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 hauled her first public passenger train from Loughborough Central to Leicester North stations on the Great Central Railway on Monday 22nd September 2008.
Tornado hauled her first public passenger train at 10:15 hours on Monday 22nd September 2008 from Loughborough Central station, Great Central Road, Loughborough, Leics LE11 1RW
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 now undergoing tests and trials on the Great Central Railway at Loughborough.
Mark Allatt, chairman of The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust commented:
“Tornado’s first public passenger train 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.”
On Monday 22nd September Tornado worked trains that departed from Loughborough Central station at 10:15, 12:15, 14:15 and 16:35 hours. She will be working the same trains on Tuesday 23rd October.
Mark Allatt continued:
“Tornado will be hauling passenger trains on the Great Central Railway at Loughborough until its gala weekend on 11th/12th October as a part her tests and trials programme, presenting a unique opportunity to travel behind a brand new steam locomotive. 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 only weeks 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