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No. 60137 Redgauntlet

As Darlington Works No. 2056 this was the 13th A1, over a quarter of the way through the construction of the class, the first record of it being on 20th November at the Works, leaving with boiler No. 3926. It was one of eight completed in December 1948, five from Darlington and three from Doncaster. No. 60137 was one of the 23 A1s built by Darlington under an order issued in January 1947. Both the engine and its tender, No. 757, were turned out in LNER-style apple green with white and black lining with ‘BRITISH RAILWAYS’ lettering on the tender. As with other Darlington examples not only did it have countersunk rivets to give a welded rather than riveted finish to the tender and cabsides but the numbers and letters on No. 60137 were in old gold.

It entered service on 3rd December from Gateshead shed where it was the fourth A1 to arrive in what would be a dozen. While it was seen at Darlington shed on the 11th its first recorded working was the 13:15hrs from King’s Cross on the 31st. The up ‘Flying Scotsman’ was hauled from Newcastle by No. 60137 a number of times from January to April 1949, that on 8th February recorded as a thirteen-coach train. An ordinary passenger train, the 16:31hrs from Edinburgh-King’s Cross was taken forward from Newcastle on 22nd January with 14 coaches. Workings into Scotland saw it come back with the up fish train, the 17:35hrs from Edinburgh on 8th January 1949, passing Heaton with it at 23:00hrs on 11th July and working it from Aberdeen to Edinburgh on the 25th.

The locomotive visited Doncaster for a general overhaul during May 1950, including a repaint into BR express passenger blue with black and white lining with the early BR tender emblem, and left bearing the name Redgauntlet.  It was quite early with the naming, being one of a trio named in June with six named previously. However, it was half-way through the appearance of the class in blue being one of four to be repainted to join the 25 already in blue. Redgauntlet was one of those names previously carried by NBR locos, in this case NBR 897/ BR D29 4-4-0 No. 62402 which was withdrawn in June 1949. Redgauntlet was thus one of those A1s named after the historical novels or characters in them of Sir Walter Scott. It describes a fictional third Jacobite rebellion but is said to be largely autobiographical.

Typically, Gateshead engines worked between Edinburgh Waverley and London King’s Cross. Records from this period show No. 60137 on the ‘Flying Scotsman’, the up thirteen coach train from Newcastle on 8th February 1951 and bringing the down train into Newcastle on 30th July. On 7th May it had hauled the Delaval-Holloway ECS, seen leaving Stockton at 11:34hrs with nine bogie coaches and three four-wheelers. During June 1951 the locomotive returned to Doncaster for another ‘General’ including its first boiler change, leaving with boiler No. 29843.  Some 1952 workings took it further afield and unusual was passing Morningside on Edinburgh’s suburban line on 15th August. Redgauntlet hauled the 08:45hrs Edinburgh-Perth on the 27th and 28th. On 27th November it was on the 10:50hrs Cambridge-King’s Cross. Starting the next year with a further overhaul at ‘the Plant’ during February (boiler No. 29851 fitted) which included repainting on BR express passenger green, lined black and orange, becoming one of the last two A1s (the other was No. 60160) to be repainted BR green. 30th May 1953 found it nearer home ground working the 08:47hrs Stockton-King’s Cross.

No. 60137 Redgauntlet at Grantham Shed on 23rd August 1952 – John P. Wilson / RAS

Following a ‘General’ at Doncaster during June 1954, which saw No. 60137 leave carrying boiler No. 10597, ordinary passenger trains on No. 60137’s diagram were the 16:45hrs King’s Cross-Newcastle on 10th September 1954, an arrival at 13:10hrs into King’s Cross on 28th January 1956 and taking a York-Edinburgh train forward from Newcastle on 21st April 1957. October 1955 was spent at Doncaster having a general overhaul and boiler change (No. 29811 fitted) and between 1954 and 1958 No. 60137 could be found on a number of named expresses, the up ‘Queen of Scots’ into Newcastle, the down ‘Flying Scotsman’ and ‘North Briton’ from that city, the down ‘West Riding’ and ‘The Heart of Midlothian’ from King’s Cross and, particularly, the up ‘Heart of Midlothian’ from Newcastle.  Redgauntlet was seen on the ‘Tees-Tyne Pullman’ exiting Gasworks tunnel in early 1957 before another ‘General’ in April (boiler No. 29817 fitted) the later BR crest was applied to the tender.  One unusual working was on 8th April 1956 when it was piloted by Class A8 4-6-2T No. 69850 on the 17:00hrs Newcastle-Liverpool Lime Street as it was diverted via Wellfield in east Co. Durham. By contrast, No. 60137 pulled an up goods into Harrogate at 20:45hrs. Redgauntlet spent Christmas 1958 back at ‘The Plant’ undergoing another general overhaul including the fitting of boiler No. 29887.  Working the up ‘North Briton’ but this time from Edinburgh to Newcastle was done on 20th April 1959. On 13th April 1960 No. 60137 hauled the 16:13hrs Newcastle-Liverpool via Sunderland, albeit in grubby external condition, something which would be remedied during its last general overhaul at Doncaster that August, a repair which saw the locomotive leave with its final boiler to be fitted, No. 10599.

No. 60137 at Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh on 20th June 1959 – D. T. Greenwood / RAS

Like the other A1s new to Gateshead No. 61037 was transferred to Heaton in May 1960. Redgauntlet was seen climbing out of Durham with the 10:10hrs Edinburgh Waverley-King’s Cross express one day in September 1960. ‘The Night Scotsman’ was taken from Newcastle to King’s Cross on 12th March 1962 and the next day it was on the 16:05hrs back up to York. Though in poor external condition it was pictured steaming well after leaving Newcastle with seven Mk Is on the 15:30hrs to Birmingham New Street on 28th May 1962. 8th June found No. 60137 working Edinburgh-Newcastle and back again. An Edinburgh-Newcastle train was again worked on 3rd August and the following day No. 60137 hauled the 1M64 troop train, then still a feature of the railway scene.

Reallocation of all of Heaton’s A1s to Tweedmouth came in September 1962. Here, a breakfast time Berwick-Newcastle passenger, goods trains, and substitutes for failed diesels on mainline work were common. An example of the first was No. 60137 on the 2G85 Berwick-Newcastle on 14th September. The second is shown by bringing a down fitted iron ore train from High Dyke on the 16th followed by going on Heaton shed. The third is typified by bringing the 1A41 ‘Anglo-Scottish Car Carrier’ into Newcastle on the 25th.

An undated photograph of the locomotive in late condition at Grantham – Bill Reed

When withdrawn on 29th October 1962, No. 60137 was just the second A1 to go. It had seven boilers, the class average, in its time, all of them to diagram 118. It was in service well over a year less than the average, 13 years and 10 months instead of the average of 15 years 2½ months. On 6th January it was still at Tweedmouth. This A1 was seen as up light engine at Newcastle at 10:50hrs and was reported stored at Blaydon shed for a while. It was sent to Doncaster Works for scrap on 13th April 1963.

This history was compiled by Phil Champion based on the RCTS book “Locomotives of the LNER Part 2A”, a database supplied by Tommy Knox of the Gresley Society and various published photographs.  Revised and updated by Graham Langer, June 2020.