Churchward ‘28XX’ No. 2818 is finally moving to its new home of STEAM, the Museum of the Great Western Railway – over a year after the National Railway Museum announced that it was deaccessioning the GWR 2-8-0 from the National Collection.
As revealed in Steam Railway SR481, the rare inside steam pipe heavy freight locomotive will be moving to its new home in Swindon on August 21, where it will take the place of ‘Manor’ No. 7821 Ditcheat Manor. The Collett 4-6-0 will be transferred to the nearby Designer Outlet Centre the same day, where it will replace classmate No. 7819 Hinton Manor, which is returning to the Severn Valley Railway.
STEAM Curator Frances Yeo said: “We’ve been working closely with the National Railway Museum to secure the transfer of the locomotive which will soon be standing beside STEAM’s Station Platform.
“Staff and volunteers at STEAM are very excited to be welcoming 2818 to Swindon. This is the first complete locomotive to be owned by STEAM and comes to the Museum in very good condition. The return of No. 2818 to the site where it was built is a momentous occasion in Swindon’s history, and we look forward to having the locomotive on display here at STEAM.”
Andrew McLean, Assistant Director and Head Curator at the National Railway Museum, said: “The transfer of Churchward’s No. 2818 to STEAM ensures the locomotive’s positive long-term future in its Swindon birthplace.
"It is fitting that a member of one of the most successful of all Great Western Railway locomotive classes will become a star exhibit in a museum which is dedicated to telling the story of both the GWR and Swindon’s important place in Britain’s railway history.”
Hitherto based at Locomotion, Shildon, No. 2818 is the third British main line steam locomotive deaccessioned from the National Collection, after North Staffordshire Railway ‘New L’ 0-6-2T No. 2 to the Foxfield Railway in 2016, and the London & South Western Railway ‘T3’ 4-4-0 No. 563 to the Swanage Railway last year.