Locomotives Through the Lens


A new railway photographic exhibition, Locomotives Through the Lens, has launched at STEAM Museum, exploring the stories behind the astounding photographs captured in STEAM’s exclusive new 2024 calendar.

It features a selection of photographs taken by talented railway photographer Richard Bell, many of which feature in the museum’s 2024 calendar, entitled Western Steam.

Covering the period from 2008 to 2023, the images showcase the wealth of preserved GWR and Western region locomotives operating during that time on both heritage railways and on the main line. Set against a backdrop of the majestic British countryside, the photographs span the breadth of the historic Great Western Railway network from North Wales to South Devon, and from Berkshire to West Wales. 

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The exhibition images are being displayed at large scale for the first time, enabling visitors to feel immersed within each of the scenes.  Alongside each image is an explanation of how the photograph was achieved, sometimes demonstrating that the right weather conditions, persistence and good luck play as much a part in getting the perfect shot as experience and know-how.

Frances Yeo, Swindon Museums manager said: “It’s great to see our new Locomotives Through the Lens exhibition open in the Museum’s Caerphilly Castle Hall. This finale to our 2023 exhibitions programme at STEAM explores the motivations and commitment needed to achieve the perfect photograph. Richard’s experience, dedication and enthusiasm for the subject matter comes through in every image as well as in his accompanying commentaries.”

The exhibition runs until mid-2024 and is included within the museum’s standard admission fee. Copies of the Western Steam calendar can be purchased from the museum shop or online here.

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