SWINDON will play musical locomotives next week when a GWR engine comes home to the place where it was built more than a century ago.

The Edwardian loco, 2818 will be brought down on a low-loader to Steam from the National Railway Museum in York on Tuesday to take the place of Ditcheat Manor, which is set to be lifted in to the display area at the Designer Outlet Centre on the same day.

Museum curator Frances Yeo said: “Staff and volunteers at STEAM are very excited to be welcoming 2818 to Swindon. This is the first complete locomotive to be owned by STEAM and it will arrive in very good condition.

“Such rare locomotive moves at both STEAM and the Designer Outlet are going to be wonderful sights to see for all those coming to watch.

"The return of 2818 to the site where it was built is a momentous occasion in Swindon's history and we are looking forward to having the locomotive on display here at STEAM.”

The locomotive, which will stand next to the station platform in the museum, was designed by GWR chief mechanical engineer George Jackson Churchward His 2800 class of heavy freight locomotives was hugely successful for the Great Western Railway.

Built in 1905, 2818 worked as a heavy goods carrier and was used during the First World War to transport coal for the Royal Navy.

Swindon Borough Council cabinet member for Steam Garry Perkins said: “This is an important and historic moment for our town. No 2818 will join the many iconic Swindon-built locomotives currently on display.

“We are very much looking forward to welcoming 2818 home. It is likely to be an emotional moment for many who come to see the move take place as well as those who come to visit the loco at STEAM once safely installed. Its homecoming will be a celebration of Swindon’s fantastic heritage.”

Andrew McLean, assistant director and head curator at the National Railway Museum, added: “The transfer of Churchward’s 2818 to STEAM ensures the locomotive’s positive long-term future in its Swindon birthplace.

"It is fitting that a member of one of the most successful of all Great Western Railway locomotive classes will become a star exhibit in a museum which is dedicated to telling the story of both the GWR and Swindon’s important place in Britain’s railway history.

Ditcheat Manor is being moved to replace sister loco Hinton Manor.