The 31st. A1 to enter service, 60126 was based on the North Eastern Region throughout its life – very appropriate considering the name it was to carry. It was first noted unpainted in the Doncaster works paint shop on April 15th 1949. It emerged as works No. 2042 (and the 12th A1 built there) in lined LNER apple green which one commentator has described as a startling sight in post war Britain. Indeed it was the last Doncaster- built A1 too is in theses colours from new. Working life for 60126 began from Heaton on the 27th. Heaton A1s were used on traditional workings to York, Leeds and Edinburgh. The East Coast Mail Line was traversed on most of these runs. However, we know that 60126 could often be found on trains using Durham coast line. On June 11th it passed Eaglescliffe at 8.58am with a Sunderland – Kings Cross train of 14 coaches. On March 29th 1950 it left Stockton with an 11 coach Newcastle – Liverpool working. It travelled further south: back on June 24th 1949 it was seen hauling the 7.53 am Saltburn – Kings Cross through Doncaster while on September 9th the same year it arrived at Kings Cross at 6.00pm with a train from Newcastle.
Repainting into BR express passenger blue took place in July 1950s while 60126 were in Doncaster works for general repairs, one of four so treated that month. Previously 17 A1s had been painted in the new colours. Naming after an eminent North Eastern Railway engineer – and its final one – was performed by the Mayor of Darlington on August 3rd. This was one of six A1s named after chief mechanical engineers of two constituents of the LNER: three from the NER and the others from the GNR. Other changes around this time were the replacement of the plain chimney by a double one and the removal of the Flaman speed recorder. For much of the time Sir Vincent Raven worked much as before with a few visits to new destinations. The first named train recorded was the up 12 coach “Northumbrian” from Newcastle on January 17th 1951. No. 60126 was one of the earlier ones to receive BR green livery; only six had been repainted earlier and it was one of a quartet done in October. The following march 3rd found it at Sheffield Victoria. Trips down the main line were evidenced by sightings at Doncaster shed on April 6th and at Hitchin shed on decmber13th. Visits further north included the 7.30am Edinburgh – Aberdeen train on august 15th 1953 returning with the up ecs from Aberdeen at 2.10pm. Sir Vincent Raven’s first logged goods working was the following month when it headed west through Newcastle on Heaton sheds class D duty. While heavy repairs were carried out at Doncaster works there were several instances of work at Gateshead such as casual light repairs from April 20th – 24th 1953. During general repairs at Doncaster in March 1954 tender No. 745 off 60126 was swapped with 60122’s tender No. 740. The first trains to Leeds on record were the 11.00am on September 17th and 24th 1955. Two instances of double heading occurred in 1956: on June 16th it hauled the 1.03pm Newcastle- Birmingham with 60116 Hal o’ the Wynd while on September 8th it brought the 8.05 am Birmingham-Newcastle into Newcastle with A2/3 60511 Airborne. About this time the smoke box handrail and number plate were transposed while in 1957 the later BR crest was applied to the tender. While there are a few records of named trains hauled by 60126 in print a photo dated c.1958 shows it leaving Edinburgh with the up “Queen of Scots”. Trains via the Durham coast were still worked as shown by a Newcastle – Kings Cross passenger on September 7th 1958. Of note is the Up Highland car sleeper from Newcastle. Main line diversions on September 18th 1960 and April 23rd found 60126 working through Lincoln.
60126 Sir Vincent Raven on shed at Gateshead circa 1964 – John Arnott-Brown
After a dozen years at Heaton 60126 was re-allocated to York on September 10th. By now the Smith-Stone speedometer was fitted. Most workings tended to be between the capital and Newcastle such as the 5.35pm down train on April 4th 1962. Earlier, the down “Heart of Midlothian” was hauled from Kings Cross on January 13th. June 23rd’s taking of a Peterborough – Edinburgh train forward from Newcastle to its destination showed that Sir Vincent Raven could still travel over the border; specials and non- passenger workings began to feature as much as regular passenger turns. Specials seen included a Brandon – Walker train on June 16th and a CTAC train at Newcastle on September 3rd. Non-passenger workings were the up seed potatoes seen at Newcastle on December 3rd, a down parcel noted at York on March 23rd 1963 and a Healey Mills – Forth Yard goods arriving at Newcastle on June 11th. The last recorded passenger was the 1N30 Glasgow – Scarborough from Newcastle on July 6th 1963 while the final goods noted was an up train seen at Pillion (Sunderland) at 7.16pm on august 8th. The only record for 1964 was a sighting in York shed yard on May 2nd.
Withdrawal for Sir Vincent Raven came on January 18th 1965. In March it was sold for scrap to A. Draper of Hull. Its working life of 15 years and 9 months was slightly longer than the average. It had carried seven different boilers.
This history was compiled by Phil Champion based on a database compiled by Tommy Knox and with reference to the RCTS book “Locomotives of the LNER Part 2A” as background