We are delighted to announce that the fundraising campaign to purchase Tornado's tender from William Cook Cast Products has already reached 95% of its 163 member target to raise £200,000.
By 2014 the Trust had repaid all the £1m debt needed to complete Tornado in 2008 and funded the conversion of BR Mk 1 BCK E21249 into her support coach. However, the tender is currently owned by William Cook Cast Products Ltd (the Trust’s Principal Sponsor) as chairman Sir Andrew Cook CBE kindly offered to fund the construction of the tender in 2006, allowing funds being raised to be spent on the engine. The tender is leased to the Trust under a 15-year loan agreement which will come to an end in 2021.
Tornado’s tender is a development of those built for the original Peppercorn class A1s - mainly due to the different operating environment on the modern Network Rail main line. Due to the lack of surviving steam infrastructure, water capacity is at a premium and so Tornado’s tender carries 6,200 gallons, as opposed to 5,000 gallons, and seven tons of coal, rather than nine tons in the original A1s. The tender is also the home for many of Tornado’s other unique features including an alternator, Timken cartridge roller bearings (pre-greased sealed self-contained units which do not have to be fitted in enclosed axleboxes), Train Protection & Warning System (TPWS), National Radio Network (NRN) radio, Global System for Mobile Communications - Railway (GSM-R) radio, GPS tracker and of course the mobile phone charger!
Membership of The 163 Pacifics Club has grown steadily since its launch in September 2013 and over 150 of the initial 163 ex-LNER Express Passenger ‘Pacifcs’ have already received new ‘shed allocations’. Due to popular demand, an additional 46 ‘Pacifics’ have now been released from the Raven class A2s, Thompson classes A2/1s, A2/2s, A2/3s, Peppercorn class A2s and Gresley class A4s (destroyed No. 4469 Gadwall). One supporter has chosen to sponsor the ‘honorary Pacific’, Gresley class W1 4-6-4 No. 10000/60700 which was un-named but also had 6ft 8in driving wheels.
Tornado's tender is loaded at Darlington after its last overhaul - Bob Hughes
Details of The163 Pacifics Club:
- We need to raise £200,000 to purchase Tornado’s tender
- Although Tornado carries the number ‘60163’ - the next in the Peppercorn class A1 series following No. 60162 Saint Johnstoun – her pre-nationalisation LNER number would have been ‘163’
- There were therefore 163 ex-LNER express passenger ‘Pacifics’ (wheel arrangement 4-6-2) from the Gresley class A3s/A4s, Thompson class A1/1 and Peppercorn class A1s
- Due to popular demand, an additional 46 ‘Pacifics’ have been released from the Raven class A2s, Thompson classes A2/1s, A2/2s, A2/3s, Peppercorn class A2s and Gresley class A4s (destroyed No. 4469 Gadwall)
- If 163 people were to make a one-off donation of £960 (or alternatively donate £240 per month for four months), with the addition of Gift Aid (£240) this would raise £195,600.
- As with the previous schemes, this initiative comes with benefits for those who generously take part, including:
- A numbered certificate recording the details of the donation and the number/name of the chosen ex- LNER passenger ‘Pacific’
- Name inscribed on the official Roll of Honour in Darlington Locomotive Works which will detail the ‘Pacific’ sponsored
- Entry into a draw for a main line footplate ride on No. 60163 Tornado.
Mark Allatt, Trustee, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, commented:
"We are delighted that over 150 people have joined The163 Pacifics Club so far, meaning that we have already received pledges of 95% of the 163 needed to raise £200,000 to purchase Tornado’s tender from William Cook Cast Products Ltd by 2021. William Cook Cast Products Ltd has been principal sponsor to The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust through its chairman Sir Andrew Cook CBE since 1994, providing all the steel castings for No. 60163 Tornado and No. 2007 Prince of Wales – including all the wheels – at preferential rates and on generous terms – for which the Trust is enormously grateful.
“Due to popular demand, we have decided to release the remaining ex-LNER ‘Pacifics’ and there are some truly iconic names available to sponsor. Any additional funds raised will be ring-fenced and used for the next overhaul of Tornado’s tender. Please contact the Trust email@example.com or 01325 460163 for more information and to reserve your favourite ‘Pacific’.