Fireless Locomotive No 2126 Gloucester Waterways Museum Gloucester Docks
A fireless locomotive is one which does not burn fuel to make steam, but carries around its own steam supply which is topped up at intervals. No. 2126 was built in 1942 by Andrew Barclay & Co of Kilmarnock for the Castle Meads Emergency Power Station across the River Severn. It initially shunted coal wagons from the wharf by the river near Gloucester lock where the power station fuel was unloaded from coasters using a steam crane.
In later years coal came to the power station via the main railway system, and the locomotive was used to shunt wagons around the site. When the power supply companies were nationalised, the locomotive came under the ownership of the new British Electric Authority and was repainted green rather than regulation wartime austerity grey. The locomotive is now in the colours of the Central Electricity Generating Board who continued to use it until 1969 when Castle Meads closed down.
The locomotive was donated to the Dowty Railway Preservation Society at Ashchurch in 1973 for preservation and later stood at Toddington on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway. The National Waterways Museum obtained it in 1988 to return it close to its former workplace. The Friends of the Museum spent many hours working on the restoration which was completed by Dorothea Restoration Engineers of Whaley Bridge.