Tornado to be tested at Great Central

Tornado set to strike at the Great Central Railway!

Britain’s first new mainline steam engine to be built in 50 years will have a mainline home right from the moment it turns it’s first wheel!

In a major announcement, the Loughborough based heritage line and The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust have joined forces for a deal which will see No. 60163 Tornado heading to Loughborough for commissioning, high speed testing and passenger work.

“We’re thrilled to bits,” said Tony Sparks, chairman of the GCR, “We’ll be offering support to the A1 Trust who will be testing the engine on our double track at 60mph! The engine will stay with us for several months for trials and we’ll be the first place you can sample the performance of this newly built engine. This Tornado is a storm every railway enthusiast is looking forward to!”

Tornado is now a little over two years from completion. The last important component, the boiler, is being built in Germany. News that the tender has found a sponsor makes a steaming date of November 2007 possible provided that an additional £370,000 can be raised in the meantime.

Chairman of The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, Mark Allatt said, “Right from Tornado’s first steaming she’ll be a mainline engine! Announcing this tie-up with the Great Central is very exciting for us and hopefully will inspire our supporters to help us finance the last push to complete the loco. The GCR is known as a centre of engineering excellence and will be able to give us all the right technical support we need.

Some pictures and more information about GCR here.