TORNADO TO BE RENAMED TYPHOON FOLLOWING RAF JET’S RETIREMENT
The A1 Steam locomotive Trust has a long history of running inventive April Fool pranks.... please be assured that this was our effort for 2018 and Tornado will NOT be re-named any time soon!
The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust today announced that it would be renaming and renumbering the ten-year-old 4-6-2 ‘Pacific’. The 50th Peppercorn class A1 was completed in 2008 at Darlington Locomotive Works following 18 years of fundraising and construction at a cost of over £3m. The project to build the new locomotive was launched in November 1990 with money being raised by public subscription – “an A1 for the price of a pint of beer a week” – and commercial sponsorship.
The name 'Tornado' was chosen to commemorate the RAF jets of the same name then on operational service during the first Gulf War. However, with the Trust keen to maintain its strong links with the Royal Air Force which celebrates its 100th birthday on 1st April 2018 and the RAF’s Tornado jets being withdrawn from service in March 2019 it has been decided to rename/renumber No. 60163Tornado to No. 60164 Typhoon. The locomotive’s new name will commemorate the RAF’s jets of the same name which will be in service for many years to come.
Mark Allatt, Trustee, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, commented, “Now that Tornado is approaching ten years since completion, the Trust has decided to give the locomotive a new name, new number and new look. From 1st April 2019 No. 60163 Tornado will be renamed and renumbered to No. 60164 Typhoon and will also be repainted in the popular British Railways Express Passenger Blue livery carried in 2012-14. This change is a reflection of our desire to maintain an on-going link with the RAF and also to forge stronger links with other countries flying the Typhoon jets.”
Graeme Bunker-James, Operations Director, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust continued, “To celebrate our locomotive’s new identity and to forge closer links with the RAF and allied air forces flying the Typhoon, we are in the early stages of planning an overseas tour which will include Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. It’s in the early stages of planning but the first part of the tour will start on 1st April 2019 in Aprilschertz in Germany.
Oberst Joe Kerr of the Luftwaffe station in Aprilschertz added, “We are delighted to be hosting the first leg of No. 60164 Typhoon’s international tour and look forward to welcoming our British friends as the embark on their next adventure.”
Photograph altered by computer by Alan Crofty, from original by Jack Beeston