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No. 60157 Great Eastern

No. 60157 was another Doncaster built example of the class, allocated Works’ number 2051 as part of Lot No. 388 and completed at Doncaster Works on 3rd November 1949, out-shopped carrying boiler No. 10594, fitted with roller bearings and wearing BR express passenger blue, lined black and white with the early emblem on the rivetted tender which was fitted with disc wheels.  Like No. 60156, the locomotive was initially one of eight A1s allocated to ‘Top Shed’ at King’s Cross (KX) from new although it made a number of return visits to Doncaster in the following months, having a ‘Light Casual’ repair during December and, intriguingly, being observed there again on 25th April 1950 with its centre and rear axles removed, whether this had any bearing on it being attended to for further casual repairs from 5th to 7th May is not clear.  Whatever had ailed the locomotive, however, seems to have been resolved and the engine spent the summer happily working East Coast Main Line (ECML) trains, being recorded on the up ‘Norseman’ from Newcastle on 24th June among other services.  A further visit to ‘The Plant’ that October saw No. 60157 fitted with Automatic Train Control (ATC) apparatus fitted.  On 9th September the locomotive was transferred to Grantham (35B), the re-allocation a consequence of a decision to concentrate the A4s at ‘Top Shed’ and re-distribute the A1s across the length of the Eastern Region. No. 60156 was now one of ten A1s at Grantham, six of which were allocated twelve top link crews, two per locomotive, working two turns each weekday, the 10:00hrs Grantham-Newcastle and the 15:00hrs from King’s Cross, seven turns to London and one to York.  Three of the locomotives made double trips to London daily totalling 420 miles, two covered a return run to Newcastle, a 326 mile round trip, and the sixth engine worked the Leeds express, 13:52hrs ex-Grantham, to London, returning with ‘The Aberdonian’ to York and returning with a parcels train, a crew change having been effected at Grantham during the second leg of this diagram which accounted for 376 miles.  Grantham locomotives worked these heavy trains turn and turn about accumulating high mileages.

A delightful photo from 1954 showing Great Eastern being mobbed at King’s Cross – Geoff Parrish

On 3rd October 1951 No. 60157 entered Doncaster Works for a heavy intermediate overhaul which did not involve a boiler change, leaving on 12th November wearing newly applied BR express passenger green livery with the early emblem and bearing the name Great Eastern and that railway’s coat of arms on the extended style of plate, named after another of the LNER’s constituent companies, making it one of only four A1s not to have carried a name while in blue livery.  Apart from a general overhaul at Doncaster during February 1953 when the locomotive acquired boiler No. 29805, No. 60157 was kept busy with routine work on the ECML but the next occasion of note was the locomotive’s involvement in taking HM the Queen south from Aberdeen on 18th May 1953, a working which was unusual in that involved attaching three royal coaches to the up ‘Aberdonian’ thus increasing the weight of an already heavy train; Great Eastern worked the section from York To Peterborough whence No. 60136 Alcazar took it on to King’s Cross.  Diagrams during 1954 kept the locomotive busy on ‘The Aberdonian’ and ‘Flying Scotsman’, although it was recorded to have failed on the down ‘Aberdonian’ at Hitchin on 16th June, and the next couple of years followed a similar routine although Great Eastern was noted on Fred Olsen Line boat trains on 10th September 1955 and 16th June 1956, only interrupted by calling at Doncaster for a ‘General’ at the end of 1954 which involved a further boiler swap, this time for boiler No. 29825.

Great Eastern is prepared for a royal duty on Sunday 6th January 1957 – Peter Townend

No. 60157 works the up ‘Heart of Midlothian past Belle Isle on 1st April 1957 – Peter Townend

The locomotive draws the 15:15 down goods out of King’s Cross yard on 11th June 1957 – Peter Townend

In September 1956 there was a return to through engine workings between London and Newcastle and ‘Top Shed’ gained three A1s from Grantham including No. 60157 on the 16th of that month, the start of a process that would see Grantham lose all its A1s by the end of 1957.  Great Eastern immediately added the down ‘Talisman’ to its tally of named trains on 18th September and then seems to have become a favourite for Leeds and Bradford trains, intermingled with working ‘The Aberdonian’ and ‘Tees-Tyne Pullman’ although it was also spotted on the down ‘Heart of Midlothian’ on 4th December.  Peter Townend photographed No. 60157 being prepared for ‘royal duty’ on 6th January 1957 but no official record exists of a train being worked then, however the locomotive was once again called for royal duties, this time conveying HM the Queen and HRH the Duke of Edinburgh to Hull on 17th, the train leaving King’s Cross at 23:00hrs that night.  Great Eastern seems to have gained some nocturnal habits during the year, being seen on the Perth sleeper on 17th June and starting to make late night arrivals at King’s Cross on a regular basis.  The 26th April 1958 saw the locomotive selected to haul an Ian Allan special from King’s Cross to Leeds, whence the train would be taken forward by two of the last Midland Compounds.  After accumulating what was at that time a class record of 693,563 miles, a general repair at Doncaster at the end of 1958 saw the boiler changed for No. 29850 before a return to routine ECML traffic during 1959, broken by a re-allocation to Doncaster shed (36A) on 5th April, a symptom of the introduction of diesels and consequent cascading of A1s away from London.  Following shopping at Doncaster during April 1960 (leaving with boiler No. 29885), the early ‘60s found No. 61057 working more trains on the northern reaches of the ECML but a new duty appeared on the roster, the ‘Anglo-Scottish Car Carrier’ which the locomotive hauled on numerous occasions including 19th (down), 20th  (up) and 21st (down) September 1962 although on 24th and 25th it suffered the indignity of having to take the up ‘Fish’ south from Newcastle!  A greater variety of duties started to appear during 1963 including, rather delightfully, an ‘Esparto Grass’ train from Edinburgh to Granton and return and topping the year out by replacing a failed Deltic on the up ‘Yorkshire Pullman’, the train being recorded passing Welwyn Garden City “at very high speed”!

Great Eastern passes Class 9F No. 92198 at Stoke Summit on 1st May 1962 – Greg Tingey

No. 60157 stands at Grantham on 9th April 1964 – Cedric Clayson

However, the glory days were over and 1964 brought more and more menial work for Great Eastern although it did manage one last moment in the sun when it replaced failed ‘Deltic’ No. D9001 St. Paddy at Doncaster on ‘The Talisman’.  As a roller bearing A1 allocated to ‘Top Shed’ in its early years, No. 60157 attained one of the highest mileages between general repairs, 197,000 miles according to shedmaster Peter Townend.  The locomotive generally exceeded the target of 18 months between general repairs and only carried seven boilers in its time, all diagram 118 types.  After a service life of 15 years two months and seven days the locomotive was withdrawn from Doncaster on 10th January 1965 and sold the next month to A. Draper of Hull, being scrapped that March, an event recorded by a number of photographers at the time.

Great Eastern meets its fate at Draper’s yard on 7th March 1965 – Revd. David Benson

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