4498 Sir Nigel Gresley was the 100th Gresley Pacific built by the Great Northern Railway / London and North Eastern Railway. It was officially named in a ceremony at Marylebone station in November 1937. Among those present was Bullied who had been brought back to Doncaster by Gresley as his assistant in 1923 and who left to become the Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) on the Southern Railway in 1937. Bullied had joined the GNR at Doncaster in 1901 as an apprentice under Ivatt, the CME. After a four-year apprenticeship, he became the assistant to the Locomotive Running Superintendent, and a year later, the Doncaster Works manager until he left in 1908.
The locomotive was built at Doncaster and entered service in 1937 following a naming ceremony at Marylebone station in November of that year. The locomotive was mainly based at London King’s Cross with a spell at Grantham during World War II. The locomotive was briefly re-numbered 7 before becoming 60007 when the LNER was merged into British Railways.
Motive power depot allocations.
|November 1937||Kings Cross|
|June 1950||Kings Cross|
|June 1963||New England|
|October 1963||St Margarets|
|July 1964||Aberdeen Ferryhill|
On 3rd June 1956 Sir Nigel Gresley had the honour of hauling the Royal Train from King’s Cross to York with H.M the Queen on board.
The ‘Stevenson Locomotive Society Special’ on the 23rd May 1959 was the first train in the UK with a booked or advertised schedule of over 100 mph. and on that trip 60007 set the official post-war speed record for steam traction of 112 mph which is recorded on a plaque carried on the locomotive. Interestingly the tender attached to 60007 then was the one that had been attached to 60103 Flying Scotsman when it achieved the first officially recognised speed of 100mph.
In 1963 the locomotive moved to Scotland and was used on express services between Aberdeen and Glasgow.
The A4 Preservation Society was formed in 1964 and saved Sir Nigel Gresley for posterity in 1966. After an overhaul at Crewe (where it was given the wheels from 60026 Miles Beevor as they were in far better condition than those on 60007) the locomotive returned to steam in 1967 with the organisation becoming The A4 Locomotive Society Ltd. In 1999 the organisation became the registered charity The Sir Nigel Gresley Locomotive Preservation Trust Ltd which was simplified to The Sir Nigel Gresley Locomotive Trust Ltd in 2014.
In preservation the locomotive initially ran in LNER Garter blue as 4498. A number of railtours in 1967 were followed by a period at Philadelphia in County Durham during the time when privately owned steam locomotives were not permitted on the British mainline network. This prohibition was lifted in 1972 and in 1977 the locomotive’s base moved to Carnforth.
In January 1985 Sir Nigel Gresley launched the Famous trains stamps at Marylebone station and in so doing became the first steam locomotive to work from London since the return of mainline steam operations. Now carrying BR blue livery as 60007 the locomotive spent a time based at the East Lancashire Railway before moving to its present home on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway in 1995.
60007 continues to be certified for mainline operation and over the years has been fitted with a range of modern safety and signalling equipment including the fitting of Air-Braking, On Train Monitoring and Recording equipment and Train Protection & Warning System. On 5th July 2008 the locomotive hauled a 510ton load up the 1 in 200 / 1 in 178 of Stoke Bank with a minimum speed at the summit of 69.75 m.p.h., and in so doing achieved an output power of around 2500 IHP, considered an equal of some of the finest performances of the A4 class locomotives throughout their lives.
60007 was taken out of service in September 2015 for overhaul which is expected to see the locomotive return to steam in 2018. In March 2016 the boiler was lifted off the frames at the National Railway Museum at York.
The driving wheels were sent to the South Devon Railway Engineering at Buckfastleigh in August 2016 and are expected to be returned to York in January 2017.
The boiler was moved in November 2016 to the Llangollen Railway for overhaul. The overhaul is anticipated to take a year to complete and cost about a third of the £750,000 overhaul budget.
Work at the National Railway Museum at York focused on the frames which were stripped, cleaned and examined. By the end of 2016 re-assembly had commenced.
During 2017 the driving wheels had been fitted with new tyres at the South Devon Railway and returned to York. Whilst the boiler received attention at Llangollen work continued at York on other parts of the locomotive.
It had been expected to return to steam in late 2018. Although all the major work on the frames and wheels had been completed at the NRM at York work on the boiler and ashpan at Llangollen was still ongoing at the end of the year.
In January 2019 it was anticipated that the locomotive will be back in steam in 2019 and return to main line running in 2020. Although it will retain strong links with the North Yorkshire Moors Railway it will be based at Crewe for the next ten years.
In October 2019 the boiler passed an out-of-frames steam test at Llangollen whilst the overhaul of the locomotive continued at the National Railway Museum at York.
In November 2019 the boiler was lifted back onto the frames at York.
In July 2021 the National Railway Museum at York disclosed that the locomotive would have to leave the workshop at York by 20th August 2021 as the space was required for other projects. The original agreement for the locomotive to be overhauled at York was due to end in November 2018 but this date was extended on a number of occasions.
The overhaul will be completed at Crewe where it arrived at in September 2021. The plan is to have the locomotive in service in the Spring of 2022 and it will run in BR Express Blue livery.
Once the overhaul of the locomotive is completed it will be run in on the Severn Valley railway before returning to main line operations.
At the end of January 2022 the boiler underwent a successful hydraulic test which enabled the boiler certificate to be reset to this later date rather than start from the test at Llangollen in November 2019.After completing an overhaul which took six years and £1m the locomotive returned to revenue earning in April 2022 on the Severn Valley Railway where it had undergone running in trials.
|Home Base||Current Status||Owner|
|Crewe||Operational||Sir Nigel Gresley Locomotive Trust|
- 60008 Dwight D Eisenhower (LNER 4496, LNER 598, LNER 8 & BR 60008)
- 60009 Union of South Africa (LNER 4488, LNER 590, LNER 9 & BR 60009)
- 60010 Dominion of Canada (LNER 4489, LNER 591, LNER 10 & BR 60010)
- 60019 Bittern (LNER 4464, LNER 603, LNER 19 & BR 60019)
- 60022 Mallard (LNER 4468, LNER 707, LNER 22 & BR 60022)