|Tornado storms into Birmingham|
Tornado, the first new main line steam locomotive to be built in Britain for almost 50 years, is the star attraction at ‘Tyseley 101’, Birmingham’s Tyseley Locomotive Works’ annual open weekend on Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th June 2009. The locomotive starred in the first episode of the new series of the BBC’s ‘Top Gear’ programme on Sunday 21st June 2009 racing a Jaguar XK120 car and Vincent Black Shadow motorcycle from London to Edinburgh, with presenter Jeremy Clarkson on-board. The programme was watched by over seven million people. The steam engine will be the centrepiece of the event that will also be attended by a replica of Locomotion No.1, the world’s first successful steam locomotive. Both locomotives will be in steam and Tornado will be on the demonstration line, hauling passenger trains and using the turntable. Construction of Tornado started at Tyseley Locomotive Works with the laying of her frames in 1994 and this is the first time the locomotive has returned since departing to Darlington for completion in 1997.
The new £3m Peppercorn class A1 pacific steam locomotive was built over almost 20 years by The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, a registered charity, initially at Tyseley Locomotive Work in Birmingham and subsequently at its Darlington Locomotive Works in Darlington, Country Durham. Frequently headlined in the national and international press and on TV and radio, No. 60163 Tornado was the subject of a BBC documentary ‘Absolutely Chuffed: The Men Who Built a Steam Engine’ broadcast on Christmas Eve on BBC2 last year. The locomotive was officially named Tornado by TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall in February of this year and has since entered regular service on excursion trains on the Network Rail main line.
Tornado and Locomotion No1 will be joined at ‘Tyseley 101’ by the following steam locomotives:
· · GWR Castle 7029 Clun Castle
· · GWR Castle 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe (in steam)
· · GWR Castle 5029 Nunney Castle (in steam)
· · GWR Hall 4965 Rood Ashton Hall
· · GWR Hall 4936 Kinlet Hall (in steam)
· · GWR Hall 4953 Pitchford Hall (in steam)
· · GWR Pannier Tank 9600 (in steam)
· · GWR Pannier Tank 7752
· · GWR Pannier Tank 7760
· · LMS Jubilee 5593 Kolhapur
· · Peckett No.1 (in steam)
Additional attractions at the open weekend will include passenger shuttle trains, turntable displays and demonstrations, a line-up of three classic Great Western Railway Castle-class locomotives, engine cavalcades and goods trains as well as side stalls, workshop gallery, souvenir shop, catering stalls and buffet car. The event will also feature the commissioning of Peckett No.1 at 2:30pm each day: the return of a Birmingham industrial shunting engine for the first time in 21 years. As part of the Birmingham Moor Street station centenary event with Chiltern Railways, connections from Marylebone, Banbury, Leamington, Warwick Parkway and Solihull will be stopping additionally at Tyseley and Moor Street on the Saturday.
Michael Whitehouse, chairman, Tyseley Locomotive Works, commented:
“It’s fantastic to have Tornado coming back to Birmingham where her construction started. There has already been a terrific amount of interest in the visit of the engine following Tornado’s well-publicised introduction into main line service earlier this year after a building project that had lasted nearly twenty years – even more so since last weekend’s ‘Top Gear’. Tornado will be the star attraction at ‘Tyseley 101’ and we are very much looking forward to seeing and hearing this magnificent locomotive at work.”
Mark Allatt, chairman of The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust added:
“We are delighted to be taking Tornado back to Tyseley Locomotive Works, the place where her construction started. We hope that railway enthusiasts and members of the public who have followed Tornado’s progress in the press, and more recently on ‘Top Gear’ with Jeremy Clarkson, will take this opportunity to come and see her up close at ‘Tyseley 101’.”
Following her appearance at ‘Tyseley 101’ Tornado’s next main line trains will be her first time hauling the ‘Torbay Express’ from Bristol to Paignton and Kingswear (Paignton & Dartmouth Steam Railway) and return every Sunday for six weeks from 5th July to 9th August inclusive. The ‘Torbay Express’ is the perfect way to experience the true majesty and romance of steam, whisking its passengers across the flat Somerset levels to Taunton, charging through the Blackdown Hills and down the Exe Valley to Exeter, then alongside the sea-wall from Dawlish Warren to Teignmouth and finally through the delightful wooded estate once owned by Agatha Christie and down into the old riverside terminus station at Kingswear.
Starting at Brunel's famous Bristol Temple Meads station at 09:15hrs and stopping to pick up passengers at Weston-super-Mare (09:40hrs), Taunton (10:40hrs) and Exeter St David’s (11:15hrs), the ‘Torbay Express' takes the spectacular coastal route via Dawlish, Torquay and Paignton, then onward via the Paignton & Dartmouth Steam Railway, with stops at both Paignton (12:05hrs) and Kingswear (12:55hrs, for Dartmouth) to set down passengers for an afternoon on the delightful South Devon Riviera. The return train departs Kingswear at 17:20hrs, calling at Paignton (17:55hrs), Exeter St David’s (18:45hrs), Taunton (20:15hrs) and Weston-super-Mare (21:10hrs), arriving at Bristol Temple Meads at 21:40hrs
The Trust respectfully requests that anyone wanting to see Tornado's main line passenger trains follows the rules of the railway and only goes where permitted.
Admissions to ‘Tyseley 101’
Adults (including senior citizens): £10.00
Accompanied children under 16: Free
Vintage Trains Society Members: £5.00
A1 Trust Covenantors: £9.00
Address: Tyseley Locomotive Works, 670 Warwick Road, Tyseley, Birmingham B11 2HL
Other useful information:
¨ Limited free site car parking available.
¨ Tyseley Locomotive Works is 5 minutes walk from Tyseley Station. Please consider coming by train and parking at a station on the Shakespeare Line from Stratford.
¨ Travel West Midlands Bus No. 37 passes the entrance to Tyseley Locomotive Works with a 10 minute service.
¨ All attractions subject to availability and not guaranteed.
¨ No dogs allowed. However we are happy to accommodate dogs for the disabled by prior notice. Some access limitations apply for the disabled.
¨ Updates will be available on www.vintagetrains.co.uk and 0121 708 4960.
For more information please contact:
Michael Whitehouse, Chairman, Tyseley Locomotive Works