke machines, subtle lighting and re-enactors

"GWR Photographic Evening at STEAM", Swindon with some of the most iconic GWR locos in preservation, back in their birthplace in scenes brought to life using smoke machines, subtle lighting and period re-enactors.

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About this event

Two of the world's most famous locomotives, King George V and City of Truro, are visiting Swindon in conjunction with the 175th Anniversary of the Great Western Railway directors approving the building of world-famous railway engineering works in the town on 25th February 1841. We are privileged to have been given the opportunity to work with these classic locomotives, using smoke machines, lights and appropriately dressed re-enactors to recreate scenes evocative of the great days of Swindon as a leading railway town.

STEAM has only played host to for such an event a hand full of times, the first being our event in May of 2016 and we would like to thank both the Museum and Richard Bell for their help and co-operation in allowing these events to happen. This event will be slightly different to past events with a new loco coming to the museum in 2018 and a smaller group of just 25 photographers, aiding everyone more time and space during our evening.

This event is open to only 25 photographers, as request by past attendees we have reduced numbers to give attendees more time and space to capture those classic scenes that captivate and embody what these evening have become. 

No.3440 (3717) City of Truro is amongst the most famous of locomotives courtesy of its record-breaking run on Wellington Bank when it is believed to have achieved a speed of 102.3 miles per hour. Whether or not this is the case, there is no doubt that the locomotive is a handsome and historic engine and one that on its own would be worthy of an evening of photography - but there's more...

We will also be featuring the iconic No.6000 King George V, the first of the class of thirty Great Western express locomotives designed by Charles Collett, built in 1927 and named after the then reigning monarch. Denoted by the famous bell which it still carries, presented when the locomotive visited the United States for the centenary celebrations of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, KGV was withdrawn in December 1962 and preserved as part of the National Collection. Based at Bulmer's Cider Works in Hereford in the early years of preservation, in 1971 the locomotive was at the forefront of breaking the steam ban that had been imposed on the national network following the end of main line steam in 1968 when it took to the rails hauling the Bulmer's Pullman Exhibition Train.

These two locomotives will be the centre of attention for the evening, and we will also set up scenes in the boiler workshop and the recreated railway offices. We will also put some additional lighting on No.4073 Caerphilly Castle and use smoke machines and re-enactors to bring our scenes to life.

The Museum itself will be open all day before our shoot from 10.00 until 17.00. Car parking is available at the Designer Outlet's North Car Park. For those of you with strong nerves and a replete bank account, dare we suggest that you may like to being your wife, partner or significant other for the evening who could then take your credit card on a tour of the adjoining Outlet Village (open until 20.00 hours) while you indulge your passion for photography! They can then join you at the Museum where refreshments are available throughout the evening. Our evening is planned to start at 18.00 and will run until 22.30.

An unmissable opportunity to photograph period scenes in one of the most historic railway locations in the world made all the more important given this is the last event for the foreseeable future.

Images courtesy of Peter Zabek, Matt Toms, Nick Halling & Edward Hyde

‘These photograph features objects that are on loan to STEAM courtesy of the National Railway Museum.’

Event requirements


  • Spare batteries
  • Camera
  • Lense cloths
  • Lenses
  • Camera protection - rain covers etc


  • All levels welcome


  • Low

Other essentials

  • Sturdy outdoor shoes
  • Warm clothing
  • Wet weather gear

Event location

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