This locomotive worked the first train on the Great Western Railway when it opened on 4 June 1838. In 1843 it was fitted with more conventional 6 ft 0 in driving and 3 ft 0 in carrying wheels with 15 in × 18 in cylinders; at some time it was converted to a 2-2-2T tank locomotive. The name Aeolus is quite common in Greek mythology, shared by at least three different people.
This locomotive was named after Bacchus, the Roman god of the harvest and was later carried by a Pyracmon Class goods locomotive.
This locomotive was the first to run on the Great Western Railway when it was tested on 28 December 1837 from its shed at West Drayton. It was withdrawn in 1843 but was rebuilt as a 2-2-2T tank locomotive and returned to service in 1846, running in this form until 1868. It survived for two more years at Reading as a stationary boiler. Although named after the workshops where it was built, Vulcan is also the Roman god of fire.