LNER Thompson Class B1 (6)1264

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61264 in British Railways livery at Scarborough in 2004

London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) Thompson Class B1 No. 1264, (later British Railways No. 61264, and Departmental No. 29) is a preserved British steam locomotive.

Service[edit]

1264 was built in 1947 by the North British Locomotive Company, Works No. 26165. It was initially allocated to Parkeston Quay (shed code 30F), near Harwich, for working the Great Eastern Main Line, and would remain there for 13 years. In January 1948, 1264 passed into the ownership of British Railways, and in March it was allocated the number 61264, though this was not applied until October 1949. The class were given the power classification 5MT by BR.

In November 1960, 61264 was transferred from Parkeston Quay to Colwick Depot (38A), near Nottingham, for working the Great Central Main Line. It would remain there until withdrawn in December 1965.

Departmental service[edit]

That was not the end of its BR service however as it was transferred to departmental stock, and renumbered 29 in the Eastern Region departmental stock series. There it was used as a mobile boiler for heating carriages. It had its couplings removed in order that it could not haul trains, but it could still propel itself.

29 was withdrawn from departmental stock in July 1967. It was initially stored, but in March 1968 it was sold for scrap.

Preservation[edit]

However, luck was on its side: 61264 was sold to Woodham Brothers scrapyard, Barry Island, the only former LNER locomotive to be sent to Barry. By the time the locomotive was rescued from scrap in 1973, the 83rd engine to leave Barry, it was last surviving ex-LNER locomotive not preserved.

Restoration took some time; the boiler and firebox were in such poor condition that a new boiler and firebox seemed the only option, but steady work during the 1980s and 1990s restored the original boiler and the completed engine moved under its own power in 1997, finished in LNER Apple green as No. 1264. It is currently in BR Black livery as 61264. It was withdrawn from service (mid-2008) for a 10-year overhaul at LNWR Crewe and, once finished moved to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, where it is expected to remain for at least the next 5 years. 61264 returned to the mainline in 2014 with a test run in early January followed by double-heading the Winter Cumbrian Mountain Express from Manchester Victoria to Carlisle with LMS Stanier Class 5 4-6-0 45407 organised by the Railway Touring Company.

61264 is one of two surviving Thompson Class B1s, but the only LNER-built example, the other being BR-built 61306 which was un-named in BR service. 61306 was named "Mayflower" by its owner in preservation, 61379 was named "Mayflower" in BR service.

External links[edit]