Tornado, the first new main line steam locomotive to be built in Britain for almost 50 years, will be heading back to York on Saturday 19th and Saturday 26th September with ‘The Cathedrals Express’.
Tornado is returning from a busy summer of operations in London and the South West of which the highlight was being chosen to haul the British leg of ‘The Winton Train’ from Harwich Parkeston Quay (International) to London’s Liverpool Street station on Friday 4th September 2009. This train, organised by Czech Railways and sponsored by the Czech government, commemorated the ‘Kindertransport’ trains and celebrated the life of Sir Nicholas Winton who rescued 669 mainly Jewish children from Nazi occupied Czechoslovakia in the summer of 1939. Originating in Prague, the train followed the route taken by the life-saving originals which allowed many Jewish children to escape the holocaust in Czechoslovakia. Now aged 100, Sir Nicholas met this unique train as guest of honour at Liverpool Street station.
Tornado also stared in the first episode of the new series of the BBC’s ‘Top Gear’ programme on Sunday 21st June 2009 racing a Jaguar XK120 car and Vincent Black Shadow motorcycle from London to Edinburgh, with presenter Jeremy Clarkson on-board. The programme was watched by over seven million people. The new £3m Peppercorn class A1 pacific steam locomotive was built over almost 20 years by The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, a registered charity, at its Darlington Locomotive Works in Darlington, Country Durham. Frequently headlined in the national and international press and on TV and radio, No. 60163 Tornado was the subject of a BBC documentary ‘Absolutely Chuffed: The Men Who Built a Steam Engine’ broadcast on Christmas Eve on BBC2 last year. The locomotive was officially named Tornado by TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall in February of this year and has since entered regular service on excursion trains on the Network Rail main line.
The timings for ‘The Cathedrals Express’ on Saturday 19th September 2009 are:
London King’s Cross: 09:18hrs depart
Potters Bar: 09:41hrs arrive
Stevenage: 10:00hrs arrive
Peterborough: 10:50hrs arrive
Grantham: 11:26hrs water stop
Newark North Gate: 12:21hrs pass
Retford: 12:36hrs pass
Doncaster: 12:51hrs pass
York: 13:20hrs arrive
York: 17:02hrs depart
Doncaster: 17:35hrs pass
Retford: 17:50hrs pass
Newark North Gate: 18:05hrs pass
Grantham: 18:20hrs water stop
Peterborough: 19:17hrs arrive
Stevenage: 20:22hrs arrive
Potters Bar: 20:52hrs arrive
London King’s Cross: 21:10hrs arrive
Mark Allatt, chairman of The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, commented:
“After a busy few months away from the East Coast Main Line it will be good to take Tornado back to York with ‘The Cathedrals Express’ on the route that she was designed for. Tornado is performing very well and the Trust is working hard to pay off the remaining £700,000 of the loans taken out to complete the locomotive. Please visit our website at www.a1steam.com to find out how you can help to keep this remarkable locomotive on the main line where she belongs.”
Photographs of original A1s and Tornado are available on request.
The Trust respectfully requests that anyone wanting to see Tornado's main line passenger trains follows the rules of the railway and only goes where permitted.
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Notes to editors:
The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, a registered charity, built Peppercorn class A1 Pacific 60163 Tornado at its Darlington Locomotive Works 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. 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 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 was completed in August 2008. Following tests and trials, first on the Great Central Railway, Loughborough and latterly on the Network Rail main line based out of the National Railway Museum, York, Tornado hauled her first main line passenger train on 31st January 2009. Tornado was named by TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall at York station on 19th February 2009. Funds to build Tornado have been raised through deeds of covenant, commercial sponsorship (principal sponsor William Cook Cast Products Limited), commercial loans and through a bond issue. The Trust is still seeking to raise funds to repay the £700,000 borrowed to complete her construction. For details of how to help or where to travel behind Tornado visit www.a1steam.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information please contact:
Mark Allatt, chairman, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, on 07710 878979 or email@example.com