18000 1954-11 Swindon Works
BR Brown-Boveri Gas Turbine-Electric A1A-A1A No. 18000. Built by Brown-Boveri & Cie. of Winterthur, Switzerland in 1949 and withdrawn in 1960, stored until 1964 and preserved.
The GWR had chosen a gas-turbine locomotive because there was no single-unit diesel locomotive of sufficient power available to match the capability of a 'King' class. A King could deliver about 2,500 horsepower, the LMS diesel locomotives (10000 and 10001) had engines of only 1,600 hp. No.18000's gas turbine was rated at 2,500 hp and had a maximum speed of 90 miles per hour. Curiously, it was originally painted not in Brunswick Green but in BR black livery, with a silver stripe around the middle of the body and silver numbers.
Peter Kerslake adds "In early 1954 the Gas Turbine 18000 had been working between Bristol and Paddington but in early July that year a fractured auxilliary engine crankshaft took it out of service until March 1955. In this view it is awaiting repairs outside 'A' Shop".
© Ken Widd-SA Collection