First main line passenger train for new £3m steam locomotive on 31 January 2009
Second train on 1 February 2009 from Doncaster to Durham with seats available for the general public
Tornado, the first new main line steam locomotive to be built in Britain for almost 50 years, hauled her first passenger train on the Network Rail main line from York to Newcastle-upon-Tyne and return on Saturday 31st January 2009. This train, The Peppercorn Pioneer, was for the supporters of The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust who raised the funds to build the new Peppercorn class A1 steam locomotive over the past 19 years.
The train was a repeat of the one hauled by the last Peppercorn class A1, 60145 Saint Mungo, on 31st December 1965 shortly before she was scrapped, and consisted of 13 carriages, equating to about 500 tons, and ran at speeds up to 75mph. The new £3 million Peppercorn class A1 60163 Tornado was wearing her glorious apple green livery with ‘British Railways’ on the tender as carried by the first 30 of the original 49 Peppercorn class A1s when built.
Speaking about Tornado’s first passenger train on the Network Rail main line, Mark Allatt, chairman of The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust said:
“Tornado’s first main line passenger train is the end of another chapter in the story of 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 the project has achieved so much. The Trust is now looking to the great British public to help us keep Tornado on the main line by making a donation, sponsoring a component, taking part in our covenant scheme and/or our £500,000 bond issue.”
The second run of The Peppercorn Pioneer on Sunday 1st February 2009 started from Doncaster with 60163 Tornado, picking up at York and running through to Durham. This change of itinerary was because the Trust had been advised by Network Rail and the British Transport Police that due to significant concerns regarding crowd control at Newcastle Central station on Sunday 1st February, Tornado's second train could not operate through to Newcastle. The return journey was be hauled by Tornado from Durham to York with a modern diesel locomotive returning the train from York to Doncaster.
Mark Allatt added:
“Although we are disappointed not to be running through to Newcastle on Sunday 1st February, we are delighted to be able to start the train in Doncaster. This is very appropriate as the Peppercorn class A1s were designed at the Doncaster Works of the London & North Eastern Railway, 26 of the original A1s were built there in 1948/49 and the Trust was based in Doncaster for a number of years before finding a permanent home in Darlington.”
The next tours organised by The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust for Tornado are:
Saturday 7th February 2009 - The Talisman - Darlington and York to London Kings Cross
Standard £79.50, First Class £119.00 (non dining) and Premier Dining £175.00.
Saturday 18th April 2009 - The Yorkshire Pullman - Kings Cross to York and return by Tornado hauling the VSOE British Pullman train.
Only Pullman class available at £449 per person
Booking agent for all of the above is Steam Dreams on 01483 209886.
Other operations confirmed for Tornado are:
Saturday 14th February – Valentine’s Luncheon/Dinner – Steam Dreams
Web: www.steamdreams.com; Tel: 01483 209888; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday 28th February – The Auld Reekie Express – York - Edinburgh – Past-Time Rail Ltd
Web: www.past-timerail.co.uk; Tel: 01543 411971
Thursday 12th March – The Tyne Tornado - York - Newcastle – Pathfinder
Web: www.pathfindertours.co.uk; Tel: 01453 835414/834477 Email: email@example.com
Weekend of 4th/4th April - Barrow Hill LNER Gala with Peppercorn class A2 60532 Blue Peter
Web: www.barrowhill.org; Tel: 01246 472450; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday 1st to Sunday 10th May – North Yorkshire Moors Railway – Spring Steam Gala
Web: www.nymr.co.uk; Tel: 01751 472508
The Trust respectfully requests that anyone wanting to see Tornado's first main line passenger trains follows the rules of the railway and only goes where permitted.
- ENDS -
Photographs of original A1s and Tornado are available on request.
Note 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. Since then the locomotive has been undergoing 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. 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 or where to travel behind Tornado telephone 01325 4 60163, visit www.a1steam.com or email email@example.com.
For more information please contact:
Mark Allatt, chairman, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, on 07710 878979 or firstname.lastname@example.org