78018 was built in 1953 at Darlington North Road Works at a cost of £14,809. It entered traffic in March 1954, at West Auckland Shed (County Durham). This was soon followed by a move to Kirkby Stephen, where it worked trains from Tebay to Barnard Castle on the Stainmore Railway. It was while on this line that 78018 became famous by getting stuck in a snow drift during February, 1955, which resulted in the film Snowdrift at Bleath Gill. (This film is shown at Locomotion which is the National Railway Museum at Shildon.) At the time it was hauling a Kirkby Stephen to West Auckland goods across the bleak and steeply graded line when it became stuck in the snowdrift. It was not reached by the snowplough until two days later by which time it had become frozen solid.
The engine which rescued 78018 was 78019 which was also based at Kirkby Stephen and both locomotives have since been preserved.
With the run down of the Stainmore line 78018 was then transferred to Chester Midland in April, 1960
Motive power depot allocations.
|March 1954||West Auckland|
|April 1954||Kirkby Stephen|
78018 was withdrawn from service in November 1966 and sold for scrap. It arrived at the Woodham Brothers scrapyard at Barry in June 1967 (along with 78019) and remained there until October 1978 when it was purchased and moved to the Market Bosworth Railway at Shackertone in Leicestershire (now the Battlefield Line Railway).
It was re-sold to the Darlington Railway Preservation Society (DRPS) in 1981 for £10,000 and moved to Darlington in July of that year.
While at Darlington a considerable amount of work was undertaken which included stripping the locomotive down. After initial stripping down the restoration, replacement and sourcing of fixtures and fittings commenced. As with many ex-Barry locomotives many parts had been stripped off the locomotive. The boiler and firebox were found to be in good condition having been last overhauled at Crewe in 1960. At Darlington work proceeded on the restoration and manufacture of components until, in 2012 at a point when re-assembly was due, it was decided to take the locomotive to the Great Central Railway (GCR) as facilities at Darlington in the 1839 Goods Shed in which the engine was housed were inadequate.
78018 arrived at Quorn & Woodhouse on the GCR in November, 2012 but the tender remained at Darlington although work on it has been completed and it has been moved to the GCR to be reunited with the locomotive.
The locomotive will remain in the ownership of the DRPS with Loughborough Standards Locomotive Group (LSLG) acting as custodian.
78018 steamed again in August 2016 and will be contracted to the GCR for the period of the 10 year boiler ticket. It had last steamed in 1966 when it was still owned by BR.
The locomotive was running with the tender from Great Central Railway classmate 78019 but was reunited with its own tender in May 2018.
|Home Base||Current Status||Owner|
|Great Central Railway||
|Darlington Railway Preservation Society|
|78018 in the works at Loughborough on the Great Central Railway-2016|