REWIND: Kenilworth's own steam engine

  Posted: 05.06.21 at 13:30 by The Editor

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On March 23 1949 a steam engine numbered 60124 rolled out of Doncaster Works, the 26th locomotive in the 'A1' class designed by the London and North Eastern Railway.

It wasn't until August the next year that the engine would be officially named 'Kenilworth' at the same time as it was painted in express engine blue.

Kenilworth was one of a number of steam engines that took their names from the novels of Sir Walter Scott, this one taken from this 1821 novel of the same name.

Scott's Kenilworth is set in the year 1575 and tells the story of the lead up to the 19 days of banquets that the Earl of Leicester threw from Queen Elizabeth I.

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The engine Kenilworth spent most of its life in the north east, around Durham, Darlington, Stockton and Newcastle. As an express engine it never actually passed through the Warwickshire town.

60124 at York Station (Image by Bill Reed via A1 Steam Locomotive Trust)

Kenilworth was also used on a number of well-known express services, including the 'Night Scotsman', the ‘Heart of Midlothian’ and the 'Flying Scotsman'.

Into the 1960s and Kenilworth was moved frequently between sheds, to Heaton then to York and back to Darlington.

However, as dieselisation continued across the rail network Kenilworth began to receive fewer and fewer duties.

Its final final workings came on 11 March 1966, as it took the down ‘Heart of Midlothian’ from Darlington to Liverpool.

In May it was sold for scrap to Drapers of Hull after just 17 years in service. All of the A1 class were scrapped.

60124 at Doncaster Works on 17 December 1961 (Image by Cedric Clayson via A1 Steam Locomotive Trust)

However, the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust – a registered charity – has built a completely new A1 'Tornado' to the original design and with the help of the latest technology.

Fitted with additional water capacity and the latest railway safety electronics, Tornado is fully equipped for today’s main line railway.

Find out more here.

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