EPPERCORN A1 Pacific No. 60163 Tornado found itself stranded on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway after a skip lorry hit a bridge on Network Rail’s Middlesbrough to Whitby line causing severe structural damage.
Northern passenger services between Battersby and Whitby were immediately suspended following the collision on the rail-over-road bridge at the bottom of Langburn’s Bank close to Castleton station around midday on Monday, March 12, and replacement buses were laid on. The impact was such that it caused significant structural damage to the steel girders of the bridge, and caused the track to be dislodged.
The road was also closed as short-term repairs were carried out, and scheduled DMU services to Whitby resumed on the Friday. However, that was too late for Tornado to travel by rail to fulfil is next engagement at the Severn Valley Railway’s March 16-18 spring steam gala (feature, pages 76-79).
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Owner The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust has a policy of trying not to have the A1 moved by low loader in order to reduce the potential for damage. Yet in this case, the trust decided that honouring its commitment had to come first. So on Wednesday, March 14, it was loaded on to an Allelys Heavy Haulage lorry at Newbridge yard near Pickering, and with the help of experts from Priest Abnormal Load Services, taken to Bridgnorth. The tender arrived separately that evening and the locomotive Thursday lunchtime. The support coach was loaded on the Thursday and arrived first thing Friday.
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