Steam Railways Preservation in the 1980s & 1990s
A1 Pacific 60163 – ‘Tornado’
New A1 frames on schedule for March
Doncaster link is historic
The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, the registered charity which is building the new ex-LNER Class A1 Pacific 60163, today confirmed that it is on track to lay the frames of the new steam locomotive in Doncaster in March 1994 – the first new mainline steam locomotive to be built in Britain since 1960.
David Champion, Project Manager, A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, commented:
‘Thanks to the tremendous help that we have received from Doncaster Council
since we signed our partnership agreement with them in July of this year and the boost that this gave to our project teams, we have continued to attract large numbers of new covenantors.
The Trust is therefore delighted to be able to announce that the frames of 60163 will be laid in March next year – which puts us firmly on track for completing the locomotive on schedule for the 50th Anniversary of the completion of the first of the class in 1998.
More than 25 of the original 49 A1 locomotives were built in Doncaster with the remaining 23 built in Darlington. They were designed by Arthur H. Peppercorn, the Chief Mechanical Engineer of the London & North Eastern Railway (LNER) but were not built until 1948-9, after the nationalisation of the railways.
The A1s were the last of the East Coast mainline’s series of thoroughbred express passenger steam locomotives – a tradition which included the Stirling Singles, the Ivatt Atlantics and the Gresley Pacifics. Examples of all of these Doncaster-built locomotives have been saved for preservation, except the Peppercorn A1s which were scrapped following the dieselisation of the railways in the 1960s, with the last, 60145 ‘Saint Mungo’, going in 1966.
Saint Mungo was seen on York shed daily until 20th May; from the next day it was noted minus chimney but on 19th June it was finally withdrawn. It lay at York shed and by 1st August was minus its tender. Despite an attempt by the late Geoff Drury to save it, sale for scrap to A. Draper of Hull came that month though cutting up didn’t start until 26th September.
Saint Mungo, the last A1, had survived 60124 by three months. Its lifespan of 17 years 3 months was considerably longer than the A1 average of 15 years 2 months. It had seven boilers in its life. However, all is not lost. A nameplate can be seen, fittingly, in Glasgow Transport Museum. Several years into the 1990s the photo, supplied by Drapers, of Saint Mungo’s scrapping was used by The A1 Trust to inspire people to covenant to build the 50th A1, 60163.