We are pleased to announce that No. 60163 Tornado, has been called upon to haul the final two Torbay Expresses of the season, on both Sunday the 4th and Sunday the 11th of September 2016.
Enjoy a day out at the seaside with Tornado, as we travel along arguably one of the most scenic railway lines in the country!
‘The Torbay Express’, travelling from Bristol Temple Meads.
Experience train travel as it used to be aboard ‘The Torbay Express’
This summer Sunday steam hauled train follows the route of Brunel’s picturesque Great Western Railway, speeding across the Somerset levels and around the beautiful Devon coastline on one of the most enchanting railway journeys in the world. A day out in heritage carriages, with slam doors and opening windows, is a chance to sit back, relax and enjoy a rail journey from a bygone era when steam was king and everyone travelled to their summer holiday on the English Riviera aboard a train.
Paignton – Spend a break of up to five hours enjoying a relaxed time in this seaside resort where you can take a dip in the sea on the magnificent sea front; try the arcades or ice cream parlours.
Dartmouth – Alight at Kingswear and take the ferry (included in the ticket price) across the River Dart to spend four hours exploring this picturesque and historic town. Local attractions include:
• The nearby National Trust properties of Greenway House (former home of Agatha Christie)
• Coleton Fishacre (the former country home of the D’Oyly Carte family)
• The Britannia Royal Naval College (giving an insight into the Royal Navy)
• Dartmouth Castle
• Cruises on the River Dart (including aboard paddle steamer Kingswear Castle – the last remaining coal-fired paddle steamer in operation in the UK today
For full details and to book, please visit www.torbayexpress.co.uk
With Tornado on sparkling form, ‘The Robin Hood’ is seen at Bennerley Junction – Alan Weaver
The train is next caught at Woodhouse Junction – Alan Weaver
Alan Weaver had a busy day! Here he snapped the train at Hasland – Alan Weaver
Tornado continues to make light work of the job at Wyfordby – Colin Cragg
Images to follow
On Saturday 6th August Tornado is seen at Didcot heading west – Thomas Haynes
Tornado, back on ‘The Torbay Express’ at Dawlish – Chris Grant
No. 60163 negotiates the sinuous descent to Goodrington – Chris Grant
Tornado crosses the Huntspill River on her way back to Bristol – Martin Tier
The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust is pleased to release the latest tour guide featuring two new A1SLT tour dates for 2017! You can download the guide here.
Owing to the non-availability of No. 34046 Braunton, The A1 Steam Trust has volunteered Tornado to cover ‘The Torbay Express’ on 7th August, returning the Peppercorn Pacific to some familiar haunts in the West Country on a route where she has recorded some remarkable performances.
‘The Torbay Express’ follows the route of Brunel’s picturesque Great Western Railway, speeding across the Somerset levels and around the beautiful Devon coastline on one of the most enchanting railway journeys in the world. A day out in heritage carriages, with slam doors and opening windows, is a chance to sit back, relax and enjoy a rail journey from a bygone era when steam was king and everyone travelled to their summer holiday on the English Riviera aboard a train.
Pamper yourself and travel in Premier Dining where you will be served a glass of Buck’s Fizz before your full English breakfast. On the homeward journey you will have a glass of Champagne, a four course dinner, followed by coffee (or tea) and chocolates. The catering on the train is by Frying Scotsman Catering Services led by Alan ‘Dutch’ Holland, whose extensive experience includes working on the Royal trains.
Full details and bookings can be found here.
No. 60163 leaves London, seen here at Clapham Junction – Thomas Haynes
Tornado with the ‘Belmond British Pullman’ at Betchworth – Andrew Shapland
Tornado was de-registered from the Rolling Stock Library at midnight on Friday 10th June. There were no reasons for this in terms of paperwork or mechanical condition of our locomotive. Investigations have shown that this was caused by a computer error associated with recent new software introduced by the RSL. As a consequence, the locomotive was unable to haul a train for UK Railtours on Saturday 11th June nor return to London in time for Saturday’s ‘Belmond British Pullman’. We are pursuing this with the RSL to ensure it doesn’t happen again to ourselves and hopefully anyone else. We are also addressing the financial impact this has had on the Trust with relevant parties. When resources allow, Tornado will return to London and resume her calendar of operations.
On Thursday 8th September, why not enjoy a special midweek tour, taking No. 60163 Tornado all the way from London to the Severn Valley Railway. Tornado storms out of London Victoria, via Kensington Olympia, Willesden, Acton, Slough and Reading. The train continues past Oxford’s ‘dreaming spires’ to Banbury where there is a pause for water.
After passing through Leamington Spa, Solihull and Tyseley it heads through the revived Birmingham Snow Hill, then on via Smethwick, Old Hill and Stourbridge Junction to Kidderminster where it takes the link that connects the national rail network to the Severn Valley Railway.
With No. 60163 still at the head, the train calls at Bewdley before travelling the length of this superbly preserved railway, passing through idyllic countryside before reaching Bridgnorth. Here there will be a break of around three hours. The pleasant town is just a short walk from the station, linked by an authentic cliff lift – an unusual feature for an inland location.
For the return journey from Bridgnorth to Bewdley we have requested the use of Bulleid ‘West Country’ Pacific no. 34027 Taw Valley. At Bewdley a DB Cargo Class 66 takes over for the return journey which re-traces the outward route to London Victoria.
Tornado on the Severn Valley last autumn – Jack Boskett
Your tour ticket will also be valid for travel on scheduled Severn Valley Railway trains, giving a variety of alternative itinerary opportunities.
All timings are provisional and are intended only as a guide.
Station Depart Arrive
London Victoria 08.30 21.35
Slough (for M25) 09.25 20.45
Reading 09.55 20.25
Standard Class (a buffet car is available).
Standard Class: Price: £ 99.00
First Class Non-Dining (includes complimentary tea or coffee. A buffet car is available).
First Class Non-Dining: Price: £ 149.00
Option: Guaranteed Table for Two (per seat): Price: £ 25.00
First Class Dining (the First Class Dining fare includes the Great British Breakfast, morning coffee and a four course dinner).
First Class Dining: Price: £ 225.00
Option: Guaranteed Table for Two (per seat): Price: £ 25.00
Bookings through UK Railtours