The first of the second order for Peppercorn A1s, engine order No. 383 issued in November 1945 and for six locomotives, was Doncaster works No. 2041. Numbered 60124 by British Railways, it was the 11th A1 from ‘The Plant’. As it entered service from Gateshead shed (52A) on 23rd March 1949 along with Darlington–built No. 60145 it marked the start on the second half of the class as they were its 26th and 27th members. Apple green with black and white lining was the livery with the nationalised railways name in white block capitals on the tender. A plain chimney was fitted. The Durham coast route was clearly used in these early days. The first sighting of No. 60124 was at west Hartlepool on the 26th March while in the following day it was noted entering Stockton at 17:19hrs with a Bristol-Newcastle train formed of 11 LMR coaches. North Eastern Region A1s worked regularly to Edinburgh on East Coast Main Line expresses; No. 60124 were seen there on 28th April. Its first named train on record was the up ‘Tees-Tyne Pullman’ on 30th June 1949.
Naming of No. 60124 came in August 1950 whilst it was in Doncaster works for general repairs. At the same time it was repainted into BR express passenger blue. It was one of a pair named that month, 21 having already been dealt with. Five A1s were painted blue in August following sixteen done earlier. Kenilworth was one of a number A1 names from the novels of Sir Walter Scott, this one taken from a romantic novel first published in 1821. Work continued as before long the main line or around the Durham coast route. The down ‘Northumbrian’ with 12 coaches was hauled into Newcastle on 7th October. Twenty days later No. 60124 departed from Stockton at 13:26hrs with a six coach Newcastle-York train. A lipped chimney was fitted around this period and the Flaman speed recorder removed. While most works attention was at Doncaster there were visits elsewhere: such as casual light repairs on 19th/20th March and 24th/26th September 1951 at Gateshead. Kenilworth was one of the earlier A1s repainted into BR green with 13 treated earlier, and three others painted that December.
An undated photo of Kenilworth taken at Edinburgh Haymarket shed – Bill Reed
Detailed notes from the mid 1950’s show that No. 60124 was used a lot on East Coast expresses, including a number of named trains. An up express was hauled from Edinburgh on 16th June 1954. A York-Edinburgh train was pulled from Newcastle at 12:30hrs on 19th February 1955. The up ‘Flying Scotsman’ was observed behind Kenilworth either arriving at or leaving Newcastle a number of times between February that year or January 1956. Also hauled from the Tyneside city during this period was the down ‘North Briton’ on 23rd April and 3rd December and No. 60124 was recorded departing Newcastle with the up ‘Heart of Midlothian’. Between November and early December 1956 Kenilworth was noted 12 times leaving King’s Cross with the 23:00hrs ‘Night Scotsman’ and on trains just as far as Newcastle including the 12:00hrs on 10th December and the 15;10hrs on the 27th. A departure from normal working was the 15:40hrs King’s Cross-Leeds each day from the 11th to the 15th. In May 1958 No. 60124’s tender received the later BR crest, one of the last ones to be applied to A1s.
A transfer of a few miles away to Heaton shed (52B) came in September 1960. By the 23rd it had travelled far as it hauled the up West Coast Postal from Aberdeen. In this year a Smith-Stone speedometer was fitted to one of the rear driving wheels. Other workings like working King’s Cross to York on 23rd March and the 16:55hrs Edinburgh-King’s Cross taken from Newcastle on 3rd April 1961 were probably more typical. On 10th September Kenilworth was relocated again, this time to York (50A) and trains from Leeds also started to feature; the down ‘Queen of Scots’ as far as Newcastle on 27th January 1962 and a train to King’s Cross on 22nd April. The main line was still important; No.60124 covered a diesel failure on York-King’s Cross run on 2nd February and pulled King’s Cross-Glasgow relief into Newcastle on 24th April.
No. 60124 at Doncaster Works on 17th September 1961 – Cedric Clayson
With increasing dieselisation Kenilworth, like other Pacifics, saw some change in rostering with more of a mix of goods and passenger trains. First of the former was the Forth-Dringhouses freight of 3rd May. Other traffic included an up BP tank train on 25th September and 7S02 Gainsborough-Uphall cement the next day. The 3G34 York-Newcastle parcels was noted several times between then and the following January. Passenger workings included the 1A14 10:45hrs King’s Cross-Newcastle relief hauled from the capital back on 13th September 1962 and the 1N19 Edinburgh-York as far as Newcastle on 17th October. Quite a contrast was the mid-afternoon down pigeon train on 14th June 1963 following servicing on Gateshead shed. Instead of works attention at Doncaster it visited Darlington for general light repairs in May 1964, leaving on the 13th.
Kenilworth at York Station in immaculate condition in September 1965 – Alan Sharp
As steam’s use receded further, Kenilworth was moved to Darlington shed (51A) on 23rd November to serve mainly as a stand-by loco. Main line work therefore still featured prominently. The down ‘North Briton’ was brought into Newcastle on 19th February 1965. On 15th April 1F15 Richmond – Edinburgh was also seen entering Newcastle Central and noted on shed at Darlington on Easter Sunday 18th April 1965. On 6th June No. 60124 worked throughout from Darlington to Newcastle, on 8th June and a down express on 15th July when it entered the Tyneside city towing English electric type 4 No. D180. Observed at Darlington shed on Sunday 1st August (without nameplates by this time), the works was again used in August (for weighing on the 20th) and in December for casual light repairs.
Towards the end of 1965 there were only two A1s left on the North Eastern Region: Nos. 60124 and 60145, both on standby duties with the former at Darlington and the latter at York, each of them acquiring a degree of celebrity status. On Christmas Eve Kenilworth was coupled inside ‘Deltic’ No. D9017 on the 10:15hrs Newcastle-King’s Cross and worked like this to Peterborough. The final workings for No. 60124 came in March 1966, taking forward the 09:00hrs Liverpool- Newcastle from Darlington on the 10th and hauling down ‘Heart of Midlothian’ over the same stretch of line the next day.
Withdrawal came on March 27th. In May it was sold for scrap to Drapers of Hull but was seen lying withdrawn at York shed on the 21st and again on 7th July but this time minus a chimney. In its time No. 60124 carried eight different boilers. Kenilworth had worked primarily on the middle and northern sections of the East Coast Main Line. It was in service, for 17 years, just a few months short of the A1 average.
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