Tornado ongoing TPWS failure mystifies experts

By Cedric Johns

Passengers travelling on The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust’s ‘North Briton’ railtour on Saturday, February 24, were surprised to discover that the train was fronted by a Class 66 diesel piloting Tornado when it departed on its steam-hauled leg from Doncaster.

DB Cargo Class 66 diesel No. 66114 pilots the stricken A1 Pacific No. 60163 Tornado over Ribblehead viaduct with UK Railtours’ ‘North Briton’ from Cambridge to Carlisle on February 24. DAVID TROUT

Those who had joined the train, diesel-hauled from Cambridge and stations beforehand, had expected the 66 to give way to the No. 60163 at Doncaster – but it was not to be.

Troubled by a serious technical problem to its Train Protecting & Warning System, discovered during a fitness-to-run examination at East Leake on the Great Central Railway (Nottingham) on February 13, a positioning run by the A1 to Didcot planned for that day was cancelled. Following a week’s investigations, during which industry experts, including the manufacturer, examined the system in what might be termed an unprecedented situation, progress was slow in finding answers.

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