The main line of the Great Western Railway (GWR) was authorised in 1835, and opened in stages. The section between Hay Lane and Chippenham opened on 31 May 1841. The final section of the GWR main line, between Chippenham and Bath, opened on 30 June 1841. Chippenham was soon served by other lines. The Wilts, Somerset and Weymouth Railway (WS&WR) was authorised in 1845 and the first section opened on 5 September 1848; this ran from Thingley Junction, west of Chippenham, to Westbury, and the WS&WR was absorbed by the GWR in 1851. The Calne Railway was authorised in 1860 and opened on 3 November 1863; this company remained independent for some years, until absorbed by the GWR in 1892. A goods shed was constructed during 1858. A railway connection was laid to Chippenham Gas Works in 1906. This connection closed in 1932. Chippenham engine shed closed in March 1964 and services on the Calne branch stopped in 1965. Chippenham East and West signal boxes closed on 21 August 1966. As from 1 February 1976 the original down platform was taken out of use and services heading west used the south side of the island platform. The original station building at Chippenham was built to Isambard Kingdom Brunel's design and opened in 1841. With the subsequent opening of new lines to Salisbury and Weymouth, the station was not adequate to meet the increased demand and was redesigned by J H Bertram in 1856 to 1858. Immediately west of the station lies the grade II listed Chippenham viaduct designed by Brunel in 1841. The first arch, over New Road, appears to have been modelled on the Roman triumphal arch. It has a 26-foot (8 m) span and is flanked by two smaller pedestrian arches of 10 feet (3 m). All is surmounted by a heavy cornice and parapet. The north side is constructed from Bath Stone Ashlar with some brick patching while the south side is in blue brick following widening in the early 1900s.
The cache can be found along side the track leaving the station via a public footpath with lovely views of Chippenham in the distance. It's not really a cache and dash, so please don't miss your train to find this cache! Wellies are advised as the path can get very slippery and muddy. The cache contains a log with a pencil to sign it. You can park on Cocklebury Road in the 2 hour free spaces and access the footpath from there. Alternatively, the cache can be reached via the 'My Cocklebury Friend' cache (GC3BVOD). Cross the bridge and take the footpath to your right. This will take you into the field where the cache is hidden.
Other 'train related' caches in the area that might be of interest:
- Brunel's Arches
- Chippenham Blue Plaque Trail (way point 11 takes you to Brunel's office)