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STEAM is the leading museum in the country dedicated to the history of the Great Western Railway.  We hold a collection of over 400,000 objects, which include locomotives and rolling stock, photographs and archives, fine art and textiles and everything in between! 

The majority of items in the collection have been donated to STEAM (and the former Swindon Railway Museum) over the last 50 years.  These items have come from members of the public, railway organisations and other museums. 

A large majority of our items are on display in the main exhibition areas, but we do hold items in store, especially our archive material and photographs.

All objects and material in our collection is made accessible to the public where possible.


COVID-19 Notice

Following Government advice, STEAM's Collections Team are currently working from home.

As a result the Curatorial Team are not currently in a position to answer enquiries related to:

•             Historical information held within the STEAM Archive and reference collection

•             Family History enquiries

•             Research visits to the STEAM Library and/or Archive


The Curatorial Team may be able to assist with enquiries related to:

•             Potential donations (including bequests) or loans to the STEAM collections

•             Images on the STEAM Picture Library (, including reproduction requests



New Exhibitions for 2020

175 years ago, the SS Great Britain embarked on its maiden voyage to New York. To celebrate, our new special exhibitions for this year explore the lesser-known services which were offered by the GWR.

All special exhibitions are included with standard admission and are free to Season Ticket holders.


On the Buses – Exploring the Countryside with the GWR

Discover how the GWR’s introduction of road motor bus services in 1903 created opportunities for rail passengers to explore new and remote holiday destinations!


Flying High – with Railway Air Services

This exhibition flies through railway aviation history, from the first flight offered by the GWR in 1933 through to the nationalisation of domestic air services in 1947.