100mph new steam locomotive’s first railtour to Harrogate.

The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, the registered charity that built, owns and operates world-famous 100mph new steam locomotive No. 60163 Tornado, has announced a new railtour which will take the locomotive on a railtour to Harrogate for the first time. ‘The White Rose’ will run from London King’s Cross picking up at Potters Bar and Peterborough to Leeds, Harrogate and York on Saturday 27th April 2019.

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 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.

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 In its original incarnation, ‘The White Rose’ express ran from London King’s Cross to Leeds Central and Bradford Exchange stations. It was frequently hauled by Peppercorn class A1s as well as other former LNER express passenger steam locomotives and even the iconic prototype Deltic diesel locomotive. The train ran from 23rd May 1949 to 13th June 1964 when it was replaced by ‘The White Rose Pullman’ which was withdrawn on 4th March 1967. Between 2001 and 2005, ‘The White Rose’ was briefly revived by Great North Eastern Railway (GNER) using three former Regional Eurostar trains sets. Initially the GNER ‘White Rose’ services ran between London King’s Cross and York, then, after clearance was given, between London and Leeds.

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Tornado’s celebration of the 70th anniversary of the first run of ‘The White Rose’ will be on Saturday 27th April 2019 – with three attractive Yorkshire destinations in one train. No. 60163 Tornado will be at home heading north from London King’s Cross along the East Coast Main Line (ECML). The train continues north through Grantham and Doncaster, the latter where the Peppercorn class A1s were designed and 26 of the original 49 constructed, before leaving the ECML at Hambleton Junction to head west. Tornado then climbs Micklefield bank and descends into Leeds where passengers can choose to alight and explore the city for around five hours.

Tornado then takes ‘The White Rose’ north through the suburban scenery and out into the Yorkshire countryside towards the spa town of Harrogate – a first visit for the locomotive – where passengers have around four hours to explore. The train then departs from Harrogate and heads to York where passengers will have around three hours to visit the city as Tornado is turned and serviced for the return journey.

Tornado will then retrace her steps from York via Hammerton and Knaresborough to pick up passengers from Harrogate. ‘The White Rose’ will then head through Horsforth and Headingley before arriving into Leeds station. From here Tornado will steam east as far as Doncaster where our steam locomotive will be replaced by an electric locomotive to return ‘The White Rose’ via the ECML to London King’s Cross.

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‘The White Rose’ offers the opportunity to relive a bygone age of steam travel, evoking the glamour of the 1930s. Heritage carriages provide a nostalgic journey back in time, where passengers can enjoy the beautiful scenery as plumes of steam drift past the windows, and Tornado’s whistle can be heard. 

Passengers booking First Class can look forward to luxurious surroundings, travelling in a comfortable and roomy seat with curtains by the windows. For a little more indulgence, there is the First Class Dining experience, with silver service for all meals, each cooked on the train by an elite team of chefs. Passengers can enjoy a full English breakfast on the outward journey and a relaxed four course dinner on the way home as the sun sets, the station lights twinkle and Tornado’s reassuring rhythmical exhaust sets the seal on a memorable day out. 

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Alternatively, Standard Class seating is also available for those simply wishing to enjoy the scenery and have an enjoyable day out. A buffet car is available in Standard Class. ‘The White Rose’ is set to be a wonderful day out for all, and the ideal way to celebrate a birthday, anniversary or simply spending time together as friends and family.

There is much to see at our three outstanding Yorkshire destinations:


Leeds: shopping in Leeds is a treat, with its many stunning Victorian arcades, Europe’s largest indoor market, Kirkgate Market, and the magnificent Corn Exchange, all steeped in the history of Leeds. In the Victoria Quarter, you’ll also find Harvey Nicholls – the first outside of London, and the perfect spot for a mid-afternoon cocktail. For more history and culture, Leeds has a wealth of museums many within walking distance (or a short taxi ride) of the city centre. These include Leeds Art Gallery, the award winning Thackray Medical Museum and Leeds City Museum which explores a million years of history, taking you from the Egyptians to the Romans and beyond.


Harrogate: this is the definitive boutique spa town in the heart of Yorkshire. Its thriving streets buzz with busy Harrogate shops, cafes and restaurants, a favourite being Betty’s Café Tea Rooms which celebrates its centenary in 2019. There is nowhere better for a brew than the home of Yorkshire Tea! Possibly the most distinctive feature of Harrogate is its pretty open space that surrounds the town centre, known locally as the Stray, at 200 acres this gives Harrogate town centre a green and spacious feel unique to the town.


York: passengers visiting York can take time to explore the city centre with the historic Minster and Shambles, or enjoy the many riverside bars, cafes and restaurants. For a real railway adventure, the National Railway Museum stands close to York station and passengers may wish to visit the steam giants of the past.


Times (Provisional)



Ticket Prices (starting from)

London King’s Cross



First Class Dining                 £249.00

Potters Bar



First Class Non-Dining         £169.00




Standard Class                    £109.00


  • First Class Dining: seats a table for two or four in a First Class carriage – Includes the Great British Breakfast, a light lunch and a four course dinner.
  • First Class Non-Dining: seats a table for two or four in a First Class carriage – Includes complementary tea and coffee. A buffet car is available.
  • Standard Class: seats a table for four in a Standard Class carriage. A buffet car is available.
  • Guaranteed Table for Two: £25 per seat to guarantee a table for two in First Class.


For further details about Tornado-hauled trains and how to book can be found via or call ticket agent UK Railtours on 01438 715050.


Graeme Bunker-James, Trustee, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, commented: “We are delighted to announce ‘The White Rose’ special steam-hauled train from London King’s Cross to three destinations in Yorkshire in celebration of the train’s 70th anniversary. Hauled by our famous new 100mph steam locomotive No. 60163 Tornado, the train will travel at high speed along the East Coast Main Line and on to Leeds, Harrogate and York – an unforgettable day out for all who travel. There is even the option to dine on-board and enjoy fabulous dishes using the very best Yorkshire ingredients prepared by our on-board chefs.” 

This tour is promoted by The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust with UK Railtours acting as ticket agents. All profits will go towards keeping Tornado on the main line in future years. All timings are provisional and intended only as a guide.

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