No railtours in the near future for steam locomotive No.60009 ‘Union of South Africa’

60009 union of south africa at Townsend Fold on the east lancashire railway
60009 at Townsend Fold

The group looking after the Facebook page for 60009 ‘Union of South Africa’ have announced that, due to firebox issues, No. 60009 will not be taking part in any railtours in the near future.

This comes as a blow for many, as the locomotive was due to hauling stages of the ‘Great Britain XI‘ railtour over the coming week.

For those who don’t know, No. 60009 is due to be withdrawn in 2019 and placed in a museum at the owner’s house in Fife along with K4 No. 61994 ‘The Great Marquess’.

At this moment in time, we don’t know any information as to the extent of the repairs required, or whether these will be carried out.

Here is the announcement made:

A brief history of 60009 ‘Union of South Africa’

60009 Union of South Africa is an LNER Class A4 steam locomotive. It was built in 1937 at Doncaster Works. The ‘A4’ was a common sight on the East Coast Mainline between London and Scotland. 60009 is one of six surviving A4s.

Michael Holden avatar
I have had an interest in Railways for as long as I can remember. I am a member of a number of heritage railways and actively volunteer at 2 of them. I enjoy all types of railways, real life, model and simulations. I started RailAdvent in 2014 and am the main editor of the site.


  1. I am very grateful that the engine was restored and had the opportunity to see it on several occasions.The owner deserves our appreciation for
    keeping it in steam and in use for so long.It was the last “Streak” I saw leave Peterborough station circa 1966 if my memory is correct.

  2. well i feel honour today, as i have just seen the union of south africa past my back bedroom window looking beautiful 17.30 15/07/2018

  3. 60009 is getting really expensive to repair all the time, the owner wants a peaceful retirement so sadly its the best all round

  4. Sad though it may be, UoSA more than any other has contributed to Steam Heritage over many years and it is the owners decision to make after all when she is withdrawn. If the cost of repair is going to be high this may expedite his decision. We now have more steam heritage locomotives running than we have had for a very long time with more in the pipeline.

    One way or other we need to respect the owners decision


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