Tornado, the first new main line steam locomotive to be built in Britain for almost 50 years, will haul her final test train on the Network Rail main line from York to Newcastle-upon-Tyne and return on Tuesday 18th November 2008. This test train, sponsored by National Express East Coast, will consist of 10 carriages plus a class 67 diesel locomotive, equating to about 550 tons, and will run at up to 75mph. The new £3 million Peppercorn class A1 60163 Tornado will be wearing National Express livery for the test train as the train operator is the modern-day inheritor of the routes the class A1s were designed to work on.
Tornado will follow the timings below from York to Newcastle:
Departs York station at 19:00
Passes Northallerton at 19:29
Passes Darlington at 19:41
Passes Durham at 20:01
Arrives Newcastle Central Station at 20:43
After pausing at Newcastle Central station for around 15 minutes and turning, the return run is as follows:
Passes Durham at 23:09 (note it starts from Tyne Yard)
Passes Darlington at 23:32
Passes Northallerton at 00:00
Arrives at York station at 00:37
Speaking about Tornado’s final main line test train, Mark Allatt, chairman of The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust said:
“Today is another historic day for Tornado. Her first two successful main line test runs, witnessed by hundreds of our supporters, will be followed tonight by a loaded test run from York to Newcastle and back. This train, a repeat of the Peppercorn class A1’s final passenger run, will consist of 10 carriages plus a diesel locomotive, which at the equivalent of around 550 tons should give Tornado an opportunity to show the sort of performance we can expect from a Peppercorn class A1 on the route she was designed to work. Tornado’s test runs are all part of the preparation for her Network Rail passenger début in the New Year.”
Following this final test run, Tornado will enter the National Railway Museum’s (NRM) paint shop where she will lose her now familiar test livery of photographic grey before going on display at the museum. The locomotive will be based at the NRM, York, until at least February 2009.
National Express East Coast managing director David Franks commented:
"The East Coast route has a proud railway heritage, including of course the record breaking run by Mallard, which achieved the world speed record for steam at Stoke Bank, south of Grantham, in 1938.
"We are delighted to support the final testing of Tornado
. We operate the same route that the original Peppercorn class A1 locomotives were designed for, and we share in the pride of all those involved in the construction of this magnificent locomotive".
Mark Allatt, chairman of The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust added:
“The Trust is grateful for National Express’s sponsorship of Tornado’s final test run. Not only does it demonstrate our links with today’s railway industry but it will help the Trust in its operation of the locomotive. Tornado completing her main line trials 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 all that remains now between Tornado and main line operations is the successful completion of this test. The Trust is now looking to the great British public to help us get Tornado in to main line passenger service by making a donation, sponsoring a component, taking part in our covenant scheme and/or our £500,000 bond issue. There is now only 10 weeks until Tornado's main line passenger début.”
The Trust respectfully requests that anyone wanting to see Tornado's trials 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, 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 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. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information please contact:
Mark Allatt, chairman, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, on 07710 878979 or email@example.com
John Gelson, press office, National Express East Coast, on 0845 059 3988