LNER Thompson Class A1/1

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Disambiguation: LNER Class A1 LNER Class A1/A3, LNER Peppercorn Class A1
LNER Thompson Class A1/1
Walton railay geograph-2259118-by-Ben-Brooksbank.jpg
The single Thompson A1/1 Pacific 60113 Great Northern near Peterborough in 1959
Type and origin
Power type Steam
Rebuild date 1945
Number rebuilt 1
Configuration 4-6-2
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Driver diameter 6 ft 8 in (2.032 m)
Locomotive weight 101 long tons (103 t)
Boiler pressure 250 psi (1.72 MPa)
Cylinders Three
Cylinder size 19 in × 26 in (483 mm × 660 mm)
Performance figures
Tractive effort 37,400 lbf (166.36 kN)
Operator(s) London and North Eastern Railway
British Railways
Class A1/1
Power class 8P6F
Number(s) 60113
Disposition Scrapped

The London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) Thompson Class A1/1 was started in 1945 when a Gresley Class A1 (then reclassified A10) went into the works for rebuilding. Thompson had the intention of improving the A4 design, and drew up two modified Gresley 3-cylinder designs. These designs discarded the Gresley conjugated valve gear and had separate sets of Walschaerts valve gear for each cylinder. Due to space restrictions, the middle cylinder could not be parallel with the outside cylinders. One design had the middle cylinder forward of the outside cylinders, whilst the chosen design had the middle cylinder further back. Both designs used A4 boilers.[citation needed] The information in the infobox (right) is taken from Ian Allan ABC.[1]


Great Northern (the very first Gresley Pacific) was chosen for this rebuilding, rather than being selected for future preservation. There has been much debate on the reason for this choice. Some state it as bad luck, whilst others clearly blame Thompson for letting his personal feelings towards Gresley cloud his judgement. It is known that the Chief Draughtsman and a number of high up officials within the LNER unsuccessfully tried to deter Thompson from rebuilding this engine.

A new set of frames was built for the rebuild. These were similar to A4 frames except for the wheel spacings at the front. The resulting wheelbase was 38 ft 5in, even longer than the Gresley P2s.

Originally, the plan was to rebuild all of the remaining A1s that had not been converted to A3s but this never occurred. In the meantime, the remaining Gresley A1s (including, before its rebuild, Great Northern) were reclassified as A10s, to distinguish them from Thompson's planned rebuild. There were also plans for streamlining, but these were never acted upon.[citation needed]

Peppercorn Class A1[edit]

In October 1945, the order was given to construct sixteen new locomotives to the new A1 plan. These finally appeared during the tenure of Arthur Peppercorn, by which point the Thompson A1 design had evolved into the Peppercorn Class A1 Pacific design. In 1947 Great Northern, up to then the sole member of the class officially designated Class A1, was reclassified Class A1/1 in anticipation of these new Peppercorn A1s.

The A1/1 in service[edit]

In the first few years of service, the rebuilt Great Northern suffered a number of teething problems. These were fixed, but it never played a prominent role on the East Coast Main Line. Although it was occasionally allocated to Kings Cross, it spent much of its career based at Doncaster or Grantham. Great Northern was even allocated to be the Grantham pilot for a while during the mid-1950s.


Great Northern was renumbered No. 113 in Thompson's 1946 renumbering scheme. It then became No. 60113 during British Railways ownership.


60113 Great Northern was withdrawn on 19 November 1962 with a badly worn cylinder and was then broken up at Doncaster Works. An attempt to save the engine from the cutter's torch came to naught.


PDK Models produce a kit of the A1/1 for 4mm scale / OO gauge.


  1. ^ Ian Allan ABC of British Railways Locomotives, summer 1961 edition, part 4, page 26

Further reading[edit]

  • Boddy, M. G.; Neve, E.; Yeadon, W. B. (April 1973). Fry, E. V., ed. Locomotives of the L.N.E.R., Part 2A: Tender Engines—Classes A1 to A10. Kenilworth: RCTS. ISBN 0-901115-25-8.  231pp.
  • Yeadon, Willie (1991). Yeadon's Register of LNER Locomotives, Vol. 3: Raven, Thompson and Peppercorn Pacifics. 

External links[edit]