The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, the registered charity that built, owns and operates world-famous 100mph new steam locomotive No. 60163 Tornado, has launched a new fundraising campaign to mark Tornado’s 10th birthday this year and imminent return to main line operations.

A1 Peppercorn No. 60163 Tornado powers towards Bewdley passing through Northwood Lane on the Severn Valley Railway

For everything Heritage Railway magazine, why don’t you like us on Facebook, or follow @HeritageRailwayMag on Twitter here.

Since completion in Darlington in 2008, new Peppercorn class A1 Pacific No. 60163 Tornado has covered over 100,000 miles and seen service on the Network Rail main line and heritage railways right across Great Britain. Highlights have included three Royal Trains including the naming by TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall in February 2009; BBC Top Gear ‘Race to the North’ with Jeremy Clarkson on the footplate; ‘The Winton’ train to commemorate the 70th anniversary on the Kinder Transport; the rescuing of stranded commuters in Kent; the re-opening of the Settle to Carlisle Railway; the first steam locomotive in the UK to achieve 100mph for 50 years; featuring in two BBC documentaries, ‘Absolutely Chuffed – the Men Who Built a Steam Engine’ and ‘Tornado the 100mph Steam Engine’, and starring in PADDINGTON 2 the movie.


Mark Allatt, Trustee, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, commented:

“It’s hard to believe that No. 60163 Tornado has now been in traffic for over 10 years – and what a decade it has been! Throughout these years we have had many highs and a few unfortunate lows; we have travelled the length and breadth of Great Britain, hauling main line charters and Royal Trains, visiting dozens of heritage railways & centres and making countless appearances in the press, on TV and even in a movie! The nation – and indeed people way beyond our shores – seem to have taken Tornado to their heart.

“Unfortunately, Tornado’s 10th Birthday year didn’t quite work out as planned and 2018 has been a challenging year for The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust following No. 60163’s failure on 14th April 2018 hauling her first 90mph train, ‘The Ebor Flyer’. Although much of the repair costs and loss of earnings have been covered by our insurance, unfortunately not all those costs could be recovered.

“In response to the many offers of help we have received, we have decided to establish the ‘I © 60163’ appeal to help close the funding gap and raise £60,163 from 100 people each donating £601.63 in up to six payments. And, now Tornado is back in steam, we would like to take the opportunity again to thank our supporters for their patience and continued support.”

For everything Heritage Railway magazine, why don’t you like us on Facebook, or follow @HeritageRailwayMag on Twitter here.

The repairs to Tornado following her failure on 14th April 2018 hauling ‘The Ebor Flyer’ have included:

                  Reboring the outside valve liners

                  Manufacturing and fitting of new valve heads

                  Remetalling and machining of outside valve spindle crossheads

                  Rebushing of the outside valve chest covers

                  Renewing the left had outside union link and pins

                  Boring of, and replacement of pins in, the inside reversing gear

                  Exchanging and overhauling the front air pump

                  Replacing the blow down valves

                  Overhauling the mechanical lubricator and atomisers

                  Replacing some of the lubrication pipework

                  Fitting of three-pawl ratchet mechanism to lubricator in order to improve reliability

                  Following recent tyre turning, acquisition of a replacement set of coupled wheel tyres

In response to the many offers of help the Trust has received, we have decided to establish the ‘I © 60163’ appeal to help close the funding gap and raise £60,163 from 100 people each donating £601.63 in up to six payments.

By donating £601.63 to the  ‘I © 60163’ appeal, supporters will receive:

                  An exclusive ‘I © 60163’ car sticker

                  Access to view Tornado at all reasonable times

                  The Trust’s newsletters on a regular basis

                  The opportunity to attend the Trust’s Annual Convention

                  A special ‘I © 60163’ day with No. 60163 Tornado

                  Their name inscribed on the Roll of Honour at Darlington Locomotive Works.

Repairs Update

Following two weeks of successful running-in on the Nene Valley railway during which a total of 772 miles were covered, made up of 225 miles light engine and 547 miles loaded, DB Cargo carried out an audit of the condition of the locomotive and the relevant paperwork which accompanies it including test certificates for the boiler and air reservoirs, ultrasonic testing of the axles, spring weights etc. No significant defects were found, although there were a number of minor deferred defects mostly arising from two weeks of continuous activity which will be attended to during the A exam scheduled to start on 11th October.

This represents a major milestone in the programme to return Tornado to the main line after the damage to the inside valve gear whilst hauling ‘The Ebor Flyer’ on 14th April 2018. The Trust also made the decision to refurbish and renew parts of the outside cylinder valve gear whilst the locomotive was out of service.

The repair has proved to have taken rather longer to complete that we anticipated due to a number of factors, including having the locomotive based a long way from the Trust’s own engineering resources; and that the parts of the British mechanical engineering industry that we rely on being very busy. This resulted in long lead times to have specialist machining and welding work done.

Notwithstanding this, the Trust owes particular thanks to Arthur Stephenson Engineers Ltd of Atherton who were able to forge and machine a new union link and combination lever in a short period of time for the inside valve gear, and to Durham Precision Engineering Ltd of Newton Aycliffe who rapidly CNC machined a new crosshead drop link.

The Trust was fortunate in having a casting for a new crosshead “on the shelf” one of three which had recently been delivered by William Cook Cast Products Ltd of Sheffield for our new Gresley class P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales. The Trust also owes thanks to the Nene Valley Railway which has made us most welcome and have gone out of their way to accommodate moves round the yard and the use of their railway to run in Tornado. Whilst the Trust is grateful for the assistance of many other firms and individuals, our sincere thanks goes to David Wright’s Locomotive Maintenance Services Ltd of Loughborough and his staff, particularly Andy Morgan and Andy Meredith who have spent many hours at Loughborough and Wansford manufacturing new components, fettling existing parts and fitting them to the engine.

For everything Heritage Railway magazine, why don’t you like us on Facebook, or follow @HeritageRailwayMag on Twitter here.

The Trust is now working hard to get Tornado back onto the main line where she belongs and anticipate picking up the remainder of our 2018 programme as follows:

                  Saturday 3rd November – Linlithgow and Edinburgh Waverley to York via Carlisle (southbound – Tornado) and Newcastle upon Tyne (northbound – diesel) – SRPS

                  Saturday 1st December – ‘The Christmas Border Raider’ – West Midlands to Carlisle via the Settle & Carlisle Railway and return – A1SLT

                  Saturday 15th December – ‘The Chester Chuffer’ – Salisbury to Chester and return (Tornado from/to West Midlands) – Pathfinder Tours


The Trust respectfully requests that anyone wanting to see Tornado follows the rules of the railway and only goes where permitted.

Enjoy more Heritage Railway reading in the four-weekly magazine. Click here to subscribe.