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No. 60148 Aboyeur

Works No. 2067 was Darlington’s 19th A1. It was first recorded in Darlington Works yard on 14th May 1949 carrying boiler No. 3957. The finish was the Darlington A1 standard with smooth cabsides and tender due to the use of countersunk rivets.  Livery was the early BR scheme of LNER apple green with black and white lining and ‘BRITISH RAILWAYS’ painted in white on the tender.  No. 60148 was one of four to be completed that month along with No. 60149 from Darlington and Nos. 60127/28 from Doncaster.  With 31 A1s already having been completed they were about two-thirds of the way through the build of the class.  On 25th May No. 60148 entered service from Grantham shed (GRA), one of four first A1s allocated there.  With three spells at Grantham out of nine allocations, No. 60148 was to be the most re-allocated A1.  The first run noted was the 14:05hrs Darlington to Leeds train on 4th June.  After a spell in Darlington Works between 9th and 22nd June for non-classified repairs, No. 60148 was soon travelling around the main line and into west Yorkshire.  The day it was released from repairs it was seen later in Newcastle. On 25th June it arrived at King’s Cross at 18:30hrs with a train from Newcastle.  Three days later it arrived in the capital on a train from Leeds.  On 1st August No. 60148 was back on Tyneside being seen at Heaton Junction while on the 6th it was heading that way when it passed Northallerton with a 14 coach King’s Cross-Newcastle train.  On the 31st it was back at King’s Cross shed at 15:00hrs. An alternative route through County Durham was worked on 4th October when No. 60148 restarted its Liverpool-Newcastle train of LMR stock from the Stockton stop at 14:51hrs.  Most sightings into the next year were between Newcastle and the capital.

Transfer to King’s Cross shed (34A) came on 4th June 1950, being one of a quartet based there then, still working trains between the capital and Tyneside.   A shorter run was the 10:40hrs King’s Cross-Peterborough on 2nd July.  After a heavy intermediate repair at Doncaster, it was one of four to be repainted into BR blue in January 1951, 33 having already appeared in this livery.  While in the works it had been named Aboyeur, being one of 13 A1s named after racehorses. Aboyeur, despite being an outsider, had won the 1913 Derby which was infamous for suffragette action though not involving that horse which went on to have a very interesting life; sold to stud in Russia and ridden to the Crimea to escape the revolution to be evacuated on a British warship, the horse was last heard of standing at stud in Serbia.  The first record of No. 60148 on a named train was the up ‘Tees-Tyne Pullman’ of 8th February 1951.  The first sighting on a goods train was with a No. 1 goods in London on 20th August. 9th September 1951 marked the start of its second spell at Grantham shed (now 35B) as one of eight there.  Its duties continued between Newcastle and King’s Cross with trains via Stockton too. Slightly different was the 13 coach Sunderland to Kings Cross leaving Stockton at 08:47hrs on 31st May 1952.  That July Aboyeur was one of a pair repainted into BR green with the early emblem following its first general overhaul and boiler change (boiler No. 29826 being fitted).  With 32 having already been repainted, No. 60148 was again about two-thirds of the way through the class to be treated. More named trains were hauled by No. 60148 including the down ‘Flying Scotsman’ on 3rd and 27th March 1953 from King’s Cross plus the down ‘Aberdonian’ from the capital on 8th July before returning to Doncaster for another ‘General’ in September during which it acquired boiler No. 29874.

 Aboyeur on ‘The Northumbrian’ at Grantham in May 1953 – Peter Townend

Transfer to Copley Hill shed (37B) came on 18th October to join tem other A1s.  This again led to appearances between west Yorkshire and London.  The up ‘Yorkshire Pullman’ was hauled on 1st January 1954.  Next day No. 60148 was on the 18:18hrs King’s Cross-Leeds but failed with a burst train heat pipe.  On 11th April it was on Bradford shed.  Aboyeur’s third spell shedded at Grantham started on 2nd May 1954.  It pulled the down ‘Flying Scotsman’ into Newcastle nine times over the next year.  Other trains both ways between Newcastle and King’s Cross were worked such as the 15:00hrs King’s Cross-Newcastle on 10th July and the 22:35hrs up ‘Tynesider’ from Newcastle on 8th August.  Trains between Leeds and King’s Cross were worked too like the 12:35hrs from Leeds on 18th January 1955.  The locomotive returned to Doncaster for another general overhaul during April, leaving the works with boiler No. 29879.  Following its retuen to traffic, an example of its diagramming was when Aboyeur pulled the 07:20hrs Bradford-King’s Cross on 30th July then worked back with the 14:10hrs King’s Cross-Leeds. 12th August found No. 60148 leaving the capital at 19:00hrs with the down ‘Aberdonian’.

A return to Copley Hill’s roster came on 28th August 1955 where it stayed for nine years, its longest allocation. The focus was more on Yorkshire workings with trains to/from Bradford and Leeds and London.  The down ‘Queen of Scots’ was worked many times over the next few years.  On 27th January 1956 it was recorded on the balancing return working was the up ‘Bradford Flyer’ but on 8th February, however, No. 60148 failed at Grantham with the down ‘Queen of Scots’. A goods working was the Ardsley East Goods-King’s Cross Goods on 26th January.  On 21st May it worked a Leeds-King’s Cross special. Named trains in Aboyeur’s charge included the up ‘Harrogate Sunday Pullman’ on 27th May, the down ‘Aberdonian’ on 10th November and the 23:45hrs down ‘Tynesider’ a fortnight later although the locomotive had spent September at ‘The Plant’ undergoing a ‘General’ and receiving boiler No. 29872.  The up ‘Yorkshire Pullman’ was a regular turn and No. 60148 arrived at the ‘Cross each day from 19th – 23rd February 1957 at 14:24hrs then returned on the 18:15hrs down departure. Other regular departures to Leeds were the 11:33hrs and 13:18hrs trains. 14th September was notable for No. 60148 on the down ‘West Riding’. On Saturday 10th May 1958 it arrived at King’s Cross at 11:02hrs with a 12 coach Rugby Cup Final special from Leeds, returning next morning at 00:45hrs to Leeds.  During a general overhaul in September 1958 the locomotive was fitted with boiler No. 29810 and the later BR crest was applied to the tender.  Regular workings continued into 1958 and 1959 of ‘The Queen of Scots’, ‘Yorkshire Pullman’, ‘Harrogate Sunday Pullman’, ‘The West Riding’ and also the up ‘White Rose’ on 8th July 1958 – appropriate trains to be hauled by a ‘racehorse’.  A shorter run was the 14:05hrs five coach Leeds to Doncaster train on 18th October.  The down ‘Flying Scotsman’ was worked again on 11th December 1958.9th January 1959 saw No. 60148 on the up morning ‘Talisman’.  A different diagram was working the up ‘Northumbrian’ into King’s Cross on 29th October.  On 11th November Aboyeur hauled the ‘West Riding’ both ways, first with the up train, returning with the down run.

No. 60148 is seen at Sandy in 1962 – Nick Totty

The same type of workings continued into the 1960s with extra ones of note like the down ‘Tees-Tyne Pullman’ of 18th February 1960 and a shorter working in the 16:19hrs King’s Cross-Peterborough on the 26th.  On 3rd March its down train from the capital passed Lincoln on a Sunday diversion.  Sundays 1st and 8th May (up) and 22nd had No. 60148’s down trains rerouted via Cambridge, with the last one being the ‘Harrogate Sunday Pullman’.   A few trips were made back to the North East.  On 23rd July it hauled the 10:56hrs Ripon-Kings Cross into Grantham then left northwards with the 14:45hrs King’s Cross-Newcastle, being serviced afterwards on Gateshead shed.  Next day it returned south with a 12 coach train for King’s Cross.  On 9th September it was noted on a day trip from Newcastle to London but it returned to Doncaster for its last overhaul in November, being equipped with its last boiler, No. 29800.  During 1961 and 1962 a common working was the 1N25 18:12hrs King’s Cross-Leeds with 11, 12 or 13 coaches.  Into 1963 while still regularly hauling the 07:45hrs or 09:42hrs from Leeds to King’s Cross Aboyeur started to appear on parcels trains as a return working.  The 18:32hrs King’s Cross to York parcels was hauled several times in the early part of the year with 19 vehicles on 15th February and 11 on 29th March. On 6th February however the return working was the 23:50hrs sleeper from King’s Cross. Named trains hauled during 1963 included the down ‘Tees-Tyne Pullman’ on 25th January, the up ‘Harrogate Sunday Pullman’ on 16th April and the down ‘Queen of Scots’ from Leeds to Newcastle on 22nd May, which was its last recorded ‘namer’.  A couple of goods turns appeared, an up goods at York on 23rd March and an up fitted goods at Wakefield at 21:25hrs on 3rd May.  The last passenger train was a 04:10hrs up into King’s Cross on 29th May.  Early June saw No. 60148 noted four times on the 3N10 18:32hrs King’s Cross to York parcels, the final working of Aboyeur being that for 11th June.  It did work up to Tyneside at least twice as it was serviced on Gateshead shed on 9th August 1963 and 3rd April 1964.

Aboyeur is seen at King’s Cross in this undated view – Chris Ardy

From 23rd August 1963 it was observed on Ardsley shed (56B) a number of times, being transferred there on 6th September.  After being stored there from 25th October No. 60148 was transferred to Gateshead shed joining seven others on 6th December.  Ten days later it was on an up passenger train which arrived in Newcastle at 10:26hrs then at 10:45hrs worked an up ECS past Tyne Yard; a number of times later that month it was seen on Gateshead shed (52A).  The final reallocation came on 3rd January 1965 when it went back to Ardsley (56B) to join No. 60117.  Half a dozen times over the next five months it was seen on shed but on 16th March it brought the 09:00hrs ex-Liverpool into Newcastle then took the 15:16hrs train back.  On 21st June Aboyeur was withdrawn.  It was noted lying withdrawn at Ardsley until 21st August.  It was seen at Darlington with the same status the next day, its last sighting.  No. 60148 was one of eight withdrawn that month, with 27 having gone earlier so its withdrawal was about two-thirds of the way through the class.  It was moved to Arnott Young at Dinsdale to become the only A1 they scrapped.

Like most of the class No. 60148 had seven boilers in its lifetime, all of them to diagram 118.  With a service life of 16 years one month it lasted nearly a year longer than the average for the class.  Though the Peppercorn A1s could have lasted longer had it not been for mass dieselisation, they certainly worked hard, as No. 60148’s history shows.

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.