THE controversial move of the National Collection’s GWR 2-8-0 No. 2818 to Swindon’s STEAM museum was due to have taken place on Tuesday, August 21.
The National Railway Museum was criticised in some quarters for gifting the 113-year-old Churchward heavy freight locomotive to the museum, after it has been on static display at the Locomotion museum in Shildon for several years.
At the same time, the museum came under fire from some commentators for gifting LSWR T3 4-4-0 No. 563 to the Swanage Railway. That loco has since been dismantled at Bill Parker’s Flour Mill workshop at Bream, in the Forest of Dean – a renowned expert in the restoration of Victorian locomotives – to assess its potential to be returned to working order.
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However, an ‘arms length’ clause in the gifting arrangement ensures if either venue wants to offload the item at a later date, it has to offer it back to the National Collection first.
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.
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