18000 Toddington 3 June 2010

Brown Boveri gas turbine locomotive 18000 stands in the yard at Toddington, on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway on 3 June 2010. It was taking in part in the GWR 175 celebrations and is pictured here next to unrestored 'Barry hulk' GWR 28xx 2-8-0 3845. Ordered by the Great Western Railway in 1940, 18000 did not arrive in the UK from Switzerland until after nationalisation. Although often viewed as just another example of the GWR trying to be different, the idea of using a gas turbine (in effect a jet engine) for rail traction seemed an obvious one in the 1940s, as it offered far higher power than diesel engines at the time. Although 18000 performed extremley well when it was working, it reliability was always a problem, and no further locomotives were built.