Become a Sponsor

The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust has achieved what many considered unachievable, the construction of a 1940s design steam locomotive which is capable of operation (and has been accepted for use) on the railways of the 21stcentury.  In doing this, the Trust has achieved something else, the support of a wide range of businesses, not just from the heritage railway sector but the modern railway and beyond, crossing the boundary into, for example, advanced engineering consultancy and financial solutions.

We would like you to be part of our story and help the Trust continue its unique promotion of the UK’s industrial and commercial capabilities.  Can your company help us?  If the answer is yes, please contact Mark Allatt who is in charge of the Trust’s sponsorship and fundraising –

Thank you.

Sponsors – background information

William Cook Cast Products is the Trust’s Principal Sponsor and its Chairman, Andrew Cook, has personally supported our projects for many years.  With foundries in Sheffield and Leeds, the company supplied the majority of the cast steel parts on Tornado, including the distinctive – and extremely complicated to produce – 6’ 8” driving wheels.  William Cook Cast Products also sponsored the construction of Tornado’s tender, in the process providing all the cast steel parts for this too, including wheels and horn blocks.  The firm has also extensively supported the construction of No. 2007 Prince of Wales.

AB Hoses – supplier of the specialist hoses used on our locomotives, tenders and support coaches.

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Accucraft (UK) Ltd – Makers of model rolling stock and live steam locomotives in Gauge 1, supported the 163 Club tender appeal.

Charities Aid Foundation – ‘CAF’ provided the Trust with financial assistance at a critical period in the construction phase of the project and continues to offer advice on the Trust’s strategic goals for the future.

Cleveland Bridge – a global leader in technology based engineering, construction and steel fabrication services, with a long record of achievements that include the famous Victoria Falls and Sydney Harbour Bridges and now No. 2007!

Craftmaster Paints – has sponsored both Tornado and Prince of Wales.  The company worked closely with Tornado’s engineering team to ensure an accurate reproduction of these classic railway colours.  

Darlington Borough Council – a long standing supporter of the Trust and provider of the Trust’s home base at Hopetown Lane, Darlington.  The Council has also been instrumental in helping the Trust obtain regional funding to renovate the Locomotive Works as well as contributing towards to upkeep of the building and is supporting the new locomotive works adjacent to North Road Station.

Footplate Equipment Limited – has supplied numerous essential operational items, including shovels and oil cans, for Tornado since the locomotive entered service in 2008.  Perhaps the most interesting items supplied by the company are the seemingly antique oil lamps which, on closer inspection, you will see house Tornado’s state-of-the-art LED head lights. 

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Handpoint Limited and Secure Retail Limited – have provided the financial hardware and back-up solutions for our merchandising activities, allowing the Trust to accept credit and debit card payments on the move and on-line.

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Head of Steam Darlington Railway Museum – a partner in promoting the history of the railway in Darlington, of which the construction of Tornado and Prince of Wales is the latest chapter.  The Museum hosted the first-ever exhibition about the project, the nucleus of which has become a permanent display.

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Heritage Lottery Fund – provided £11,100 from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help the organisation recover and re-start main line operations during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Hima-Sella – provided the GSM-R cab radio system that was a vital component of Tornado’s entry into main line operation in 2008.

I D Howitt Limited – one of the Trust’s most important construction supporters, involved in all stages of the building of Tornado, including work on the cylinders and construction of the frames for the tender as well as those of No. 2007 Prince of Wales.

Lawrie Loveless & Co – Makers of finescale Gauge O and Gauge 1 electric locomotives and rolling stock, supporting the P2 build.

ONE North East – the Regional Development Agency covering the Darlington area has been a valued supporter of the Trust and continues to offer advice on the Trust’s strategic goals.

Redcliffe Imaging Limited – working with the photography team at the Trust to provide high quality images of Tornado for sale to rail tour passengers and heritage railway visitors.

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Rock Oil – supplier of the specialist lubricants and oils that keep Tornado moving on the railway network and preserved railways all over the country.

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Sage software solutions – based in the North East, Sage provides accounting and financial software throughout the world and has supported the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust with office support and tuition.

M H Spencer Limited – a longstanding industrial sponsor which provided much of the welding equipment used in the Locomotive Works in Darlington at a critical time in the project.

Tasque Rail Limited – without the support of Tasque in providing all the data for the gauging of the locomotive, quite simply Tornado would not be out on the main line today.

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Timken Bearings – Timken engineered bearings deliver strong performance, consistently and reliably, suppliers of roller bearings to both No. 60163 and No. 2007.

Total – supplier of the specialist lubricants and oils required during the construction of Tornado and also used in the locomotive’s current operations.

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Unipart Rail – have supplied numerous safety-critical items for Tornado essential for work on the main line, including an NRN radio, flashing head and tail lamps and detonators.

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William Lane Castings – supplied a number of brass and bronze castings to the Tornado build programme, mostly in the cab as well as the window frames

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York EMC Services has carried out the static emission testing of the electrical systems on Tornado’s support coach.  This testing is a vital part of the certification of the vehicle to allow it to operate on the main line behind Tornado. 

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