GWR Room

The Great Western Railway Room explores the town's links with the railways. Information is available on I.K. Brunel's great engineering achievements.

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The GWR room is dedicated to the railway history of the town, and has a working signal box, and an original section of Brunel’s atmospheric railway, together with a model of the atmospheric system.
Newton Abbot’s railway history began on Thursday 31st December 1846.  Isambard Kingdom Brunel and the board of the South Devon Railway agreed to open Newton Station the following year.

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The ‘Antelope’ was the first train to arrive at Newton in 1846, the SDR Directors were on board, banners were held high declaring ‘Success to the South Devon Railway’
The railway changed the life of the town dramatically changing it from a ‘Market Town’ to a ‘Market and Railway Town’.  It became known as the ‘Swindon of the West’ because of its workshops and sheds.  The Railway was the biggest employer in the town for many years.