Tornado, the first new main line steam locomotive to be built in Britain for almost 50 years, will start her season hauling the ‘Torbay Express’ from Bristol to Paignton and Kingswear early with an additional train on Sunday 3rd July 2011.

The locomotive is now wearing a different livery of BR Brunswick green, in place of her now familiar LNER apple green, which the original A1s carried for most of their lives up until the last one was scrapped in 1966. Over the duration of her first boiler certificate Tornado will carry all of the A1’s historic liveries of LNER apple green with ‘British Railways’ on the tender, BR blue and BR Brunswick green, with both crest and emblem. 

Tornado will be hauling the ‘Torbay Express’ from Bristol to Paignton and Kingswear (Paignton & Dartmouth Steam Railway) and return every Sunday for five weeks from 3rd to 31st July 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) and Taunton (10:40hrs), 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 (12:00hrs) and Kingswear (12:45hrs, for Dartmouth) to set down passengers for an afternoon on the delightful South Devon Riviera. The return train departs Kingswear at 16:45hrs, calling at Paignton (17:15hrs), Taunton (18:50hrs) and Weston-super-Mare (20:05hrs), arriving at Bristol Temple Meads at 20:40hrs

Prices for travelling on the ‘Torbay Express’ are Standard Class (adult £75.00; child £49.00), First Class (£115.00) and Premier Dining (£185.00). Additionally, a small number of tables for two in First Class and Premier Dining may still be available on certain dates at a supplement of £25 per person and there is a £20 discount for parties of four in Premier Dining and First Class.

Premier Dining fares include at seat silver service dining: a hearty English breakfast, morning and afternoon tea and coffee, a four course dinner with coffee and chocolates served after a champagne-assisted departure on the return journey. First Class fares include a complimentary service of morning tea and coffee with Danish Pastries and an afternoon Devon Cream Tea on the return journey. There is also an at seat service of light meals and snacks for purchase from the day’s menu. Standard Class passengers can purchase sandwiches, snacks and drinks from the buffet. A selection of wines and other alcoholic and soft drinks are available for purchase on-board.

The trains are being promoted by Torbay Express Limited and seats can be booked via telephone (01453 834477), Web ( or email ().

Mark Allatt, chairman of The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, said:

“We are delighted to hauling the ‘Torbay Express’ again in 2011 and hope that railway enthusiasts and members of the public who have followed Tornado’s progress in the press will take this opportunity to come and ride behind her in her new livery on this truly great railway journey.”


Timings can be viewed here

The Trust respectfully requests that anyone wanting to see Tornado follows the rules of the railway and only goes where permitted.


A classic image of the “Torbay Express” on the Devon sea wall at Teignmouth – Mark Wilkins