Tornado, the first new main line steam locomotive to be built in Britain for almost 50 years, will be heading back to the National Railway Museum (NRM) in York on Tuesday 22nd December 2009 for scheduled winter maintenance.
Tornado has returned to the National Railway Museum following a busy first year of main line operations that has taken her across the length and breadth of Great Britain. Visitors to the NRM will be able to see Tornado undergoing her winter maintenance regime in the workshop from 1st to 20th of January 2010. Although the locomotive will arrive on Tuesday 22nd December 2009 and not leave until early February 2010 she is unlikely to be easily viewable outside of these dates.
Tornado starred in a recent episode of BBC’s ‘Top Gear’ racing a Jaguar XK120 car and Vincent Black Shadow motorcycle from London to Edinburgh, with presenter Jeremy Clarkson on-board. The first showing of the programme was watched by over seven million people. The locomotive was also chosen to haul the British leg of ‘The Winton Train’ from Harwich to London’s Liverpool Street station. 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. 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 and now available from the Trust on DVD. 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.
Mark Allatt, chairman of The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, commented:
“After a hectic first year of main line operations stretching right across the country, it will be good to take Tornado back to the National Railway Museum where the story of her construction started with the discovery of the surviving drawings of Peppercorn class A1s. We thank the NRM for their hospitality and look forward to welcoming visitors who want to see Tornado close-up as we prepare her for her next season of operations. The locomotive is performing very well and the Trust is working hard to pay off the remaining £600,000 of the loans taken out to complete the locomotive. Please visit our website at www.a1steam.com to find out how you can help to keep this remarkable locomotive on the main line where she belongs.”
Emma Farley, NRM Marketing & PR Manager, said:
“As always, we’re really excited to have Tornado back at the National Railway Museum. Our visitors love to be able to see this great feat of British engineering rubbing shoulders with other steam legends at the home of the railways. Visitors will be able to see Tornado as she is being cleaned and maintained between 1st and 20th January for her first journey of 2010. But as with all projects of this nature, these dates are subject to change, so I’d advise visitors to call the Museum before making a special journey.”