The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, the registered charity that has built the first new main line steam locomotive in Britain for almost 50 years, today announced that 60163 Tornado will star in a 30 minute TV documentary about her construction to be shown this week. Absolutely Chuffed: The Men Who Built A Steam Engine is being shown on BBC4 at 8pm on Thursday 16th October 2008 and is being repeated at 10pm on Sunday 19th October 2008.
Tom Ingall, co-producer of the programme, commented:
“This has been a fascinating project. From the moment I first saw the A1 under construction it was clear there was a great deal of passion and pride involved - invested over so many years. The challenge would be finding a way to keep up with developments over such a long timescale. Along with my colleagues Marcel Guillou and Edward Young we resolved to do whatever we could to tell the story. I'm delighted with the end results which hopefully reflect some of the challenges and emotions the A1 trust faced along the way."
Mark Allatt, chairman of The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust added:
“Absolutely Chuffed: The Men Who Built A Steam Engine tells 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 test and trials programme. Tom and his team have filmed the project’s every twist and turn over the past few years and their programme is a testament to the time and effort they have put in to telling our remarkable story.”
“Tornado hauled her final passenger trains on the Great Central Railway at its Steam Railway gala weekend on 10th-12th October, with a record breaking 7,000 people taking a unique and final opportunity to travel behind a brand new steam locomotive in works grey. Tornado will continue her tests and trails programme on Network Rail in November before entering main line passenger service in the New Year. The Trust is now looking to the great British public to help us get Tornado onto the main line 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, £66,000 to pay for test and trials and less than a month between now and Tornado's main line début.”
Designed by Arthur Peppercorn as the final development of express passenger steam locomotives for the London & North Eastern Railway, the newly formed British Railways constructed 49 class A1s in 1948/49 at its Doncaster and Darlington Works. Following the decision to eliminate steam traction on Britain’s railways, the last of the class was scrapped in 1966 following a failed preservation attempt. 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 is currently undergoing tests and trials on the Great Central Railway at Loughborough.
The A1 Trust has built Peppercorn Class A1 Pacific 60163 Tornado at its Darlington Locomotive Works and when certified it will be used to haul 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. Over £2.9m has been raised to-date through deeds of covenant, commercial sponsorship (principal sponsor William Cook Cast Products Limited), loans and a bond issue. In order to get Tornado on the main line as quickly as possible the Trust needs to raise a further £66,000 on top of its existing pledges.
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Photographs of original A1s and Tornado are available on request.
Note to Editors
The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust 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 A1 Trust has built a new class A1 at a total cost £3 million. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information please contact:
Mark Allatt, chairman, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, on 07710 878979 or email@example.com.
Tom Ingall, co-producer, BBC, on 07860 511098 or firstname.lastname@example.org