The KF7 Chinese steam locomotive is the largest single locomotive in the museum - over 15 foot tall and more than 93 feet long. These locos were the largest single-unit locomotives ever built in the UK. It was presented to the museum by the Chinese Government in 1981.
In July 1933, the Guangdong–Hankou Railway was in need of new motive power for their being finished Guangzhou to Shaoguan line (capital of Guangdong Province to the northern border of the province). However, this particular line had been burdened with gradients of around two percent as well as curves with less than 250 m (0.16 mi) radi, and low capacity bridges. This necessitated a locomotive design that had more tractive effort while retaining a low axle load. The railway approached the Vulcan Foundry in Britain, who devised a series of 24 locomotives of a 4-8-4 wheel arrangement. The engines were a significant improvement over previous designs, incorporating a more efficient E-type superheater and duplex steam valve to allow better steaming without enlarging the boiler. The 4-8-4 wheel arrangement allowed for better weight distribution as well as improved handling on sharp curves. When the Changsha - Canton Railway was completed in October 1936, the class KF 1 - 24 locomotives were transferred to operate over northern section between Hankow and Changsha on this new main line. During World War II the locomotive was transferred to Guangxi Province through Hunan–Guangxi Railway, free from Japanese occupied zone. After the establishment of the People's Republic of China, the locomotives were repaired and upgraded to use in Shanghai–Nanjing Railway. Most of the class KF survived the 1937 - 1945 Sino-Japanese war. They retained their old classification and continued in service up to early 1970's. (Wikipedia source).