Opening of the South Wales Railway: steam train arrives at Swansea

Victorian illustration to download showing a steam train arriving at Swansea station at the opening of the South Wales Railway in 1850 (the engineer was Isambard Kingdom Brunel). A well-dressed crowd welcomes two steam locomotives with tall funnels pulling coaches, including an open coach carrying a military band; the station building is decked with flags. The South Wales Railway was constructed to link directly with the Great Western line at Gloucester. Its opening was celebrated with elaborate civic receptions at all stations along the line, culminating in a public breakfast at Swansea, where Brunel was toasted as ‘one who had annihilated both time and space’.