Motorists were given a sneak preview of one of STEAM’s newest exhibits when King George V made its return to Swindon this lunchtime.
The flagship locomotive, which was built in Swindon, returned to STEAM – Museum of the Great Western Railway via a low loader and attracted plenty of admiring glances as it made its way into the town.
King George V (KGV) was designed by Charles B Collet and was the GWR’s most powerful 4-6-0 engine. KGV was the first ‘King’ Class built at Swindon Works in June 1927, and was shipped to the United States in August 1927 to feature in the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad’s centenary celebrations.
The National Railway Museum in York has loaned the locomotive to STEAM in preparation for the town’s Swindon175 celebrations in 2016, which will honour Swindon’s railway heritage.
Another locomotive will join King George V tomorrow when City of Truro makes the same journey from the locos’ temporary home at Tyseley Locomotive Works in Birmingham.
Number 3440 City of Truro was designed by George Jackson Churchward and was built at the Swindon Works in 1903. She was the first British locomotive to travel in excess of 100 miles per hour (160.9 km/h) on 9 May 1904, and is one of world’s first to do so.
In order to accommodate both locomotives, current loans Lode Star and the Diesel Railcar are returning to the National Railway Museum in exchange.
Swindon175 has been organised to commemorate the decision to build the town’s railway works back on 25 February 1841.
STEAM will remain closed until 21 November while the locomotives are added to the exhibition.