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 No. 60163 Tornado
will leave her Darlington birthplace on Tuesday 19th August 2008 for the Great Central Railway (GCR) at Loughborough.
The process of loading Tornado
(engine and tender) onto two low-loaders capable of carrying her almost 170 ton weight will start at about 09:00hrs on Tuesday 19th August at Darlington Locomotive Works, Hopetown Lane, Darlington DL3 6RQ. It is expected that the engine and tender will be loaded and ready to depart by 13:00hrs.
Following their road journey, the engine and tender will be unloaded between 09:00 and 12:00hrs on Wednesday 20th August at Quorn and Woodhouse station, Forest Road, Quorn, Leicestershire LE12 8AJ. Just off the A6 - 10 minutes from Junction 23 of M1 - follow the brown Steam Railway signs.
The project to build a new Peppercorn class A1 was launched in 1990 and after 18 years of planning, construction and fundraising No. 60163 Tornado made her first public moves in steam on Friday 1st August in front of the world’s press. Following the successful completion of her initial test runs at DarlingtonTornado is now ready for further tests and trials on the Great Central Railway in Loughborough, Leicestershire.
Mark Allatt, chairman of The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust commented: “Today is a bitter sweet day for the Trust. Tornado is leaving Darlington after 11 years of construction in Darlington Locomotive Works which culminated in her first public moves on 1st August. However, she is now ready to stretch her legs on the Great Central Railway, Britain’s only double track, main line heritage railway, where she will be tested at speeds of up to 60mph in preparation for her Network Rail début in the autumn.”
“Thanks to that vision and determination of our supporters, Tornado is complete and ready to haul trains for the first time. It is down to our more than 2,000 regular monthly and other donors, our sponsors lead 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, first on the Great Central Railway and then on Network Rail.”
will spend two months based on the GCR. The first month will be taken up with testing. The locomotive will run by herself and then with test trains of empty carriages. On 21st September Tornado
will pull her first passenger trains, initially for our supporters who have helped to finance her construction. Thereafter trains will be open for everyone, for three weekends until the middle of October.
Bill Ford, president of the Great Central Railway added: “This is a terrific honour for the GCR. Tornado has been the talk of the railway enthusiast community for years, but now she’s finally ready to run, the whole world is taking notice. After testing she will pull her first trains right here in Leicestershire. We're expecting to be very busy indeed!"
Mark Allatt concluded: “In order to get Tornado onto the main line as quickly as possible the Trust needs to raise a further £66,000 on top of its existing pledges. We are now looking to railway enthusiasts throughout the country to help us through making a donation, sponsoring a component, taking part in our covenant scheme and/or our bond issue. It’s time to get on board!”
Tornado's departure from Darlington .......
..... and arrival at the Great Central Railway's Quorn Station, 19th August 2008, ....
.... followed by successful offloading and departure to Loughborough, on the morning of 20th August 2008.
Further pictures and text relating to Tornado at the GCR will now be placed on the "Preserved Railways" page.