Saturday 18th September 11.26am departure from Blue Anchor, Tornado heading towards Dunster on the West Somerset Railway.
60163 Tornado is a main-line steam locomotive built in Darlington, England, the first such locomotive built in the United Kingdom since Evening Star, the last steam locomotive built by British Railways, in 1960. Designed to meet modern safety and certification standards, Tornado runs on the UK rail network and on mainline-connected heritage railways. The locomotive is named after the Panavia Tornado military jet.
The locomotive was built by the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, a charitable trust founded in 1990 to build Tornado and possibly further locomotives. Tornado was conceived as an evolution of the LNER Peppercorn Class A1 class, incorporating improvements likely had steam continued, and changes for cost, safety, manufacturing and operational benefits, while replicating the original design’s sound and appearance. Tornado, completely new-built, is considered the 50th Peppercorn A1, numbered next in the class after 60162, Saint Johnstoun, built in 1949.
The 49 original Peppercorn A1s were built in Doncaster and Darlington for the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER). Tornado was built in the trust’s Darlington works. The original 49 locomotives were scrapped by 1966 after an average service of 15 years. None survived into preservation, and Tornado fills a gap in the classes of restored steam locomotives that used to operate on the East Coast Main Line.
Tornado moved under her own power for the first time on 29 July 2008 at Darlington, and then spent two months at the preserved Great Central Railway double-track tourist railway in Loughborough, where she was tested up to 60 mph (97 km/h) and operated her first passenger train.