CHURCHWARD ‘28XX’ 2-8-0 has become the latest, and apparently the last, locomotive to be removed by the National Railway Museum and gifted to another organisation.
The locomotive currently resides at the NRM’s Locomotion outpost in Shildon and has been transferred to STEAM Museum in Swindon. It is expected to move to its new home later in the year.
The NRM says its move completes a review of the National Collection, which also saw the transfer of LSWR ‘T3’ 4-4-0 No. 563 to the Swanage Railway Trust in April.
No. 2818 was one of four heavy-freight, eight-coupled locos in the National Collection, along with GCR ‘O4’ 2-8-0 No. 63601, LNWR ‘Super D’ 0-8-0 No. 49395 and NER ‘Q7’ 0-8-0 No. 901.
While it could be argued that the ’28XX’ design is one of the most important in terms of British steam locomotive development, No. 2818 is not unique in preservation – unlike the other three – being one of seven ‘28XXs’ to survive the cutter’s torch.
The fact the type is already well represented in preservation, especially when considering the nine additional ‘2884’ variants, was likely a contributing factor in the NRM’s decision to let the locomotive go.
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