Two A1s in Edinburgh
7 March 2009
I remember the Peppercorn A1 pacifics. They were pretty
common around York in the early 1960s. One particular
memory takes me back to a schoolboy visit to York shed, and
an invite (or perhaps we asked) into the cab of an A1. The
crew were dropping the fire, ready to put the loco away for
the day. Having finished that job, they suggested we'd better
get down now, and, with a totally empty firebox, drove off
into the shed. My (non-railway) friends were flabbergasted -
how could that be possible?
The story of the intervening years is now well known. The last A1
was taken out of service in 1966, and all were scrapped (why
couldn't Dai Woodham have been a Geordie?). Then, in 1990, the
A1 Steam Locomotive Trust launched its project to build the 50th
member of the class...
We were due for a trip to Edinburgh over the weekend of 6/7/8
March - and there it was, in the Railway Magazine - 60163
"Tornado" would be hauling the first A1-
hauled departure from Edinburgh since the
mid-60s (it would work up the previous
weekend). Better go and see it...
But two A1s? Think about it - where does
the Great North Road go? Its last (or should that be first?)
quarter-mile or so actually runs over the last quarter mile (or so)
of the east coast rail route - with a fine view of Waverley station
from the footpath beside the road, high above the tunnel mouths
(shame about the wires).
Little more needs to be said - the photos tell the story - but
what a great moment it was, seeing an A1 in action again after
more than 40 years - truly wonderful!
The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust
Geoff’s Rail Diaries