An historic railway wagon found beneath Bath Spa Railway Station has gone on show at the Museum of Bath at Work in Julian Road. It has been designated as a nationally significant part of our railway heritage on the advice of the Railway Heritage Designation Advisory Board, which advises Government.
Made by German firm, Orenstein & Koppel, the wagon was discovered in a dilapidated state by Network Rail during the renovation of the station vaults, in what is now the Brunel Square development.
Network Rail paid for its conservation and donated it to Bath and North East Somerset Council’s local history collection for long term care. The Council has now lent it to the Museum of Bath at Work, as this is the most appropriate location in the city to display it for the public.
The wagon, which is the only surviving example of its kind, was used at Bath Electricity Generating Works, where coal was moved from the Great Western Railway station at Bath to the boilers of the electricity works below. A set of wagons running on a private rail system supplied the coal and removed the ash and clinker from the works.
Stephen Clews, Roman Baths and Pump Room Manager, said: “We’re delighted that this historic wagon, with its interesting links to Bath’s industrial past, will be displayed at the Museum of Bath at Work, where it can be seen by both local residents and visitors.”
Trevor Turpin, Chairman of the Museum of Bath at Work, said: “This wagon served the first electric power plant in Bath, which brought electric lighting to the streets and to domestic homes just over a hundred years ago. It is a unique object that helps us tell the story of how electricity transformed the city.”