Britain’s most exclusive railtour – with Tornado


We are delighted to announce that as part of its 10th birthday celebrations next year Tornado will haul an exclusive Golden Eagle Luxury Trains charter using the ‘Royal Scotsman’ carriages from Inverness to Penzance as part of a 2,000 mile itinerary.  Tickets have already gone on sale for Britain’s most exclusive ever steam railtour. Just 38 passengers will be able to travel on this multi-day trip with places costing from £29,995 sharing. Departing from Edinburgh on 15th October 2018, and ending there 12 days later, the anniversary railtour will combine some of Britain’s most popular tourist destinations including the Highlands, Stonehenge, Bath and Snowdonia. The nights before and after the trip are spent in Edinburgh’s Balmoral Hotel – formerly the North British Hotel – alongside Waverley station. The tour marks the UK debut for its promoter, Golden Eagle Luxury Trains which, although based in Altrincham near Manchester, has its main business in Russia.

Accommodation during the tour is primarily to be aboard the ‘Royal Scotsman’ itself, the ten vehicles of which include a pair of dining carriages and ‘State Cars’ fitted out with cabins, based on former Pullman coaches. As well as ex-LNER Peppercorn class A1 No. 60163 Tornado, the train is also to use LMS Fowler/Stanier 4-6-0 No. 46100 Royal Scot in North Wales, plus the locomotives of various heritage railways.

Amongst the planned cultural activities are dinners in Cawdor and Peckforton castles and the itinerary also includes overnight running behind Tornado on 17th/18th October, while the train makes its way between Edinburgh and Chester. This is only the second time that Tornado has hauled a sleeper train, the first being with the Royal Train in July 2012 with HRH The Prince of Wales on-board.

At different points, the train is expected to stable overnight at Broomhill (Strathspey Railway), Bridgnorth (Severn Valley) and Minehead (West Somerset); it will spend the final night at Darlington North Road, adjacent to Tornado’s Darlington Locomotive Works birthplace and where No. 2007 Prince of Wales is now under construction. The itinerary also takes in the Ffestiniog/Welsh Highland lines, to be reached via the Blaenau Ffestiniog branch behind Royal Scot.

Graeme Bunker-James, Operations Director, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust commented, “The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust and Golden Eagle Luxury Trains have been discussing the possibility of something like this for a number of years, but things have now come together as part of Tornado’s tenth birthday celebrations. Although this is just one part of what looks like being an exciting tenth anniversary year with other things like 90mph running, it’s a great honour to be asked to haul such a prestigious trip – and of course it’s useful paid work for the locomotive too.

“The challenge of Tornado running from Inverness to Penzance is brilliant – as the primary locomotive on the tour we expect to cover 2,000 miles in total, albeit with sensible breaks in the itinerary. To that end, we’ll ‘stop’ No. 60163 at the end of September 2018 to make sure it’s fully prepared and we’ve already structured next year’s diary accordingly.”

Tim Littler, Founder and President, Golden Eagle Luxury Trains, added, “We wanted to do something really high-end, putting the most luxurious British train with this amazing new-build locomotive.”

For further details and to book on this tour please contact Golden Eagle Travel on 0161 928 9410 or

The planned railway itinerary: 15th – 26th October 2018

15th October: Edinburgh to Inverness (No. 60163)

16th October: Inverness to Aviemore (No. 60163) for Strathspey Railway

17th/18th October: Strathspey Railway to Stirling to Edinburgh to Chester (No. 60163)

19th October: Chester to Llandudno Junction (class 66); Llandudno Junction to Blaenau Ffestiniog for Ffestiniog/Welsh Highland railways (No. 46100); Holyhead to Crewe (No. 46100)

20th October: Crewe to Minehead via West Somerset Railway (No. 60163)

21st October: WSR; Taunton to Penzance (No. 60163)

22nd October: Time in Cornwall

23rd October: Penzance to Lostwithiel (No. 60163); Lostwithiel to Fowey to Lostwithiel (No. 60163); Lostwithiel to Taunton (No. 60163); Taunton-Yeovil Junction (No. 60163).

24th October: Yeovil Junction to Salisbury to Oxford to Kidderminster (No. 60163); Kidderminster-Bridgnorth (No. 34027)

25th October: Bridgnorth to York to Darlington (No. 60163)

26th October: Darlington to Edinburgh (No. 60163)

Note: subject to change.

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