It's not everyday that a 1930's locomotive rolls through the streets of Doncaster. But for the Green Arrow, it's the end of a long journey home.
Green Arrow will complete the line-up of locomotives in the Danum Gallery, Library and Museum in a new railway heritage centre. The exhibition will also include rare artefacts from the Doncaster Grammar School Railway Collection.
The incredibly popular Green Arrow, together with the No. 251 locomotive, will spearhead a remarkable display of our great railway heritage, with many enthralling items going on public display for the very first time. They tell a compelling story of the golden age of steam and the major contribution Doncaster has made to the rail industry.
Built in 1936 at the Doncaster Plant Works, it was the first of the V2 class locomotives and is the last surviving British 2-6-2 tender locomotive.
Designed by Sir Nigel Gresley, the V2 class locomotives continued production between 1936 and 1944 despite the impact of World War Two. Their reputation as a versatile and powerful locomotive was enhanced by their haulage during the war.
It continued service through the nationalisation of the railways and was eventually withdrawn from the British Railways service in 1962.
It was then selected for preservation and was eventually returned to working order a decade later. It steamed until 2008 when its boiler certificate expired.
The exhibition was due to open in March, but due to pandemic restrictions there will be a special online preview before the building opens.
It’s a great achievement to have delivered this public building during these difficult economic times and signals our intent and ambition for Doncaster. It will be a joy to behold.
The new rail heritage centre will also display the Doncaster Grammar School Railway Collection. It started in the 1930s when pupils and teachers at the school, now Hall Cross Academy, set up a railway society.
As the years went by, the members created one of the biggest and most important collections of its kind packed with signs, nameplates, lamps, signal posts and thousands of other rail related gems.
The new rail heritage centre gives the opportunity for everyone to see this unique and important collection for the first time.