Tornado to Star at SSS3 Spectacular
Celebrity 'new-build' 'A1' class 'Pacific' No. 60163 Tornado will make its first ever visit to North Wales, with a debut at the Llangollen Railway for the 6880 Betton Grange Society-organised Steel, Steam & Stars III event to run from 21st to 29th April 2012.
LNER Peppercorn-designed class 'A1' 'Pacific' Tornado joins ex-BR 'standard class' doyen No. 70000 Britannia as the third locomotive to be confirmed for the nine day spectacular, the first being Tallylyn Railway No. 2 Dolgoch which will be making its first ever operational visit away from the railway, running on a specially laid section of 2'3" gauge track in Carrog goods yard where footplate rides will be available.
The announcement that the 'new build' 'Pacific' will be operating along the seven and a half miles long Deeside line couldn't be more appropriate, as funds raised from the event are to assist with the completion of the project to build the 81st 'Grange' class locomotive in the workshops at Llangollen, with particular emphasis on raising £60,000 to get two new cylinders cast and machined, the only remaining parts required to complete the similarly 'new-build' Betton Grange.
6880 Society Chairman Quentin McGuinness said "Having two big 'Pacifics' to headline the event is absolutely incredible and makes visiting the event a 'must see' diary entry for April 2012". It is planned to add at least another three locomotives to the guest list, which along with the railway's home fleet, and the return of 'large Prairie' No. 5199 which is to be repainted into BR black for the first time, will give the gala a pool of up to 13 locomotives to choose from.
The two weekends, including the Friday of the second weekend will see an intensive timetable with all available locomotives in steam, whilst the four days in between will have special themes with a selection of locomotives working.
Also just announced is a model railway exhibition that will be housed in a marquee at Glyndyfrdwy, in the field alongside the up platform, along with a display of traction engines and vintage road vehicles. As well as TR No. 2 Dolgoch, Carrog will also host a number of 'live steam' miniature railways and a display of model engineering, whilst the event should also be the first opportunity for visitors to travel down the new extension towards Corwen aboard what is expected to be a top and tailed or push-pull fitted formation. For further details visit www.6880.co.uk