Tornado, the first new main line steam locomotive to be built in Britain for almost 50 years, will achieve her first 10,000 miles in service since her completion in 2008 whilst hauling the ‘Torbay Express’ through Taunton on Sunday 12th July 2009.
The locomotive starred in the first episode of the new series of the BBC’s ‘Top Gear’ programme on Sunday 21st June 2009 racing a Jaguar XK120 car and Vincent Black Shadow motorcycle from London to Edinburgh, with presenter Jeremy Clarkson on-board. The programme was watched by over seven million people. The new £3m Peppercorn class A1 pacific steam locomotive was built over almost 20 years by The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, a registered charity, at its Darlington Locomotive Works in Darlington, Country Durham. Frequently headlined in the national and international press and on TV and radio, No. 60163 Tornado was the subject of a BBC documentary ‘Absolutely Chuffed: The Men Who Built a Steam Engine’ broadcast on Christmas Eve on BBC2 last year. The locomotive was officially named Tornado by TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall in February of this year and has since entered regular service on excursion trains on the Network Rail main line.
All bar the last of Tornado's outings with the Torbay Express have sold out but the series continues during August with No. 6024 King Edward I providing motive power.
Tornado gallops along the sea wall with the "Torbay Express" - Mark Wilkins