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No. 2005 Thane of Fife

This page is no longer maintained and as such, some of the information may be out of date.

The penultimate member of the original P2 class entered traffic on the 8th August 1936. No. 2005 Thane of Fife was like its sister locomotives built at Doncaster and gained the works No.1840 and was equipped with boiler 8799. After running in the locomotive was sent to Scotland was allocated to Dundee Tay Bridge shed where it remained for its entire life as a P2. As a locomotive Thane of Fife was another variation on the P2 theme being almost identical to Lord President except that it was equipped with a single chimney.

No. 2005 Thane of Fife when new –  E. Wethersett NRM/SSPL

2005 was the only P2 fitted with a single chimney underneath which was a 6in blastpipe orifice. Some of the A4 class Pacifics were fitted with single chimneys equipped with “jumpers”. These devices allowed the strong blast of the locomotive exhaust to lift and outer casing that increased the size of the blastpipe orifice. A decision was made to fit this device to No. 2005 in December 1938 with actual fitment taking place during a works visit in April 1939. With the jumper fitted and in operation the blastpipe orifice on Thane of Fife could be increased from 6 inches to 6.25 inches.

No. 2005 Thane of Fife showing the single chimney – Transport Treasury

No. 2005 was withdrawn for rebuilding as a Pacific on 26th October 1942 having completed 225,739 miles as a 2-8-2 locomotive. The engine was the first of the P2 fleet to be so treated and returned to traffic on the 18th January 1943 without its nameplates. These were refitted over a year later in June 1944. The engine was run in and tested at Doncaster before being sent to Haymarket shed in April 1943.  Whilst reporting to the Board, Thompson quoted that, “The converted engine has now been in service for some time and has proved entirely satisfactorily in that it has not only be able loads at least equal to the stipulated maximum load of the P2 Class on the Edinburgh to Aberdeen section, but has also been remarkably free from mechanical trouble, so that is has been consistently available for traffic.”  Based on this report the Board authorised the conversion of the rest of the P2 class. However, all was not as good as it seemed, for although No. 2005 had required no work in the few months since conversion to the report being issued, the engine visited the works 45 times in less than 20 years during its life as an A2/2.

Thane of Fife rebuilt as a Pacific by Thompson and numbered 60505 by British Railways – P2SLC Collection

During its working life the engine carried a number of boilers. After rebuilding it carried its original P2 boiler, albeit with modifications. In March 1952 the engine was fitted with a brand new boiler No. 29872 before receiving boiler No.29820 from engine No. 60154 in January 1954. During another works visit in October 1955 the engine gained boiler No.29826 from locomotive No. 60149 before receiving its final boiler, No.29786 from No. 60520 in September 1957.  Originally the A2/2 class had been allocated the number 990-995 in the renumbering program. Thane of Fife received 994 on the 25th April 1946 and was the only A2/2 to carry any of these planned numbers. This was swiftly changed to 505 on the 12th May 1946. In June 1948 the engine was finally numbered 60505. In December 1949 the engine was transferred to New England shed, Peterborough were the engine saw out the rest of its working life before final withdrawal at Doncaster and scrapping after 673,464 miles as an A2/2.