One of the more unusual locomotives ever to be built, the GT3 Gas Turbine Prototype is nevertheless part of British railway history and is now available for Train Simulator from Victory Works.
The GT3 was part of a programme for the development of gas turbine locomotives started in the late 1940s. Designed by English Electric engineer JOP Hughes, construction of the GT3 began in the early 1950s at their Vulcan Foundry works in Newton-le-Willows.
The desire to minimise the number of changes as the locomotive developed and make use of existing machining tools led to the GT3’s rather odd design choice of a 4-6-0 wheel arrangement with a single driving cab at the rear of the locomotive, much like a steam engine - other locomotive being conceived had a cab at each end, removing the need for locomotives to be turned at the end of journeys.
The 2,700hp EM27L Gas Turbine was a two-stage gas turbine with a mechanical gearbox driving directly to the wheels, most efficient when running at high speed. It was also incredibly lightweight, so much so that the locomotive’s frames were three times thicker than those on similarly sized steam locomotives simply to add weight so it could have the required traction.
Continuing its steam locomotive heritage, the GT3 also had a traditional tender, which contained 2,000 gallons of fuel oil, and a vertical boiler with 1,765 gallons of water to supply it.
After static testing at Rugby, the GT3 was run on the Great Central Main Line and the West Coast Main Line, including the famous Shap incline. It was also part of the Marylebone Rolling Stock Exhibition of 1961 to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Institute of Locomotive Engineers. However, the popularity of diesel and electric traction saw the GT3 withdrawn and returned to Vulcan Foundry in 1962, being scrapped at nearby Salford in February 1966
The GT3 Turbine for Train Simulator, developed by Victory Works, is available in original demonstrator and fictional British Rail blue liveries, and features simulated turbine flood when overfilled, working window demister on cold days, optional manual cold start sequence, battery isolation switches, opening cab doors and windows, configurable head codes/tail lights, exhaust heat haze and tender interior view. Also included are worn Mk1 maroon passenger coaches.
The locomotive is also Quick Drive compatible, giving you the freedom to drive the BR GT3 Turbine on any Quick Drive enabled route for Train Simulator, such as those available through Steam. Also included are scenarios specifically for the Woodhead route (available separately and required to play these scenarios).