Tornado and King Edward I are to haul a train celebrating steam’s return to the main line in 1971
On 8th October 2011 Tornado and No. 6024 King Edward I will haul a special train to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the return of steam traction to Britain’s main line railway. A ban on steam was imposed by British Railways when it withdrew from service its last steam locomotives in 1968. This special anniversary train will retrace much of the route taken in October 1971 by GWR King class No. 6000 King George V and all of the profits will be donated to Help for Heroes, with all of the key parties involved pledging their services for free.
The proceeds from the sale of tickets will provide Help for Heroes with much needed funds for Britain’s wounded and disabled armed forces personnel, helping them through the trauma of their ordeal, coping with their injuries and learning how to reintegrate into civilian society. To this end the key players are providing their services free of change: The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust is providing Tornado and Jeremy Hosking (with the 6024 Society) King Edward I; Network Rail has agreed to waive any track access fees while Bells & Two-Tones will be sponsoring the provision of water for the steam locomotives; operator DB Schenker will not charge for its role and Steam Dreams is providing the booking services. Steam Railway magazine will be the official media partner and provide all of the on-train literature. More sponsors are being sought for other aspects of the train to ensure that the maximum amount from the ticket sales goes to Help for Heroes.
The 40th Anniversary train will run on Saturday 8th October from London Paddington (initially diesel hauled) to Hereford, picking up passengers en-route at Slough and Reading. At Hereford, the diesel locomotive will hand over to GWR King class 6024 King Edward I (the same class of locomotive as ban-breaker 6000 King George V, which is not currently operational) which will take the train on to Birmingham Snow Hill via Severn Tunnel Junction, Swindon, Oxford and Banbury. At Birmingham Tornado will take over and return the train to London Paddington. Appropriately, Tornado was named in honour of the RAF aircraft of the same name which were being used in action in the first Gulf War (when the project to build the locomotive was launched in 1990) and are still in action today over Libya and Afghanistan.
Tickets will be priced at £75 standard class, £115 first class and £195 dining. Bookings are being handled by promoter Steam Dreams and seats can be booked on-line at www.steamdreams.com, by telephone on 01483 209888 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Graham Magee, who has co-ordinated fund-raising from within the railway community for Help for Heroes said: “It is wonderful that the 40th anniversary of the main line steam movement, with all of its achievements, is to be celebrated by the running of this train and that the money raised is to be donated to Help for Heroes to support members of the Armed Forces who have been wounded in the service of our Country.”
The Trust respectfully requests that anyone wanting to see the train follows the rules of the railway and only goes where permitted.