The National Railway Museum has announced the transfer of GWR 2-8-0 '28XX' class locomotive No. 2818 to STEAM – Museum of the Great Western Railway in Swindon.
The Edwardian freight locomotive will go on display alongside other objects and locomotives that tell the historic story of the Great Western Railway.
Councillor Garry Perkins, Swindon Borough Council's Cabinet Member responsible for STEAM, said: “Locomotive No. 2818 is a vital part of history for the people of Swindon. The addition of this superb GWR locomotive to the STEAM collection is very exciting. We’re delighted to be gaining a significantly historic freight locomotive for permanent display.”
“Staff at STEAM worked closely with the National Railway Museum, following the strict guidelines for the transfer of ownership, to ensure the locomotive has a secure future. We can’t wait to have No. 2818 on public view.”
Currently based at Locomotion, the National Railway Museum at Shildon, No. 2818 is expected to arrive in Swindon later this year once the legal transfer is complete. There are no plans to return the locomotive to working condition.
The disposal completes a review of the National Collection by the National Railway Museum which also saw the transfer of LSWR 'T3' 4-4-0 No. 563 to Swanage Railway in April.
Andrew McLean, Assistant Director and Head Curator at the National Railway Museum, said: “No. 2818 is a very important locomotive in documenting the story of the development of the railways in the South West and South Wales and it is fitting that we can return this long-serving engine to its Swindon birthplace almost 112 years after it first rolled off the production line.
“Transferring ownership to such a well-respected institution with whom we have enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship will give this engine the best future possible and reflects our duty to ensure the National Collection remains sustainable, relevant and engaging. In the unlikely event that STEAM could not continue to preserve the locomotive in future, then the locomotive would be offered back to the National Collection.”
When No. 2818 arrives in Swindon it will join many other famous Great Western engines currently on loan from the National Railway Museum, including: GWR 4-4-0 No. 3717 City of Truro and GWR 4-6-0 'King' class, No. 6000 King George V. These locomotives arrived at STEAM in 2015 ahead of the 2016 celebration of 175 years of Swindon’s railway heritage.