Britain’s first locomotive to be built in 50 years will be going down a storm with visitors to the National Railway Museum (NRM) in York this Christmas.
The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust’s brand new £3million locomotive, Tornado, is taking pride of place in the Museum’s Great Hall over the festive period, Monday 22 December to Sunday 11 January, along with other steam legends including the world speed record-breaking Mallard.
Then for the following fortnight, Tornado will be rubbing shoulders with national icon Flying Scotsman in the NRM workshop, where visitors can look down and see no. 60163 be prepared for her first passenger-carrying main line run on 31 January.
The gleaming apple green machine is fresh out of the museum’s paint shop, where a dedicated team from The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust including NRM expert Tony Filby carried out the painstaking process of getting Tornado ready to step into the limelight.
Director of the NRM, Andrew Scott said:
"Not only was York the final home of the Peppercorn class A1s but the original drawings used to recreate this extinct class of steam locomotive are preserved in the NRM’s archive centre Search Engine. Without the Museum’s involvement in hosting the locomotive during her main line trials and providing painting facilities this fantastic project would not have been possible. We’re very excited to see Tornado make an appearance in the NRM’s Great Hall this Christmas- we are certain she will attract many visitors to the Museum and it’s a credit to everyone involved."
Mark Allatt, chairman of The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust added:
“In 1990 a group was formed to build and operate a Peppercorn class A1 Pacific steam locomotive for main line and preserved railway use. 18 years later, thanks to our more than 2,000 regular monthly and other donors, our sponsors and the hard work of our volunteers and contractors, Tornado is just seven weeks away from her main line passenger début. Displaying the locomotive at the National Railway Museum this Christmas consolidates the project’s special place in railway history."
Tornado is on display in the NRM’s Great Hall from 22 December 2008 - 11 January 2009 and in the NRM workshop from 12-25th January 2009.
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For more information please contact:
Catherine Farrell, Senior Press Officer, National Railway Museum on 01904 686281/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark Allatt chairman, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, on 07710 878979 or email@example.com
Notes to editors:
The Museum will be closed to the public on Wednesday 24th December (Christmas Eve), Thursday 25th December (Christmas Day) and Friday 26th December (Boxing Day). The Museums are open as usual on Wednesday 31st December (New Years Eve) and Thursday 1st January (New Years Day). Visitors are advised to ring and check before making a special journey to see Tornado. Telephone: 01325 460163.
The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, a registered charity, has built Peppercorn class A1 Pacific 60163 Tornado at its Darlington Locomotive Works. Tornado, the first new main line steam locomotive to be built in Britain for almost 50 years, was unveiled in her glorious apple green livery at the National Railway Museum (NRM), York, on Saturday 13th December 2008 in front of 500 people who funded the construction of the locomotive. Apple green was the original colour carried by the first 30 of the 49 Peppercorn class A1s.The unveiling was undertaken by Mrs Dorothy Mather, widow of Arthur Peppercorn, the last Chief Mechanical Engineer of the London & North Eastern Railway (LNER) who designed the class Al in the late 1940s. 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 telephone 01325 4 60163, visit www.a1steam.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The National Railway Museum is the largest railway museum in the world. Its displays and collections are the most comprehensive and significant in their field, illustrating the history of British railways and railway engineering from the industrial revolution to the present day and beyond. Special exhibitions, hands-on interactive displays, live interpreters in the exhibition halls and drama programmes all help tell the incredible story of the train and its effects on society. Since it opened in 1975, the NRM’s unique blend of education and entertainment has thrilled over 20 million visitors, young and old. More than just a great attraction, it has always aimed to give school children and the wider public a broader understanding of Britain's industrial achievement.