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No. 60141 Abbotsford

This was the last of five A1s which appeared from Darlington Works in December 1948 to add to Doncaster’s trio which joined the dozen A1s already in service and its construction was about a third of the way through the class. Works No. 2060 was painted in apple green with black and white lining and ‘BRITISH RAILWAYS’ lettering on the tender and left equipped with boiler No. 3934. It was one of the last few to appear in these colours. Initial allocation was to York shed (YK) and its first recorded run was the 14:12hrs Darlington-Leeds on 9th February 1949. It was on the same working six days later. On 6th October it departed Stockton at 13:38hrs with a seven coach Leeds-Newcastle train.

Along with Nos. 60140 and 60149 it was transferred to King’s Cross (KX) in October 1949. The first named train noted for No. 60141 was a down Pullman seen at Rossington.  In May 1950 it moved to Copley Hill (37B) with three other A1s to join a trio there. That month, following a general overhaul at Doncaster, it was repainted in BR blue with black and white lining, being about halfway through the class to appear in blue. It was also one of the first to be named, four being named that month to follow the two already so treated. Abbotsford was one of 17 names to come from the NBR ‘Scott’ or ‘Atlantic’ classes and the name refers to Sir Walter Scott’s home on the banks of the River Tweed in the Scottish Borders. Workings were between Leeds and King’s Cross. A repaint into BR green with orange and black lining was done in September 1951 after a heavy intermediate repair at Doncaster. No. 60141 was one of the first of these repaints, along with Nos. 60131 and 60139 done that month it joined the first three previous repaints.

The locomotive spent most of February and March 1953 at Doncaster undergoing a heavy general repair which included fitting its first replacement boiler, No. 29843.  Abbotsford brought the up ‘Queen of Scots’ into King’s Cross on 20th May 1952 and was to be seen a number of times throughout the 1950s on this train or departing the capital with its down run. it brought a Cup Final special into King’s Cross on 2nd May 1953. A heavy train was the 430 ton 23:30hrs King’s Cross-Grantham on  12th July. No. 60141 was noted three times on the up ‘Bradford Flyer’ between 1953 and 1956. Detailed observation of King’s Cross departures between late September 1956 and January 1957 noted No. 60141 50 times, mainly on the 15:40hrs or 18:15hrs to Leeds but also on the noon down ‘Queen of Scots’ and the 07:50hrs King’s Cross-Newcastle/Bradford. Other ‘namers’ included the up ‘Yorkshire Pullman’ on 20th June 1959 and the 09:10hrs ‘White Rose’ of 26th September.

Abbotsford at the Outlet Signal, King’s Cross Top Shed in 1957 – Peter Townend

The locomotive visited ‘The Plant’ four more times during the 1950’s for general overhauls, October 1953 (30 days) leaving carrying boiler No. 29834, March 1956 (38 days), fitted with boiler No. 10595, September 1957 (30 days), boiler No. 10636 and July 1959 (36 days), boiler No. 29812, it was also one of a number of A1s to lose their electric lamps and Stones turbo-generator.  The early 1960s found Abbotsford working to Newcastle as it was serviced at Gateshead shed on 16th September 1960 where it was recorded several more times up to 1962. ‘Namers’ to and from west Yorkshire included the down ‘West Riding’, the up ‘Harrogate Sunday Pullman’, ‘The Yorkshire Pullman’, ’The Queen of Scots’ and ‘The White Rose’. However, on 1st November 1962 it failed at Retford with the 18:12hrs King’s Cross-Leeds. It was back in the North East on 4th January 1963 with the 17:35hrs King’s Cross-Newcastle which it worked throughout. Next day it was on the up ‘Queen of Scots’ but this time from Newcastle to Leeds.  Copley Hill’s shedmaster was quoted in Peter Townend’s book East Coast Pacifics as saying that No. 60141 was unique among his Darlington-built A1s for its good riding qualities. It was considered one of the shed’s best A1s in the early 1960s.

No. 60141 leaves Doncaster with a Pullman train on 27th May 1961 – Mike Mountford

Its final overhaul and boiler change at Doncaster were undertaken during March 1961, acquiring its final boiler, No. 29883, thereafter maintenance moved to Darlington for the A1s.  A move back to York North (50A) with four other A1s came in September 1963 to join the nine already shedded there. It was seen many times being serviced at Gateshead shed. On 20th and 24th December it brought in a train originating in Manchester into Newcastle as it did on 12th June the next year. On 6th April 1964 it hauled the 2G85 Newcastle-Berwick stopping train, a common A1 working by now, and the Berwick-Newcastle ‘stopper’ on the 8th. The final train recorded was on 13th June when it ventured into Scotland and hauled the 1N26 Glasgow -Scarborough from Edinburgh to Newcastle.

Abbotsford reverses out of King’s Cross on 1st September 1962 – Eric Vogel

It was one of two withdrawn on 5th October 1964. With 19 gone No. 60141’s withdrawal was nearly halfway through the elimination of the class. Its service life of 15 years 10 months was 7½ months longer than the A1 average. Seven different boilers had been carried, all of diagram 118 design. It was sold to A. Draper of Hull in December for scrap.

Abbotsford at Gateshead MPD in 1964 - Chris Nettleton

Nearing the end, No. 60141 at Gateshead on 16th May 1964 – Michael Denholm

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, ‘The Power of the A1s’ by Gavin Morrison and various published photographs.  Revised and updated by Graham Langer, July 2020.