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No. 60151 Midlothian

No. 60151 was built at Darlington Works, Works Number 2070, completed 30th June 1949 with Diagram 118 boiler No. 3958 fitted and turned out apple green with ‘BRITISH RAILWAYS’ in Gill Sans on the flush-rivetted tender.  Initially allocated to Gateshead (GHD), it was one of 12 A1s originally shedded there.  During its first couple of years in traffic it was stopped for repairs a number of times, firstly at Darlington Works, for an ‘Unclassified’, on 12th July 1949 leaving on 15th of the same month and then it became one of the first peppercorn A1s to visit Gateshead Works for a ‘Light Casual’ from 3rd to 5th May 1950, returning there between 22nd and 26th June same year for another ‘Light Casual’.  One of the earliest workings the locomotive was recorded on was a Newcastle-Bristol train on 19th October 1949 but there are more sightings during 1950 starting with a football special to King’s Cross on 28th January before being noted on what was to be a regular turn, the 11:30hrs empty coaching stock Delaval-Holloway on 21st April, double-headed with B1 No. 61237, a duty repeated on 2nd (with No. 61237 again) and 25th May (with B1 No. 61339 Inyala) and one which could involve enormous rakes of carriages.  On 1st October No. 60151 was seen handling the 14:31hrs Sunderland-Leeds train from Stockton, on the 14th of that month it took the down ‘Flying Scotsman’ forward from Grantham and on the 20th it worked the 17:19 Bristol-Newcastle into Stockton.

At the beginning of 1951 No. 60151 was called into Doncaster Works for a ‘General’ repair, arriving on 15th January.  Work undertaken at this time included fitting Diagram 118 boiler No. 29802 and repainting in the new BR express passenger blue livery, lined out in black and white.  Before the locomotive left ‘The Plant’ it was christened Midlothian.  Midlothian is at the centre of Walter Scott’s ‘Waverley’ series, and ‘The Heart of Midlothian’ has always been regarded as one of Scott’s finest, opening with the Edinburgh riots of 1736. The people of the city, infuriated by the actions of John Porteous, Captain of the Guard, ignore the Queen and resolve to take their own revenge when they hear that his death has been reprieved by the distant monarch. At the centre of the story is Edinburgh’s forbidding Tolbooth prison, known by all as the ‘Heart of Midlothian’, a name coined by both a Scottish football team and British Railways for a London-Edinburgh express from 1951 to 1968.

After its release from Doncaster on 1st March it was recorded on the up ‘Flying Scotsman’ on the 3rd, 12th, 14th and 16th of the same month.  Appropriately the locomotive was allocated the up ‘Heart of Midlothian’, relieving No. 60160 Auld Reekie from Newcastle, and on the down service of the same train on both 24th (ex-King’s Cross) and 25th (into Newcastle) of May. Midlothian was recorded bringing the up ‘Flying Scotsman’ into King’s Cross a number of times that summer but was back on those empty coaching stock turns from Stockton in October, handing a huge 28 vehicle rake with No. 61237 (again!) on 1st, a fifteen coach consist on 3rd, including four and six-wheel vans, double-heading with ‘Hunt’ Class D49 No. 62742 The Braes of Derwent and the 11:37hrs working on 11th with Class B16 No. 61412.  Midlothian had an unusual start to 1952, working a single coach special from York to Leeds on 29th January for passengers alighting at York who had missed their connection because the Aberdeen-King’s Cross service was running late – those were the days!  A visit to Doncaster Works from 7th May to 11th June saw No. 60151 fitted with boiler No. 29801 (Diagram 118) during a general overhaul which also found the locomotive leave with the BR express passenger livery applied.  Workings during the rest of 1952 included the down ‘Northumbrian’ on 2nd August and trains originating from York and King’s Cross.

Work on the East Coast Main Line (ECML) dominated 1953 only being interrupted by a journey to Birmingham with 15:55hrs ex-Newcastle service to that city. A works visit during most of August resulted in 60151 being equipped with boiler No. 29864 and returning to Gateshead to assume the lion’s share of up ‘Night Scotsman’ trains to King’s Cross, the locomotive becoming a regular visitor to the capital with this express throughout the autumn and into the new year.  However, a change during 1954 saw a new pattern set by Gateshead which started to use its roller-bearing A1s Nos. 60154 and 60155 for the ‘Night Scotsman’, No. 60150 Willbrook and Midlothian only getting a look-in once a fortnight when the former pair enjoyed a ‘shed day’.  This resulted in a greater variety of work and No. 60151 was noted taking the up ‘Heart of Midlothian’ forward from Newcastle on 30th January before being stopped for tender repairs at Cowlairs on 13th May.  ECML work provided most of the locomotive’s employment for the rest of the year although it was noted with a Colchester service arriving at Newcastle on 24th July.  Early 1955 found No. 60151 working the northern end of the ECML, relieving No. 60162 Saint Johnstoun on the up ‘Heart of Midlothian’ at Newcastle on 15th January, bringing the 11:35hrs York-Edinburgh parcels service into that city on 5th February and handling a York-Edinburgh train from there on 21st of the same month.  The locomotive spent April at ‘The Plant’ for a ‘General’ before returning to traffic, the diet of work being much the same until June and July which found No. 60151 working a fair number of both up and down ‘Night Scotsman’ trains before the locomotive returned to more general duties in August.  Some variety appeared in September with Midlothian ‘on shed’ at Berwick as a standby Royal Locomotive on 7th September and working the up ‘Tees-Tyne Pullman’ on the 30th of that month.

No. 60151 is seen on ‘The Tees-Tyne Pullman’ at Hatfield in 1957 – Robin Gibson

Operations during 1956 continued much as before, named trains in the first half of that year including ‘The North Briton’, ‘The Heart of Midlothian’, ‘The Flying Scotsman’ and ‘The Night Scotsman’ before the locomotive was called into Doncaster for a ‘General’ on 13th July, leaving on 15th August carrying boiler No. 9662.  From September 1956 until the arrival of the diesels, Gateshead A1s often worked to Grantham with the up ‘Flying Scotsman’ and ‘Heart of Midlothian’, also handling the up ‘Aberdonian’ as far as Peterborough, No. 60151 taking her share of these duties.  From October Midlothian was frequently rostered on the up ‘Night Scotsman’ and the balancing down service of the same name, work that continued to occupy it until February 1957 when it started to find more work in the north east including a number of turns on the up ‘Flying Scotsman either into or out of Newcastle.  On 31st March 1957 Midlothian was recorded with the 13:05hrs Newcastle-Sunderland-King’s Cross train, diverted because of engineering work at Villette Road, Sunderland.  1958 opened with No. 60151 visiting ‘The Plant’ for an ‘Unclassified’ repair which did, however, see it leave on 6th February with boiler No. 29838.  The first quarter of that year found the locomotive regularly beating a path up and down the ECML, accumulating some of the high mileage the A1s were famous for, one slightly unusual working being a King’s Cross-Niddrie goods which was diverted via Cambridge on 10th April, before re-visiting Doncaster for an unclassified repair during May.  This pattern of work continued into 1959, interrupted by a works visit to Doncaster during April with the boiler changed for No. 29849 before a resumption of East Coast duties including turns on ‘The Talisman’ and ‘The Tees-Tyne Pullman’

Midlothian is seen at York on 18th May 1959 – Richard Greenwood

On 15th May 1960 Midlothian was re-allocated to Heaton Shed (52B) and following this the locomotive seems to have spent more time in the north east, mostly working express passenger trains although it was observed on Birmingham-Newcastle and Bournemouth-Newcastle trains on 2nd July.  A visit to ‘The Plant’ during August involved a change to a Diagram 117 boiler, No. 29785, the locomotive being out-shopped on 14th September.  ‘Inter regionals’ during the next few months included the 12:37hrs Newcastle-Bristol service on 8th October and 24th December and working 1V66, the 10:10hrs Newcastle-Swansea as far as York, another train of note being the 1A62 20:05hrs King’s Cross-Perth sleeper on 16th July, traditionally a heavy train.  No. 60151 concluded 1961 with calling into Doncaster for a ‘Light Casual’, emerging just before Christmas.  Workings of note during 1962 encompassed ‘The Heart of Midlothian’ and ‘The Waverley’ but increasingly pedestrian trains were now creeping into Midlothian’s life and the locomotive was noted working freight trains on 20th April, 19th May and 30th/31st May as well as ‘The Anglo-Scottish Car Carrier’ on 29th May and the slightly less prosaic ‘Up Fish’ on 12th July!  The 14th July marks the first recorded visit by No. 60151 to Scarborough on a Saturday special, A1s didn’t normally work to Scarborough since the turntable was too small for them (something only recently rectified!) and the locomotive would have to work back light engine to the ECML to turn, however, Midlothian was to be found working Glasgow-Scarborough and Scarborough-Glasgow trains at Newcastle on 21st and 28th July, further summer Saturday turns.

This undated view finds the locomotive in later condition at Haymarket Shed – Bill Reed

Called into Doncaster for a ‘General’ repair which lasted from 29th August 1962 until 2nd November, No. 60151 left carrying boiler No. 29860 (this time a Diagram 118 boiler).  The locomotive was transferred to Tweedmouth Shed (52D) on 9th September (half-way through its overhaul) to work goods trains and one regular passenger turn, the 07:28hrs Berwick-Newcastle as well as to be one of the standby locomotives to cover diesel failures. However, its initial stay at its new shed lasted barely a month before it was towed back to Doncaster by Class V2 No. 60864 in the company of A3 No. 60090 Grand Parade on 19th December.  Whatever was ailing Midlothian seems to have been hard to resolve, following a ‘Light Casual’ from 20th December until 10th January 1963, the locomotive was back again on 5th February for further attention until 12th of the same month.  Once back in traffic, notable duties during the next few months included the 4E15 07:29hrs Millerhill-Doncaster seed potatoes and another turn on ‘The Anglo-Scottish Car Carrier’ on 30th May but otherwise much of the work was as before until it made a further visit to Doncaster on 20th June for an ‘Unclassified’ which lasted until 11th July.  Midlothian spent much of the rest of 1963 confined to handling trains in the north east before being taken to Darlington Works in February 1964 for a ‘Light Casual’ followed by barely a month in traffic before it returned thence for an unclassified repair.  A humdrum schedule kept No. 60151 occupied for most of 1964, one interruption being removed from a down freight at Beal on 10th October to work the 08:15hrs ex-Edinburgh back to Newcastle towing failed Brush Type 4 No. D1527!

Midlothian at Northallerton on 19th April 1963 with a King’s Cross-Newcastle service – Revd. J. David Benson

On 18th October 1964 Midlothian was re-allocated to Gateshead Shed (52A) and was noted under repair there on 27th December and again on 17th January 1965 although it was working Newcastle-based diagrams again until 11th March when it was removed to Tyne Dock shed for storage until it was transferred to York on 11th July and taken out of storage.  No. 60151 then enjoyed a brief ‘Indian Summer’ working passenger, parcels and freight trains to destinations as diverse as Scarborough, Edinburgh, Newcastle and Tyne Yard before the inevitable happened and the locomotive was withdrawn from service on 24th November having last been recorded in steam on 12th of that month.  Midlothian lingered for another two months in the scrap line at York before making its final journey to W. George & Son, Station Steel, Wath-on-Dearne to be broken up, last being noted there on 20th February 1966.

No. 60151, shorn of its nameplates, stored at Tyne Dock Shed, 24th April 1965 – Dick Manton

Last call – Midlothian awaits its fate in the scrap road at York on 11th December 1965 – Revd. J. David Benson

This history was compiled by Graham Langer based on a database compiled by Tommy Knox and with reference to the RCTS book ‘Locomotives of the LNER Part 2A’ as background.