The last steam locomotive built for British Railways will be coming to STEAM – Museum of the Great Western Railway, Swindon, in August 2008, to be displayed on the site where it was built.
The famous locomotive, which went into service in 1960, is the last of a long line of steam locomotives built at the world famous Swindon Works. Evening Star – number 92220 – has been on display at The National Railway Museum in York for some 30 years. The locomotive will come to Swindon after a short visit to the NRM’s Shildon facility.
Evening Star will be on display at STEAM’s Station Platform and visitors will have the opportunity to climb into the cab and get a feel for what it was like to drive the locomotive. The GWRs most famous engine King George V – celebrating its 80th anniversary this year – currently at the Station Platform, will be going to the NRM at York for display there.
“We are delighted to be able to bring Evening Star back to Swindon,” said Jeff Salter, Business Manager at STEAM. “This is the first time since STEAM opened in 2000 that we have been able to replace one of our major exhibits and to bring in such a famous locomotive has to be good news for the Museum and for Swindon.”
Helen Ashby of the National Railway Museum said, “One of the aims of the NRM is to make the national collection accessible to the broadest possible audience. One of the ways we can do this is by displaying exhibits in different places throughout the country. We are delighted that Evening Star will have the opportunity to return to Swindon and that King George V will visit York so that both locomotives can be seen in a different setting and a different context. It also gives people who are not able to travel to visit our museums, the opportunity to enjoy their heritage”.
It’s hoped that many of the men and women who helped build the locomotive will come to see Evening Star and share their memories with visitors.
Evening Star will form the centrepiece of the second phase of a major exhibition at STEAM during 2008 that commemorates the fortieth anniversary of the last steam service on British Railways.