Tornado’s tender appeal reaches £200,000 pledged

Over 163 supporters have now joined The 163 Pacifics Club – The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust is delighted to announce that its fundraising campaign – The 163 Pacifics Club – to purchase the locomotive’s tender from William Cook Cast Products Ltd has reached its initial target of £200,000 pledged.  Tornado’s tender is leased to the Trust under a 15-year loan agreement which will come to an end in 2021. The tender is currently owned by William Cook Cast Products Ltd (the Trust’s Principal Sponsor) as chairman Sir Andrew Cook CBE kindly offered to fund the construction of the tender in 2006, allowing funds being raised to be spent on the engine. By 2014 the Trust had repaid all the £1m debt needed to complete Tornado in 2008 and funded the conversion of BR Mk 1 BCK E21249 into her support coach. The 163 Pacifics Club was launched in September 2013 to fund the purchase of Tornado’s tender on the lease’s expiration in 2021.

Tornado’s tender is a development of those built for the original Peppercorn class A1s – mainly due to the different operating environment on the modern Network Rail main line. Due to the lack of surviving steam infrastructure, water capacity is at a premium and so Tornado’s tender carries 6,200 gallons, as opposed to 5,000 gallons, and seven tons of coal, rather than nine tons in the original A1s. The tender is also the home for many of Tornado’s other unique features including an alternator, Timken cartridge roller bearings (pre-greased sealed self-contained units which do not have to be fitted in enclosed axleboxes), Train Protection & Warning System (TPWS), National Radio Network (NRN) radio, Global System for Mobile Communications – Railway (GSM-R) radio, GPS tracker and of course the mobile phone charger!

Membership of The 163 Pacifics Club has grown steadily since its launch in September 2013 and 166 of the initial 163 ex-LNER Express Passenger ‘Pacific’s’ plus the newly released Raven class A2s, Thompson classes A2/1s, A2/2s, A2/3s, Peppercorn class A2s and Gresley class A4s (destroyed No. 4469 Gadwall) have already received new ‘shed allocations’. One supporter has chosen to sponsor the ‘honorary Pacific’, Gresley class W1 4-6-4 No. 10000/60700 which was un-named but also had 6ft 8in driving wheels.

Mark Allatt commented, “We are delighted that we have reached our initial target of £200,000 pledged for The 163 Pacifics Club and hope to be in a position to purchase Tornado’s tender from William Cook Cast Products Ltd before the end of its 15 year lease in 2021. Due to popular demand, we decided to release the remaining ex-LNER ‘Pacifics’ for sponsorship which led to a surge in support and within two weeks the initial target was achieved, meaning The 163 Pacifics Club now has 166 of its extended 210 members target.

“William Cook Cast Products Ltd has been principal sponsor to The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust through its chairman Sir Andrew Cook CBE since 1994, providing all the steel castings for No. 60163 Tornado and No. 2007 Prince of Wales – including all the wheels – at preferential rates and on generous terms – for which the Trust is enormously grateful. As we have released additional names, we still have 44 ‘Pacifics’ available for sponsorship, including some truly iconic ex-LNER locomotives – please contact the Trust on  or 01325 460163 for more information and to reserve your favourite ‘Pacific’. Any additional funds raised will be ring-fenced and used for the next overhaul of Tornado’s tender.

“Keeping Tornado on the Network Rail main line is expensive and time consuming and so the Trust is always seeking new supporters and volunteers to come on board. Next year will see the 10th anniversary of Tornado’s completion and we will be seeking to mark this milestone in an appropriate manner.”

06111503 Tender loaded DE

Tornado’s tender is loaded following its last overhaul at Darlington – A1SLT

Details of The 163 Pacifics Club:

  • The Trust needs to raise £200,000 to purchase Tornado’s tender
  • Although Tornado carries the number ‘60163’ – the next in the Peppercorn class A1 series following No. 60162 Saint Johnstoun – her pre-nationalisation LNER number would have been ‘163’
  • There were therefore 163 ex-LNER express passenger ‘Pacifics’ (wheel arrangement 4-6-2) from the Gresley class A3s/A4s, Thompson class A1/1 and Peppercorn class A1s
  • Due to popular demand, an additional 46 ‘Pacifics’ have been released from the Raven class A2s (five locomotives), Thompson classes A2/1s (four locomotives), A2/2s (six rebuilt Gresley class P2s), A2/3s (15 locomotives), Peppercorn class A2s (15 locomotives, including preserved No. 60532 Blue Peter) and Gresley class A4s (destroyed No. 4469Gadwall); in addition, the un-named Gresley class W1 4-6-4 No. 10000/60700 has been sponsored
  • If 163 people were to make a one-off donation of £960 (or alternatively donate £240 per month for four months), with the addition of Gift Aid (£240) this would raise £195,600. This club has now been extended to 210 to include the newly released names.
  • As with the previous fundraising schemes, this initiative comes with benefits for those who generously take part, including:
    • A numbered certificate recording the details of the donation and the number/name of the chosen ex- LNER passenger ‘Pacific’
    • Name inscribed on the official Roll of Honour in Darlington Locomotive Works which will detail the ‘Pacific’ sponsored
    • Entry into a draw for a main line footplate ride on No. 60163 Tornado.

‘The Ebor Flyer’

Saturday 14th April - 90mph London to York and return

Following a successful test run in April 2017, when Tornado reached a top speed of 100mph, passengers are now invited to join the locomotive on ‘The Ebor Flyer’. This will be the first public train when Tornado will be authorised to operate at speeds up to 90mph on the East Coast Main Line. The destination for this exciting excursion is York, where passengers will have up to four hours to enjoy the sights and sounds of this fascinating and historic city. This is one train not to be missed!

Tornado on her 100mph dash up the East Coast Main Line – Robin Coombes

Recreating the glory days of express steam travel, this train will follow the LNER route out of the capital heading north to collect passengers from the popular M25 railhead of Potters Bar, before roaring onwards passed the historic rail hub of Doncaster to York.

Passengers visiting York can take time to explore the city centre with the historic Minster and Shambles, or enjoy the many riverside bars and eateries. For a real rail adventure, The National Railway Museum stands close to York station and passengers may wish to visit the steam giants of the past.

Steam hauled throughout, the return journey promises to be as thrilling as the outward. On the route south passengers can be assured of a swift journey as the train travels down Stoke Bank, the location where Mallard broke the world steam speed record of 126mph in 1938.

Tickets for this train are expected to sell quickly and passengers are advised to book early to ensure their place on the first 90mph Tornado railtour.

All timings are provisional and intended only as a guide.

Ticket Price
Standard Class£119.00
First Class Dining£265.00
Times (provisional) Outward Return
London King's Cross08.1521.00
Potters Bar (for M2508.4020.40
  • Standard Class

    A buffet car is available.

  • First Class Dining

    Includes the Great British Breakfast and a four course dinner.

    Option: Guaranteed Table for Two Dining (per seat) £25.00

Saturday 16th September – ‘The Border Raider’ – Birmingham to Carlisle and return

Early on what was to prove a challenging day, Tornado is seen at Winwick – Jason Kerner

With safety valves feathering, Tornado breasts Shap Summit – Graham Nicholas

‘The Border Raider’ on the return leg, at Settle station – Liam Barnes

Making a competent passage of the S&C, No. 60163 crosses Arten Gill viaduct – David Robinson

On the revised route, the train is seen at Slaithwaite – Alan Weaver

Shades of O. Winston Link as Tornado restarts after a water stop at Denton – Warren Hannabuss

Tornado set to steam in to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway

Tornado, will be working on the scenic North Yorkshire Moors Railway line from Saturday 3rd March to Sunday 11th March, and you don’t want to miss it!  The popular locomotive is always a big hit wherever it goes; catching people’s eyes with its elegance and speed, this year reaching a staggering 100mph – a preservation steam record!

Chris Price, General Manager at North Yorkshire Moors Railway, said, “We’re very excited about the arrival of the iconic Tornado and are sure it will delight visitors travelling up and down our line.  Over the years we’ve had many guest locomotives visit us and we expect Tornado to be one of the best yet. With its searing speed and fantastic recent history, it’s sure to be a head turner!”

Graeme Bunker-James of the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, commented, ‘’It has been several years since Tornado visited the North Yorkshire Moors and we are very much looking forward to returning locomotive to such a scenic railway line.’’

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway is a heritage railway running through the North York Moors National Park. First opened in 1836 as the Whitby and Pickering Railway, the railway was planned in 1831 by George Stephenson as a means of opening up trade routes inland from the then important seaport of Whitby. The line closed in 1965 and was reopened in 1973 by the North York Moors Historical Railway Trust Ltd. The preserved line is now a significant tourist attraction and has been awarded many industry accolades.

For more information about NYMR, or to book tickets, visit www.nymr.com. Tickets for the Tornado visit are on sale from Monday 11th September.

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

DonBrundell_Goathland_2

Tornado is seen at Goathland during her first visit to the NYMR in 2009 – Don Brundell

‘The North Briton’

Saturday 24th February - Cambridge to Carlisle and return

The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust is delighted to announce its first railtour of 2018.  What finer way to start the year than enjoying a steam-hauled journey over the magnificent Settle & Carlisle Railway?

Specially for our East Anglian customers, the train departs from Cambridge, Ely, March and Peterborough with a Class 67 diesel at the head. We call also at Newark before reaching Belmont Yard, just south of Doncaster, where the diesel is detached and no. 60163 backs down on to the train.

In April 2017 Tornado works ‘The North Briton’ past Arksey – Geoff Griffiths

After a final pick-up at Doncaster, Tornado gets into her stride as we run via Hambleton Junctions and Leeds, then up the picturesque Aire Valley, passing the Worth Valley Railway at Keighley and the market town of Skipton.

At Settle Junction the real purpose of the day begins! The long gruelling climb to Blea Moor Summit includes the crossing of the iconic Ribblehead Viaduct. True to her name, Tornado will roar through the glorious scenery of Dentdale, topping Ais Gill Summit before descending through Appleby to arrive at Carlisle. The station is right in the heart of the compact ‘border city’ and you will have a couple of hours in which to stretch your legs and explore.

But our steam adventure is far from over! We take our seats once more and enjoy a trip right across England at its narrowest point, west to east, taking the Low Fell Curve and arriving at Tyne Yard in Gateshead where No. 60163 is detached. Our Class 67 loco will have made her way from Doncaster ready for the homeward run along the East Coast Main Line.

This tour is promoted by The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust with UK Railtours acting as ticket agents. All profits will go towards keeping Tornado on the main line in future years.

All timings are provisional and intended only as a guide.

Ticket Price
Standard Class£109.00
First Class Non-Dining£159.00
First Class Dining£249.00
Times (provisional) Outward Return
Cambridge07.3023.00
Ely07.5022.40
March08.1022.20
Peterborough08.3022.00
Newark Northgate09.1521.15
Doncaster10.3020.30
  • Standard Class

    A buffet car is available.

  • First Class Non-Dining

    Includes complementary tea or coffee, a buffet car is available.

    Option: Guaranteed Table for Two (per seat) £25.00

  • First Class Dining

    Includes the Great British Breakfast, light lunch and a four course dinner.

    Option: Guaranteed Table for Two (per seat) £25.00

This tour is promoted by The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust with UK Railtours acting as ticket agents. All profits will go towards keeping Tornado on the main line in future years.

All timings are provisional and intended only as a guide.

‘The Sulis and Sarum Express’

Saturday 24th March 2018 - West Midlands to Bath and Salisbury

Especially for our friends in the West Midlands we’re really delighted to announce another great tour featuring No. 60163 throughout, heading to the beautiful West Country cities of Bath and Salisbury.  The tour begins at the handy ‘park and ride’ railhead of Tame Bridge Parkway before calling also at Birmingham New Street, Bromsgrove, Worcester Shrub Hill and Cheltenham Spa. We then travel by way of Bristol Parkway, and Dr Day’s Junction to reach Bath, then onward via Westbury and Warminster to arrive at Salisbury.

The City of Bath will need little introduction of course, with Bath Spa station centrally located and handy for the Roman Baths Museum. See the Temple of Sulis Minerva and relics of life 2,000 years ago. Alongside is Bath Abbey, created by the Bishop of Bath and Wells between 1495 and 1503. Or take a stroll to the former Green Park station, closed half a century ago and now neatly preserved as a trendy venue for markets and cafes. If you alight at Bath you will have around five hours in which to explore.

07121506 Bath Spa - Gerry Hurfurt

Tornado at Bath Spa in 2015 – Gerry Hurfurt

Or stay on the train to Salisbury where the city is overlooked by the truly glorious cathedral. The streets abound with interesting shops, ranging from big High Street names to quirky boutiques and there are lots of options when it comes to finding somewhere to eat and drink. If you choose Salisbury your break will be around three hours.

Our journey back is via the same route which means that Tornado will encounter the legendary Lickey Incline, at 1 in 37.7 the steepest sustained main line gradient in Britain. A banking locomotive will be provided for our heavy train, likely to be a Class 66.  You can book tickets and view full details here.

This tour is promoted by The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust with UK Railtours acting as ticket agents. All profits will go towards keeping Tornado on the main line in future years.

All timings are provisional and intended only as a guide.

Ticket Price
Standard Class£109.00
First Class Non-Dining£159.00
First Class Dining£245.00
Times (provisional) Outward Return
Tame Bridge Parkway08.1521.45
Birmingham New Street08.3021.30
Bromsgrove09.0020.40
Worcester Shrub Hill09.2020.15
Cheltenham Spa10.0019.30
  • Standard Class

    A buffet car is available

  • First Class Non-Dining

    Includes complementary tea or coffee, a buffet car is available.

    Option: Guaranteed Table for Two (per seat) £25.00

  • First Class Dining

    Includes the Great British Breakfast, light lunch and a four course dinner. First Class Dining is not available from Cheltenham Spa.

    Option: Guaranteed Table for Two (per seat) £25.00

This tour is promoted by The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust with UK Railtours acting as ticket agents. All profits will go towards keeping Tornado on the main line in future years.

All timings are provisional and intended only as a guide.