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BR Period Locomotives: lnwrbns_br1843

Ex-LNER A1 4-6-2 No 60114 'WP Allan', the founding member of 'A1' class, is seen on 11:41am New Street to Newcastle relief service

Ex-LNER A1 4-6-2 No 60114 'WP Allan', the founding member of 'A1' class, is seen on 11:41am New Street to Newcastle relief service on 8th August 1964. This entire class of Peppercorn's design was built after the nationalisation of the LNER but can be considered LNER in origin because it was an important part of Thompson's, the LNER's immediate post-war Chief Mechanical Engineer, standardisation scheme before he retired in 1946. The only A1 built during his tenure was the prototype rebuild of A1/1 'Great Northern'. Planning for the new A1 locomotives did start before Thompson's retirement, but it was slow as it would appear with his retirement imminent that the drawing office staff were deliberately slow in drawing up plans, and only started detailed drawings for the rear part of the new locomotives.

Almost as soon as Peppercorn was in control, work commenced on the front of the locomotive design. Over these years, the overall plans changed from a locomotive resembling the A1/1, to one with a standard boiler and with a conventional position for the front bogie. A number of the draft drawings included streamlining, but this was never adopted. In May 1948, it was decided to fit the Kylchap exhaust arrangement. As with the Peppercorn A2s, there was insufficient space in the smoke box for both the Kylchap exhaust and the self-cleaning apparatus. Hence, they never suffered from the poor steaming which the non-Kylchap A2s suffered from. The first A1, No 60114, entered traffic in August 1948. A total of 49 were built in four batches between 1948 and 1949. Five of the A1s (Nos 60153-7) were fitted with Timken roller bearings on all of their axles. These had already been tried successfully on some of the A4 tenders. These bearings were a trial with the intention of increasing the period between heavy repairs. This was successful, but was never expanded to include other members of the class. One problem with the Kylchap exhaust arrangement, was that the sound of the ejectors whilst standing in the station was considerably louder than tannoy announcements. Three silencers were fitted experimentally, and were found to work. Similar silences were then recommended for the remaining Peppercorn A1s and the Kylchap-fitted Peppercorn A2s.