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Tornado

Part of History, still creating history – Come and join us!

Tornado is a 21st century steam locomotive. The first main line steam locomotive built in the UK since 1960, Tornado made headlines as it steamed for the first time in 2008. In just over 10 years, the engine has continued to impress, hauling Royal Trains and appearing on the big screen in Paddington2 as well as on numerous television programmes including Top Gear. Tornado is also the fastest steam engine to run since the 1960s, reaching 100mph on a test train in 2017. But, we couldn’t do any of this without our supporters…

Support the Trust

Get on board with us for as little as the price of a pint. As a charity we rely on fundraising to keep achieving amazing feats with Tornado. From build to daily maintenance, much of the locomotive as you see it today has been funded by a lot of people contributing a small amount on a regular basis. Donations from our supporters ensure that Tornado will continue to operate on the mainline for decades to come.

TORNADO'S STATISTICS

100

Miles per hour, the preservation era speed record broken by Tornado

130,000

Miles travelled by Tornado, and counting!

2008

Tornado was completed making it the first main line steam locomotive in the UK since 1961

150

Volunteers who worked on the Tornado project

Our Latest News

This week in Darlington

05 August 2022

Our Latest News

​A round up of activity in the first week of August at Darlington Locomotive Works. The paid engineering staff and contractors work closely with volunteers to deliver testing and refurbishment of...

Tornado's driving wheels have...

02 August 2022

Our Latest News

It was recognised that as part of Tornado’s overhaul, the driving wheels would require new tyres, the first new set since the engine steamed in 2008. Since then, the wheels have covered...

Darlington Locomotive Works 2

02 August 2022

Tornado, Prince of Wales, Anon

Early in 2021 Darlington Council made public their ambitions for the Railway Heritage Quarter and residents and businesses were invited to have their say on the proposals for the...

The Footplate

Inside Tornado’s Cab

Here is where the magic happens. The Fireman shovels the coal into the firebox and feeds the water to the boiler to create steam. Do spare a thought for the fireman bailing coal using only a shovel to maintain a grate bigger than a super king size bed! Tornado operates at a maximum pressure of 250lb/in². The high pressure steam is released by the Driver opening the regulator; the steam then rushes down to the cylinders to push the pistons and turn the wheels. Other driver controls include the regulator, the brakes and most importantly the whistle!

The electronic elements in the cab are safety features for running out on the national network – plus a USB port for charging mobile phones – well, it is a 21st century steam locomotive after all!