‘The Aberdonian’ – new programme of trains for 2019

We are pleased to announce ‘The Aberdonian’, a brand new programme of five steam-hauled trains between Edinburgh and Aberdeen for 2019.

The launch train for ‘The Aberdonian’ will run on Thursday 14th March 2019 with the main series of Tornado-hauled trains running on Thursday 1st, Thursday 8th and Saturday 31st August and Saturday 7th September 2019. ‘The Aberdonian’ will depart Edinburgh Waverley station at around 09:30hrs for Aberdeen, returning at around 20:30hrs.

Passengers are invited to join Tornado, star of Paddington 2 and Top Gear, at Edinburgh Waverley and Haymarket stations, before steaming across The Forth Bridge and along the beautiful Fife coastline via Perth to Dundee on its way to its first stop of Carnoustie where passengers can elect to alight for a day of golf. The railway then runs along cliff tops and through lush countryside via the coastal towns of Arbroath, Montrose and Stonehaven before arriving into Aberdeen’s light and airy station. On arrival at Aberdeen, passengers can choose to take one of the optional onward excursions or simply explore the city at their own pace.

For the passengers electing to stay in Aberdeen and experience its heritage and history, there many attractions within easy walking distance of the station. Those wishing to explore Aberdeenshire further can book onto one of three off-train excursions that offer an authentic taste of the local area, choosing from a distillery or a castle. After a break of around four hours, Tornado will haul ‘The Aberdonian’ on its return journey to Edinburgh following the outward route.

Adult tickets are priced at Standard Class £99, First Class £159, First Class Dining £235.

For further details about these trains and how to book can be found via a1steam.com/railtours or call 01438 715050.

Riddell Graham, VisitScotland Director of Industry & Destination Development, said, “I am delighted to hear about The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust’s latest programme of steam trains between Edinburgh and Aberdeen. These journeys will give visitors the chance to step back in time and enjoy the stunning scenery of the east of Scotland, all within these wonderful trains which showcase our rich heritage.

“Everything we do at VisitScotland is about creating a passion for Scotland and innovative events like this help create a destination and customer experience worth talking about.”

Sir Peter Hendy, Chair of Network Rail, added, “Scotland and its railway will massively welcome this series of steam hauled trains, crossing the iconic Forth Bridge and connecting the Granite City of Aberdeen with the Scottish capital. Tornado is a shining example of British engineering, reflecting the country that invented railways, and giving pleasure on every trip to thousands of Scots as it traverses Scotland. I hope this series of trips become a permanent feature of the Scottish railway scene. Network Rail strongly supports this initiative.”

Graeme Bunker-James, Operations Director and Trustee of The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, commented that “We are extremely proud to be launching ‘The Aberdonian’ series of new special steam-hauled trains from Edinburgh to Aberdeen, taking in the fabulous sights of the east coast of Scotland. Hauled by our famous new steam locomotive No. 60163 Tornado, crossing the iconic Forth Bridge, exploring some of the best scenery Scotland has to offer and visiting Aberdeen and the surrounding area will make this an unforgettable day out for all who travel. There is even the option to dine on-board and enjoy fabulous dishes using the very best Scottish ingredients prepared by our on-board chefs.”

Since completion in Darlington in 2008, new Peppercorn class A1 Pacific No. 60163 Tornado has covered over 100,000 miles and seen service on the Network Rail main line and heritage railways right across Great Britain. Highlights have included three Royal Trains including the naming by TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall in February 2009; BBC Top Gear ‘Race to the North’ with Jeremy Clarkson on the footplate; the re-opening of the Settle to Carlisle Railway; the first steam locomotive in the UK to achieve 100mph for 50 years; featuring in two BBC documentaries, ‘Absolutely Chuffed – the Men Who Built a Steam Engine’ and ‘Tornado the 100mph Steam Engine’, and starring in PADDINGTON 2 the movie.

‘The Aberdonian’ offers the opportunity to relive a bygone age of steam travel, evoking the glamour of the 1930s. Heritage carriages provide a nostalgic journey back in time, where passengers can enjoy the beautiful scenery as plumes of steam drift past the windows, and Tornado’s whistle can be heard.

Passengers booking First Class can look forward to luxurious surroundings, travelling in a comfortable and roomy seat with curtains by the windows. For a little more indulgence, there is the First Class Dining experience, with silver service for all meals, each cooked on the train by an elite team of chefs. Passengers can enjoy a full English breakfast on the outward journey and a relaxed four course dinner on the way home as the sun sets, the station lights twinkle and Tornado’s reassuring rhythmical exhaust sets the seal on a memorable day out. Alternatively, Standard Class seating is also available for those simply wishing to enjoy the scenery and have an enjoyable day out. A buffet car is available in Standard Class. ‘The Aberdonian’ is set to be a wonderful day out for all, and the ideal way to celebrate a birthday, anniversary or simply spending time together as friends and family.

Note: Although it was our original plan to travel via the Tay Bridge, as Tornado has done before, a very detailed and thorough examination by Network Rail Engineers has shown that this is no longer possible due to the condition of the bridge. Our route will therefore take us via the city of Perth before we turn north east and follow the route of the Tay to Dundee and beyond.

You can see more details here https://www.a1steam.com/2018/09/12/the-aberdonian/