GWR/BR Gas Turbine 18000






GWR/BR Gas Turbine 18000
This locomotive was built by Brown Boveri (Switzerland) for an order from the Great Western Railway in 1946.
As the loco was not delivered until 1949 it entered directly into British Railways stock.
It was very much an experiment to see if it would be practical to replace steam with gas turbines for express passenger work designate max speed 90mph.
The choice of heavy oil as a fuel was due to availability of the oil at depots where there were steam locos converted for oil burning.
Although the prime mover was a GT there was a Saurer diesel engine for auxiliaries and low speed running (maximum 15mph), this engine would be used for low speed light engine movements especially from shed to station, the turbine being started when attached to the train.
The ex GWR train crews nicknamed it
'Kerosine Castle'.
Apart from test trains it was recorded on service trains between Cheltenham – Paddington, Bristol – Paddington and Plymouth – Paddington.
Supposedly equal to a King was a comment made by one inspector when the locomotive was performing correctly.
A number of teething problems were found and modifications made but with fuel prices rising and other costs soaring a failure in September 1959 put a stop to further running.
After withdrawal by BR it was sent back to Switzerland to be used for experiments with wheel to rail adhesion, these tests involved removal of the prime mover and replacement with weights plus a new bogie fitted at one end.
The locomotive whilst being subject to these tests was named 'Elisabetta'.
It returned to Britain and is preserved (although non operational) at Didcot Railway Centre.



BR number 18000

The locomotive last worked in September 1959 was withdrawn by BR in December 1960.

It has been preserved as a shell only.

The gas turbine 18000 sounds are generic as there are none in working preservation.

The sounds are enhanced with archived sounds.


Video best viewed in full screen, press ‘esc’ to exit

GWR/BR Gas turbine