John Speller's Web Pages Taunton 1842 (B&ER)

John Speller's Web Pages - GWR Broad Gauge - B&ER

Taunton Station 1842
The original Bristol & Exeter Railway station at Taunton opened on 1 July 1842, when Gooch "Firefly" Class 2-2-2 "Castor" arrived at 11.15 a.m. with the first train from Paddington.

The original station, like those at Slough, Reading and Exeter, was designed by Brunel to have separate Up and Down stations on the same side of the tracks with a crossover in the middle. This had some advantages in the early days when there were only a handful of trains daily, but by 1868 the original station had become hopelessly clogged up with traffic and the station had to be replaced with the new station of 1868 (q.v.)

The original two-story brick Down station was retained in Francis Fox's design of 1868, and is still extant today. The original single-story brick Up station was used as offices for many years, but demolished in 1931 to make way for the present station.

Other vestiges of the original station are the former station hotel, and the base of the water tower, though the tank itself was removed after the end of steam. The water tower has been such a Taunton landmark -- growing up in Taunton I always knew I was home when I saw it -- that one wishes it could be restored with at least a "sham" water tank on top of it.
Original 1842 Down Station in 1866. This survives, but the original station canopy was replaced by the present one in 1868. Photograph by Edward Jeboult. To enlarge right click and select "view image"
The original two-road engine shed of 1842 at Taunton, shortly after the conversion of the gauge in 1892.
The original 1842 Taunton Station Water Tower, now sadly denuded of its water tank
The original Taunton Up Station
Site Contents Untitled