Skip to main content

No. 60147 North Eastern

By 28th February 1949 boiler No. 3956 for Works No. 2066 was mounted onto Darlington’s 18th A1. When it emerged in April it had the usual Darlington finish of smooth cabside and tender with the rivets being countersunk to give this appearance. No. 60147 was one of four completed that month. It was about two-thirds through the build for the class. Livery was apple green, black and white lining and ‘BRITISH RAILWAYS’ painted in white on the tender. Allocated to Gateshead (GHD) on 13th April it was one of a dozen to receive its first allocation there. As was usual with Gateshead’s A1s it roamed the main line between the two capitals, being seen in Darlington, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Newark and on King’s Cross shed. The first trains detailed are the 13:15hrs ex-King’s Cross on 16th May and taking the 10:05hrs from King’s Cross to Glasgow forward from Newcastle on 20th July. No. 60147’s first named trains were the up ‘Tees-Tyne Pullman’ on 26th and 27th July 26th. It passed through Stockton on a diverted Newcastle to King’s Cross train at 11:30hrs on 11th September pulling 11 coaches.

Casual light repairs were done at Gateshead Works from 11th to 17th October. A trip to west Yorkshire came on 5th February 1950 when No. 60147 ran into Leeds City station. A common A1 turn was to double-head the Delaval to Holloway ECS and No. 60147 did this on 28th April when it pulled 18 coaches with Class B16 No. 61442 between Stockton and Thirsk.  Doncaster Works was entered on 13th May for casual light repairs which lasted until the 30th and from now on Doncaster was where works attention took place.  Sightings between York, Newcastle and Edinburgh continued with it being seen on St. Margarets shed on 22nd October. The next day it worked the 19:35hrs Niddrie to King’s Cross.

Following a heavy intermediate overhaul in November 1950, No. 60147 was one of three A1s to appear in BR express passenger blue, about two-thirds of the way through the class. A short working nearer the southern end of the main line was the 14:35hrs Peterborough to Grantham on 24th March 1951, the next train of note being a football special from Newcastle to King’s Cross on April 14th. More named trains were the down ‘Heart of Midlothian’ from Peterborough to 2nd June, down ‘Night Scotsman’ and up ‘Flying Scotsman’ three times each in the last quarter of the year-twice No. 60147 working into King’s Cross on the up ‘Scotsman’ and returning on the ‘Night Scotsman’.  After just nine months in its new colours it was one of the first three to be repainted into BR green in August following another heavy intermediate.  Shorter runs between York and Newcastle happened twice in November and Grantham was the starting point of two December workings with No. 60147 taking the ex 17:35hrs from King’s Cross forward to York on the 21st then hauling a train from Grantham to Newcastle on Christmas Eve.

North Eastern at Grantham Shed on 11th June 1952 – John P. Wilson / RAS

After a heavy casual repair at Doncaster, naming took place in March 1952, the second last of the 49 A1s to be named. No. 60147 was one of a quartet named after the LNER’s constituent companies, its nameplate had a curved top to include the hand-painted coat of arms and these took longer to make than the normal nameplates. As such North Eastern was something of a special A1 to see, especially in its native North East.  While 1952 had several sightings of it on the up ‘Flying Scotsman’ from Newcastle that for 4th November recorded No. 60147 failed at Newark and replaced by No. 60155 Borderer. Following a general overhaul at Doncaster during May and June when it underwent its first boiler change (for boiler No. 29825), during the summer of 1953 North Eastern had a number of runs into Scotland, as was normal for a Gateshead A1. Noted on Haymarket shed on 31st July and 9th August it hauled the 09:50hrs ex-Aberdeen from Edinburgh to Glasgow on 5th September then the next day took the Glasgow to King’s Cross train as far as Newcastle. Another named train was the down 14:00hrs ‘Heart of Midlothian’ on 6th January 1954 which departed just 25 minutes after No. 60147 arrived with a train from Newcastle. 8th September brought a diversion over the Waverley route with an East Coast express. After a further general overhaul at ‘The Plant’ in November which saw it leave carrying boiler No. 29843, December 1954 and January 1955 had three recorded workings on the down ‘North Briton’ from Newcastle.  After bringing the up ‘Flying Scotsman’ into Newcastle on 2nd July 1955, North Eastern went onto the 14:35hrs Newcastle to Leeds, returning with the 17:00hrs to Newcastle double-heading with Class D49 No. 62726 The Meynell which came off at York. The York to Edinburgh parcels was brought into Newcastle a couple of times at 11:35hrs during the interim and a return to the Waverley route came 11 days later with the 06:30hrs Edinburgh to Carlisle returning to the Scottish capital at 15:30hrs. The locomotive handled the down ‘Tees-Tyne Pullman’ of 5th August and, after another general at Doncaster during March (boiler No. 29838 fitted), it was working further south, taking a down goods round the Hertford loop on 2nd May 1956. The ultimate accolade of the Royal Train was attained on 4th June when it took the 10 coaches from Redmarshall East to Stockton and Redcar, the conclusion of a working conveying HM the Queen and HRH the Duke of Edinburgh from Kings’ Cross.

The later 1950s found North Eastern continuing its main line work with passenger trains including the up morning and evening ‘Talisman’, the ‘Heart of Midlothian’ from Newcastle to King’s Cross or vice versa, the down ‘North Briton’, the up ‘Flying Scotsman’ into Newcastle or from it and ‘The Aberdonian’ into or out of King’s Cross. There were a number of uncommon workings and parcels or goods in the North East were hauled from time to time. Seven times between November 1956 and January 1957 No. 60147 ventured into the East Midlands with the Colwick to King’s Cross goods. On 22nd January it worked a train from Leeds to King’s Cross arriving at 11:43hrs and returning with the 15:40hrs ‘West Riding’. No. 60147 paid another visit to Doncaster in October/November for a general repair, leaving with boiler No. 29803, it then took a sleeper into King’s Cross on 17th December. A cross-country working from Carlisle to Newcastle started at 14:00hrs on 31st May 1958. Another double-header was on Sunday 17th August with the 17:00hrs Newcastle to Liverpool with Class D49 No. 62753 The Belvoir on from Bilton.

After concluding 1959 with a ‘General’ at Doncaster which included equipping the locomotive with boiler No. 29823, No. 60147 was transferred to Heaton shed (52B) on 11th September 1960. The sphere of operation was generally the same, sightings including Grantham, King’s Cross, Newcastle and Tweedmouth with servicing being done at Gateshead shed. The locomotive paid its last visit to ‘The Plant’ in July 1961 and acquired its final boiler, No. 29812, before returning to traffic that August.  While hauling ‘The Flying Scotsman’ in both directions was still rostered, North Eastern also appeared on sleeper trains, the up sleeper into King’s Cross on 8th September 1961 then two days later the down 1A62 20:05hrs King’s Cross to Perth car sleeper. On the 16th it hauled the Royal Train from Newcastle to Hitchin, the final leg of a journey from Ballater carrying HM the Queen and HRH the Duke of Ediniburgh and members of the family, the train included Royal Saloons Nos. 5155, 9007 (the Western Region Saloon), 2900, 799, 798, 499, 2901, 495, 806, 77, 31209. 6th November found No. 60147 up in Scotland on the 16:03hrs Edinburgh to Perth train though three days later it was on York shed. West Yorkshire was visited on 26th November when it was noted passing Starbeck. In December 1961 and January 1962 North Eastern travelled the length of the East Coast Main Line working an increasing variety of trains  including the 8.55 am additional Aberdeen to King’s Cross meat train from its starting point. On New Year’s Day 1962 it brought the up ‘Queen of Scots’ into Newcastle before going off to Gateshead shed. A week later it left King’s Cross with 11 coaches on the 11:00hrs to Aberdeen. The mix of work continued with the York to Newcastle parcels of 10th February arriving at 15:45hrs and taking the up Cemflo wagons past Darlington at 14:00hrs.

Great EasternSilurian and and Boswell at York MPD, 2nd April 1964 – Nigel Kendall

No. 60147 is seen at Gateshead in 1964 - Chris Nettleton

North Eastern was one of a number of A1s reallocated to Tweedmouth (52D) on 9th September 1962 though it was regularly seen on Gateshead, Haymarket and Heaton sheds. Specials, local trains and goods seemed to feature. On 23rd September it worked the Edinburgh to Blackpool special as far as Carlisle returning the next morning with the train which had left Blackpool at 12:20hrs. Typical of the goods trains were the up seed potatoes train passing Newcastle at 09:50hrs and the 7S02 Gainsborough to Uphall Shell tanks. The locomotive’s use on the 2G85 Berwick to Newcastle ‘stopper’ was first noted on 26th January 1963. The Waverley and Settle & Carlisle lines were covered on 29th January 1963 when No. 60147 worked the up ‘Waverley’ from Edinburgh to Leeds. Three times in early February it was noted on Leeds Neville Hill shed and often main line trains from Glasgow or Edinburgh were brought in by No. 60147 to Newcastle. Other duties were goods like the down working from Heaton yard on 13th April or parcels trains, usually between Berwick and Newcastle, though it brought in the York to Edinburgh parcels to Newcastle on 29th October. The last record of North Eastern on a named train was the up ‘Northumbrian’ on 11th September. A visit further south came on 14th November when it hauled the 07:50hrs from Newcastle into King’s Cross, was stationed on New England shed 10 days later, then returned north next day on the 22:55hrs King’s Cross to York parcels.

A superb, undated image of No. 60147 in late condition on Haymarket shed – Bill Reed

During No. 60147’s final year it worked between Edinburgh and Newcastle with the same mix of passenger, parcels and goods. An unusual working was the 14:42hrs Corstophine to Edinburgh train before working the 15:30hrs to Berwick. After hauling the Newcastle to York parcels on 15th May it worked double-headed light engine to Grantham with No. 60119 Patrick Stirling where the latter was to pick up an overnight down sleeper. The last goods noted was an up class C passing Aycliffe on 6th August and the last passenger working recorded was an up passenger which arrived in Newcastle at 15:00hrs on the 20th. Eight days later No. 60147 was withdrawn, the 18th A1 to go. It was seen at York shed throughout October then at Hull Dairycoates shed on 8th November. Eight days later cutting up started at Drapers scrapyard in Hull, No. 60147 being the second of 10 A1s scrapped there.

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.  Revised and updated by Graham Langer, July 2020.