Featured 11 Mar 2014 Image
US 2-8-0 tender locomotive No. 1604 at Paddington Station, 1942
On December 11th 1942, for the very first time, an American built locomotive steamed into Paddington Station. Acute shortages of locomotives on the GW network due to locomotives being sent overseas caused operational problems that threatened to affect the service the Company could offer to both the government and the general public. This was alleviated in part by borrowing locomotives from other British Railway Companies and also reinstating previously withdrawn engines back into service. In 1942 however, a number of American locomotives were shipped over to Britain to assist the domestic transport network. In a ceremony held at Paddington Station on the 11th December 1942, United States 2-8-0 tender locomotive No. 1604, pictured here adorned with the British and American flags, was formally handed over to Lord Leathers, Minister of War Transport, by Colonel N.A. Ryan, Chief of Transportation for the American Army, who stated that he hoped the locomotive "will do as good work for you as British Engines have done already for us"
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