Tornado will make history when it arrives in Walton to commemorate the town rail station’s 150th anniversary this August. For the first time people will have a chance to hop aboard a steam special for a return journey from London Liverpool Street to Walton railway station. Once in Walton, the train will then run to and from Colchester Town five times, giving 1,500 visitors an opportunity to enjoy an historic trip.
Thousands of people are expected to spend 12th August at the seaside town, where a fireworks display will round off a day’s worth of entertainment at 21:00hrs. Visitors will be able to ride the attractions at Walton Pier for free having first collected a wristband from various top locations, such as the Naze Tower.
Event organisers Mark Platt, chairman of Tendring Council, and Edward Bell, founder of Love to Shop Local, said they wanted to hold an event to celebrate the railway’s landmark anniversary while also showcasing the best of local business. Mr Platt said: “It’s an opportunity for Walton to shine and an opportunity to remind people of how Walton used to be a rail destination. Commissioning the train from London to Walton is a major achievement and because it’s a non-stop service, rail enthusiasts get very excited, so we’ve had interest from other countries already, such as Holland.”
Proceeds from the day, and specially-made Tornado mugs, are being donated to St Helena Hospice, in Clacton, as Mr Platt’s chosen charity for August in his year as council chairman. A London return ticket will cost passengers £99, while a return from Walton ranges between £17.50 and £80 for a family of four. Passengers will be treated to a buffet.
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Mark Platt stands next to Tornado at Stewarts Lane – Daily Gazette