John Speller's Web Pages Wellington

John Speller's Web Pages - GWR Broad Gauge

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There are many towns and cities in the world named "Wellington." There is even a "City" of Wellington (pop. 1,515) here in the USA in the State of Missouri, 45 miles from Kansas City, next to the cities of Napoleon and Waterloo. The Great Western Railway had two -- Wellington, Somerset, <sniff> broad gauge, and Wellington, Shropshire, narrow gauge. All but one of the world's Wellingtons are named after Arthur Wellesley, First Duke of Wellington (1769-1852) -- or in broad gauge parlance the "Iron Duke." There is one town, however, from whom the Duke took his name, and this is Wellington, Somerset. It was located on the Bristol & Exeter Railway and opened on 1 May 1843, when the main line from Paddington opened to Beam Bridge. Apart from being converted to mixed gauge in 1876 and to narrow gauge in 1892, Wellington station remained pretty much unchanged until 1932, when two through lines were added to the lines serving the platforms, and a rather ugly extension added to the main station building. When the station was closed under the Beeching Axe on 5 October 1964, Wellington (pop. 13,696 -- compare this with Pewsey, pop. 3,237) was the most populous town on the main line to lose its station. Since then it has been used for the occasional summer excursion and there have been numerous attempts to reopen it. Mark Formosa, Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Taunton Deane, launched a "Trains 4 Wellington" campaign in 2009. In March 2010 Railtrak's Great Western Route Utilisation Strategy included the reopening of Wellington station as one of its objectives. So one keeps one's fingers crossed.
Wellington station was still pretty much in its original condition when the "Cornish Riviera" express came thundering through on this postcard of around 1905
The original goods shed at Wellington in 2008. Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.
Another postcard view of Wellington in about 1905
An express passing the old broad gauge goods shed at Wellington in around 1900 behind an ex-B&ER 0-6-0 and a Dean "Achilles" Class 4-2-2
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