The day Galtee More derailed at Grantham


The reference to LNER A3 No. 60049 Galtee More in Geoff Courtney’s railwayana column in issue 232 brought back to me memories of the Pacific in about 1959, when I was a fireman at King’s Cross shed.

The loco was turned on the triangle at Grantham for a run back to London, and we went on the Up road to south of the station, and then backed inside behind the Yard signalbox. I’m not sure how, but a stone block derailed our front pony wheels.

Blinkered vision: LNER No. 60049 Galtee More waits at Grantham to take over an Up express in the early 1960s. The Gresley Pacific, which is fitted with a double chimney, was the first member of the class to acquire the German-style smoke deflectors, a 1960s addition that some enthusiasts felt ruined the A3’s graceful lines. Heritage Railway reader and former King’s Cross fireman John Harrington recalls being on the footplate of the locomotive when it derailed at Grantham prior to taking over an Up train. NORMAN PREEDY ARCHIVE

As a result we had to take a V2 class 2-6-2 back to London – I don’t remember its number but I do recall there was steam everywhere, but at least it got us back to King’s Cross and I daresay it went into the works later.

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My other memory of the incident is that I had cleaned the windows of Galtee More before it unfortunately became derailed!

The magazine’s railwayana column reminds me of days at Collectors’ Corner outside Euston station, now sadly gone, and the treasures that were there then.

John Harrington,
Croxley Green, Hertfordshire

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