78018 is a BR Standard Class 2MT 2-6-0 locomotive, built in 1953 at Darlington North Road Works at a cost of £14,809. It was one of a class of 65, and entered traffic on 3rd March,1954, at West Auckland Shed (County Durham). This was soon followed by a move to Kirkby Stephen, working 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. It was then transferred to Chester Midland in April, 1960 and then in 1962 was sent to Workington. May, 1963 saw it transferred to Willesden, then Nuneaton in September, 1965 and finally Shrewsbury before withdrawal on 12th November, 1966.
78018 then spent 11 years at Barry scrapyard before being preserved at Shackerstone in November, 1978. Little work was carried out whilst at Shackerstone and it was re-sold to the Darlington Railway Preservation Society in 1981.
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 bring the locomotive to the GCR as faciities at Darlington were inadeqaute. The locomotive will be assembled with the assistance of the Loughborough Standards Locomotive Group (LSLG) and work on the boiler will be completed. The tender will remain at Darlington until its renovation is completed when it will then move to Loughborough to be re-united with the locomotive. 78018 will be based at the GCR for the duration of its 10 year boiler ticket. LSLG will be custodians of the locomotive with DRPS remaining its owners.
The locomotive arrived at Quorn & Woodhouse on the GCR on 8th November, 2012.
Restoration nears completion
On 17th August 2016, 78018 moved under its own power for the first time since withdrawal from British Railways service.
78018 is expected to appear at the GCR's Autumn Steam Gala from 6th to 9th October 2016, subject to the completion of the restoration.