Broad gauge carriages, about 1895
©National Railway Museum/ Science & Society Picture Library
Old broad gauge track carriages, about 1895. Isambard Kingdom Brunel chose to build the Great Western Railway using broad gauge track which was 7' Âº'', as opposed to standard gauge track, which was 4' 8 Âº''. He believed that broad gauge track would give passengers a smoother and faster ride. However, because the other main lines were standard gauge, it made sense to convert the GWR to standard gauge. The conversion was completed in 1892, and the GWR had to acquire new locomotives and rolling stock.