Tornado, 1st main line passenger run



Tornado in apple-green livery after its unveiling at the National Railway Museum in York. Photo P Neesam, courtesy A1 Steam Locomotive Trust

(Sorry for the cut off buffer. That’s the way the photo was cropped when we received it. Ed.)

Tornado, the first new main line steam locomotive to be built in Britain for almost 50 years, will haul her first passenger train on the Network Rail main line from York to Newcastle-upon-Tyne and return on Saturday 31st January 2009. This train, The Peppercorn Pioneer, is for the supporters of The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust who raised the funds to build the new Peppercorn class A1 steam locomotive over the past 19 years.

The train is a repeat of the one hauled by the last Peppercorn class A1, 60145 Saint Mungo, on 31st December 1965 shortly before she was scrapped, and will consist of 13 carriages, equating to about 500 tons, and will run at up to 75mph. The new £3 million Peppercorn class A1 60163 Tornado will be wearing her new apple green livery with ‘British Railways’ on the tender as carried by the first 30 of the original 49 Peppercorn class A1s when built.

Speaking about Tornado’s first passenger train on the Network Rail main line, Mark Allatt, chairman of The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust said:

‘Tornado’s’ first main line passenger train is the end of another chapter in the story of a project thatmany 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 the project has achieved so much. The Trust is now looking to the great British public to help us keep ‘Tornado’ on the main line by making a donation, sponsoring a component, taking part in our covenant scheme and/or our £500,000 bond issue.

On Saturday 31st January 2009, Tornado will follow the timings below from York to Newcastle and return:

Departs York station at 12:07
Passes Northallerton at 12:36
Passes Darlington at 12:48
Passes Durham at 13:06
Arrives Newcastle Central Station at 13:21
Departs Newcastle Central station at 16:34
Passes Durham at 16:51
Passes Darlington at 17:10
Passes Northallerton at 17:22
Arrives at York station at 18:00

The second run of The Peppercorn Pioneer on Sunday 1st February 2009 will now start from Doncaster with 60163 Tornado, picking up at York and running through to Durham. This change of itinerary is because the Trust has been advised by Network Rail and the British Transport Police that due to significant concerns regarding crowd control at Newcastle Central station on Sunday 1st February, Tornado’s second train cannot operate through to Newcastle. The return journey will be hauled by Tornado from Durham to York with a modern diesel locomotive returning the train from York to Doncaster. It should be noted that Tornado will not be at Newcastle Central station at any point on Sunday 1st February.

However, a limited number of tickets are now available to the general public on this second train, their first opportunity to travel behind Tornado on the main line. They are priced at £69.00 for Standard Class and £95.00 First Class and are available through the Trust’s booking agent Steam Dreams on 01483 209886.

The second run of The Peppercorn Pioneer on Sunday 1st February 2009, which will be hauled by Tornado from York to Durham and return, will follow the timings below:

Doncaster – Platform 1 – 11:56hrs
York – Platform 11 – 12:27-12:48hrs
Durham – Platform 2 – 14:10-14:15hrs
Durham – Platform 1 – 17:50-53hrs
York 18:57-19:28hrs
Doncaster – 19:52hrs

Further information

For details of how to help or where to travel behind Tornado telephone 01325 4 60163, visit or email

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One Response to “Tornado, 1st main line passenger run”

  1. jackmcquilken Says:

    It would be nice if it came down to the southern railway works at Eastleigh. I think it would get a good response here.

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