The Road Ahead
The Great Western Railway of England was, in the 1840s and ’50s, one of the most progressive Railways in the world, and although with hindsight its possible to say that they chose the wrong course, they did so with a grandeur of vision that few other companies matched, with the result that their locomotives were the most powerful and by far the fastest of that era. They were, of course, following the recommendations of that greatest of visionaries, Isambard Kingdom Brunel. He built the Great Western to the 7 foot broad gauge at a time when other parts of the country were building the standard gauge, so in the end, the broad gauge was not ‘The Road Ahead’.
This view shows what a grand vision Brunel had. A replica of “Fire Fly’, designed by the great Daniel Gooch, seen at Didcot Railway Centre, about to depart along that imposing sweep of Brunel’s track……. ‘Right away, Driver.’