60163 Tornado, Britain's new £3 million steam locomotive, moves to the National Railway Museum to start her main line trials
Today The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust announced that 60163 Tornado will be leaving Great Central Railway (GCR), Loughborough, and moving to the National Railway Museum (NRM) in York. After spending almost two months on trials at GCR, the locomotive will arrive at the NRM on Tuesday 21st October 2008 to take pride of place in the NRM’s Great Hall on Thursday 23rd October 2008 before beginning her main line trials.
The process of loading Tornado (engine and tender) onto two low-loaders capable of carrying her almost 170 ton weight will start at about 10:00 hours on Monday 20th October at Quorn and Woodhouse station, Forest Road, Quorn, Leicestershire LE12 8AJ. Just off the A6 - 10 minutes from Junction 23 of M1- follow the brown Steam Railway signs. It is expected that the engine and tender will be loaded and ready to depart by 12:00 hours.
Following their road journey, the engine and tender will be unloaded between 15:00 and 18:00 hours Monday 20th October 2008 and the engine and tender reunited. Between 12:00 and 13:00 hours on Tuesday 21st October 60163 Tornado will be moved by rail over to the National Railway Museum, Leeman Road, York Y026 4XJ. The NRM is on the site of the former York locomotive depot where the last surviving original Peppercorn class A1 60145 Saint Mungo was based until scrapping in 1966.
Speaking about Tornado’s move from the Great Central Railway, Mark Allatt, chairman of The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust said:
“Today is a bitter sweet day for the Trust. Tornado is leaving the GCR after two amazing months of tests, trials and initial passenger operations which culminated in the record breaking Steam Railway gala last weekend, attended by over 7,000 people, and test runs at up to 60mph. The Trust can’t thank the GCR enough for their professionalism, helpfulness and warm hospitality during our stay and we look forward to returning many times in the future. However, Tornado is now ready to stretch her legs on the Network Rail main line, where she will be tested at speeds of up to 75mph during November in preparation for her Network Rail passenger début in the New Year.”
Commenting on Tornado’s time on Britain’s only double track, main line heritage railway, Bill Ford, president of the Great Central Railway, said:
"It has been a real honour to host the running in trials and first passenger trains for Tornado. She’s a handsome machine and her smooth début is a tribute to the skill and determination of The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust. We wish this great team of people and their engine every success in future endeavours and hope to welcome her back to the GCR in future."
Although Tornado will only be on display in the NRM’s Great Hall for a few days, she will be behind the scenes at the Museum until at least February 2009. Following her appearance at the Dinner at the NRM on Thursday 23rd October she will undergo final preparations for the main line. Tornado will then undertake her main line tests and trials before completing the certification process and receiving the go-ahead to operate on Network Rail. Tornado’s test runs will take place on Tuesday 4th (locomotive and support coach from York to Scarborough and return), Thursday 6th (locomotive and train to 60mph from York to Barrow Hill, Chesterfield and return) and Tuesday 18th November (locomotive and train to 75mph from York to Newcastle and return). The locomotive will then enter the NRM’s paint shop where she will lose her now familiar test livery of photographic grey.
Andrew Scott, Director of the NRM, said:
“Hosting Tornado during her main line trials confirms the NRM’s position as the centre of all things rail. Not only was York the final home of the Peppercorn class A1s but the original drawings used to recreate this extinct class of steam locomotive are preserved by the NRM and without them this fantastic project, which has been over 18 years in the pipeline, would not have been possible. We’re very excited to see Tornado make an appearance in the NRM’s Great Hall next week - we are certain she will draw a lot of attention and attract many visitors to the Museum.”
Mark Allatt, chairman of The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust added:
“We are looking forward to introducing our locomotive to new generations of enthusiasts at the NRM. Tornado at the NRM is the next chapter in the story of a project that many said could never be completed. In 1990 a group was formed with a vision and the determination to make it succeed – to build and operate a Peppercorn class A1 Pacific steam locomotive for main line and preserved railway use. 18 years later, and thanks to that shared vision and determination, Tornado turned her wheels in anger for the first time on 1st August 2008 in front of the world’s press. It is thanks to our more than 2,000 regular monthly and other donors, our sponsors led by William Cook Cast Products Limited and the hard work of our volunteers and contractors that all that remains now between Tornado and main line operations is the successful completion of her tests and trials programme on Network Rail in November. The Trust is now looking to the great British public to help us get Tornado onto the main line passenger service by making a donation, sponsoring a component, taking part in our covenant scheme and/or our £500,000 bond issue. There is only £50,000 to help fund a support coach and £66,000 to pay for tests and trials between now and Tornado's main line début.”
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Photographs of original A1s and Tornado are available on request.
Note to Editors
The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, a registered charity, has built Peppercorn class A1 Pacific 60163 Tornado at its Darlington Locomotive Works and when certified it will be used on charter trains operating on Network Rail. Fitted with additional water capacity and the latest railway safety electronics, Tornado is fully equipped for today’s main line railway. The class A1s were designed by Arthur H Peppercorn for the London & North Eastern Railway and 49 were built in 1948/49 by British Railways. However, following the dieselisation of the railways, all were scrapped by 1966. The project to build a new Peppercorn class A1 was launched in 1990 and after 18 years of planning, construction and fundraising the £3 million locomotive was completed in August 2008. Over £2.9m has been raised to-date through deeds of covenant, commercial sponsorship (principal sponsor William Cook Cast Products Limited) and through a bond issue. For details of how to help telephone 01325 4 60163, visit www.a1steam.com or email email@example.com.
The National Railway Museum is the largest railway museum in the world. Its displays and collections are the most comprehensive and significant in their field, illustrating the history of British railways and railway engineering from the industrial revolution to the present day and beyond. Special exhibitions, hands-on interactive displays, live interpreters in the exhibition halls and drama programmes all help tell the incredible story of the train and its effects on society. Since it opened in 1975, the NRM’s unique blend of education and entertainment has thrilled over 20 million visitors, young and old. More than just a great attraction, it has always aimed to give school children and the wider public a broader understanding of Britain's industrial achievement.
The Great Central Railway has been voted number 12 on the list of the 50 greatest railway journeys in the world and is the UK's only double track, main line heritage railway. It’s the only place in the world where full size steam engines can be seen passing each other – just as it was when steam ruled the rails. The preserved railway has been operating for over 30 years, and is manned by around 700 volunteers and a small team of permanent staff. Originally a main line from Sheffield to London, the 8 mile preserved section between Loughborough and Leicester is fully operational and the 4 stations reflect a different period of the railway’s 109 year history. Trains run every weekend of the year, bank holidays and daily in the summer. In addition, First Class Restaurant Car Services provide 4 or 6 course meals, whilst travelling between Loughborough and Leicester or childhood dreams can come true with a Drive a Train Experience. We also run a number of family events, including “Days Out with Thomas the Tank Engine”, Bonfire Night and Santa Specials. The railway has won a number of awards including “independent railway of the year”, and a gold award for the East Midlands best visitor experience and is a quality assured visitor attraction as designated by Enjoy England. Details on the above and all forthcoming events can be found on the Great Central Railway's extensive website: www.greatcentralrailway.com. Additional information can also be obtained from the Booking Office, Loughborough Central Station, (Daily 9.00 - 5.30) on 01509 230726
For more information please contact:
Mark Allatt, chairman, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, on 07710 878979 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Gemma Sneyd, Press Officer, National Railway Museum on 01904 686271 or email@example.com
Lynn Hill, Marketing Assistant, Great Central Railway on 07789 178387 or firstname.lastname@example.org