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 haul her last passenger trains on the Great Central Railway at its Steam Railway Gala on Sunday 12th October 2008 before she leaves for the National Railway Museum in York to continue her tests and trials on Network Rail. This is the biggest ever GCR gala and it will run from Friday 10th to Sunday 12th October 2008, with thousands of visitors expected in Leicestershire over the three days. Three of Britain's finest locomotives will join Tornado working passenger trains over the three days - Leander, Oliver Cromwell and Lord Nelson.
The GCR’s president, Bill Ford said:
"Back in 1969 when a group of people came together to save part of the Great Central Railway from closure, they dreamed of big engines at home on a double track main line. Well on the eve of our 40th anniversary I think this could be our ultimate show – fulfilling the vision perfectly. It will be a taste of main line magic. There won't be a line up like this again anywhere in the country anytime soon, so don’t miss it!"
Each of the big locomotives at the gala has a reason to be a star.
• Lord Nelson is the sole surviving member of the Southern Railway’s 'Lord Nelson' class and is part of the national collection.
• Oliver Cromwell hauled Britain's last main line steam train for British Railways in 1968. It was restored to working order this year to mark the 40th anniversary of the event and is also part of the national collection.
• Leander is a prime example of the London Midland & Scottish Railway’s express passenger ‘Jubilee’ class.
• Tornado is the first main line steam locomotive to be built in Britain in almost 50 years and the gala is the last chance to see her in action at the GCR before she moves to the National Railway Museum.
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.
Mark Allatt, chairman of The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust added:
“Tornado’s last passenger train on the Great Central Railway marks another major step for 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.”
“Tornado will be hauling her final passenger trains on the Great Central Railway over its Steam Railway gala weekend on 10th-12th October, presenting a unique and final opportunity to travel behind a brand new steam locomotive in works grey. Tornado will then continue her tests and trails programme on Network Rail in the autumn before entering main line passenger service. 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”
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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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 email@example.com
Details on opportunities to travel behind Tornado on the Great Central Railway can be found at www.gcrailway.co.uk. 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 (M) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lynn Hill, Marketing Assistant, Great Central Railway on 07789 178387 (M) or email@example.com