This, Darlington Works’ fifth A1, was constructed under an LNER January 1947 order for 23 Darlington A1s. When engine and Tender No. 754 emerged as Works No. 2053 in November 1948 seven of the class had previously been completed. It was one of five (three Doncaster and two Darlington) to enter service that month. It was turned out in LNER style apple green with white and black lining but with ‘BRITISH RAILWAYS’ lettering but unusually, the top lining on the tender side was only three-quarters of the way up. Old gold was used for lettering and numbers, as on the LNER. Being Darlington built countersunk rivets were used to give a smooth tender and cabsides. It was one of nineteen to have a Flaman speed recorder fitted from new.
Allocation on November 5th was to Copley Hill shed to become one of five based there. It was noted nine days later in Darlington station. Its first recorded working was on December 4th with the 3.10 pm Up into Kings Cross. Its regular duties were between Leeds and the capital, a number of workings being noted like the the 12.45 pm Leeds – King’s Cross on April 2nd 1949. However it could still work into the North East as when No. 60134 was seen at Darlington again on February 5th. On April 9th 1949 it was seen on the Down “Yorkshire Pullman” in the London suburbs. Five days later it was on the Up “Yorkshire Pullman”.
A repaint into BR blue with black and white lining plus the early BR tender emblem came in March 1950 as one of three that month to join the seventeen already in blue. Its name was fitted that October, again one of three dealt with. As twenty-two A1s were already named this means it was half way through the naming process. This one of thirteen racehorse names carried by A1s. Foxhunter was an illustrious horse. He had won the 1932 Doncaster Cup. In 1948 as part of the British Show Jumping Team at the Summer Olympics he had won a bronze medal with Harry Llewelyn riding. That year he won the King George V Gold Cup.
Examples of No. 60134’s workings were a Down express from King’s Cross on August 9th 1952 and the Up “West Riding” on November 13th. However, on the latter No. 60134 failed at Hitchin and was still on Hitchin shed a week later. It was one of the last to appear in BR green with orange and black lining in February 1953 -the 47th. Back in 1950 No. 60134 had been fitted with the mechanical parts only of the Hudd Automatic Train Control (ATC) system but in early 1953 it was one of 10 hurriedly fitted with a modified form of the ATC system. A working of another named train, “The Queen of Scots” between Leeds and King’s Cross was photographed in 1953.
Some of its workings were to and from Grantham. On July 21st 1953 Foxhunter worked a Leeds – King’s Cross train as far as Grantham to return on the 2.18 pm ex King’s Cross to Leeds. Named trains from the capital included the Down “Bradford Flyer” on September 21st and the Down “West Riding” on May 5th 1954. Workings were made further afield. On June 6th it was seen in the North East in Newcastle. On July 30th it hauled the Sunderland – South Shields ecs then the 10.13 am South Shields – King’s Cross. September 19th found it on the 8.35 pm King’s Cross – York parcels. Later 1954 records show some of its workings between Leeds and the capital when Pullmans were often hauled: October 12th ten Pullmans on the 7.50 am KX – Leeds then the same load on the 4.35 pm return, ten coaches 7.50 am KX – Retford, the 22nd with ten Pullmans 12.05 pm KX – Leeds when the steam brake was sticking on the engine, the 26th with thirteen coaches KX – Leeds to return on the 4.35 pm Leeds – KX, November 16th again with nine Pullmans 12.05 pm KX – Leeds then ten Pullmans on the same train on December 22nd.
Autumn 1956 and early 1957 show 60134 regularly on Pullmans and other King’s Cross – Leeds trains. It hauled the Down “Queen of Scots” from September 17th – 20th, October 5th, 13th and 27th – 31st then on March 2nd and 3rd 1957. The “Harrogate Sunday Pullman” was worked on September 23rd 1953 then the Up “Yorkshire Pullman” into the capital on April 6th 1957. From September 1953 to January 1957 No. 60134 could often be found on the 1.18 or 3.40 or 6.15 pm King’s Cross -Leeds. Foxhunter assisted A4 No. 60005 Sir Charles Newton between Sandy and King’s Cross on November 14th 1957. Loggings in 1959, 1960 and 1962 show it on the Up “Queen of Scots” from Leeds a lot. In May 1958 the later BR crest was applied to the tender. On March 16th 1962 Foxhunter was seen waiting in one of Leeds Central’s Up bay platforms with coaches to attach to the Bradford portion of a King’s Cross express.
No. 60134 Foxhunter standing at platform 1, King’s Cross, Circa 1957 – Robin Gibson
In April 1962 No. 60134 moved from Copley Hill where it had been one of ten A1s to Ardsley along with three others: No. 60121, No. 60131 and No. 60135. “The Queen of Scots” was still hauled, as on May 25th and June 5th from Leeds to King’s Cross. Other runs to the capital continued like the twelve coach Leeds Central – King’s Cross express on July 7th. Other work included the 6.28 pm King’s Cross – York parcels on January 22nd and March 3rd 1963, an extra Wakefield – King’s Cross passenger on the 9th then an Up freight seen in the London outskirts on the 13th.
A transfer to Neville Hill along with Nos. 60118, 60131, 60146 and 60154 was made on July 28th 1963. From then on Foxhunter worked north of Leeds regularly on summer Saturday extras to Glasgow and taking the 6.29 am ex Birmingham – Gourock CTAC special from Leeds to Glasgow on August 3rd. On the 23rd No. 60134 was seen at Ayr. It was noted working the ex -Marylebone car sleeper into Glasgow in October. The five A1s worked summer relief trains on the Settle and Carlisle line in 1964/65 as well as substituting for failed diesels between Leeds and Newcastle. Runs to the North East for No. 60134 included: being serviced on Gateshead shed on August 6th 1963, then hauling the extra 1Z72 into Newcastle on May 5th 1964, bringing the 1N67 ex -Manchester into Newcastle on the 19th 1964 then being serviced on Gateshead shed afterwards and also from the 29th – 31st. Working the ex-St. Pancras overnight train into Carlisle at 4.49 am to leave eleven minutes later brought No. 60134 to the north west border country on June 5th. It was used further north east with the 2G85 Newcastle – Berwick stopping train on June 29th.
The last recorded working was a Down passenger train at Darlington on July 31st 1965. A sighting of No. 60134 at Neville Hill shed was made on August 21st. Withdrawal on October 4th 1965 came later than many. With 36 A1s already gone it was one of ten to go that month. It had carried five boilers whereas the class average was seven. It was in service over a year and a half longer than the A1 average: 16 years 11 months as opposed to 15 years 2½ months. This was the fourth longest-serving A1. In November 1965 No. 60134 was sold to T.W.Ward, Beighton for scrap.
This history was compiled by Phil Champion based on the RCTS book “Locomotives of the LNER Part 2A”,”The Pioneer” (A1 Steam Locomotive Trust), a database supplied by Tommy Knox of the Gresley Society and various published photographs.