Vol 32: Mainline 2009, LNER Pacifics

The newest locomotive on the British railway network in 2009 was a steam loco! 60163 Tornado took 18 years to build and cost £3 million, and has become as well known as her great predecessors Flying Scotsman and Mallard. This programme shows her at work during her first year on the mainline, and includes the Royal Train, The Torbay Express, The Talisman, BBC Top Gear’s “Race to the North” and 12 other mainline tours, as well her visit to the Severn Valley Railway in October. For good measure, we include 25 minutes of 60007 Sir Nigel Gresley and 60019 Bittern as well.

Available on Blu-ray and DVD.

Have a look at some excerpts from this production on YouTube:
Sapperton, November.
Woodwalton, February and Dawlish, August

(1 hour 42 minutes)

The A1 class pacifics were designed by A H Peppercorn in the last months of the LNER company and 49 examples were constructed in 1948-9 by British Railways. The class was the final evolution of express passenger locomotives intended for the East Coast Main Line. All had been withdrawn by 1966, and all were scrapped, despite efforts to save the last survivor, 60145 St. Mungo.

The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust was founded in 1990 to build 60163 Tornado, the 50th A1 class locomotive. Construction began in 1994, the boiler was built (in Meiningen, Germany) in 2006, and the completed locomotive moved under her own power for the first time on 29th July 2008. The final cost of construction was about £3 million. Her public launch on August 1st grabbed headlines around the world.

When she moved to the Great Central Railway for trials and running-in, the line was inundated with visitors. More crowds flocked to witness her mainline tests that autumn, despite running late at night. She worked her first public trains on the mainline at the end of January 2009 between York, Durham and Newcastle. In February she worked up to London for the first time. Two weeks later she was named by the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall at York. More publicity followed a “race to the north” staged by the BBC Top Gear programme against a Jaguar XK120 and a Vincent motorcycle. In September, she hauled the final leg of The Winton Train from Harwich to Liverpool St, commemorating the evacuation of Jewish children from Prague 70 years before.


60007 Sir Nigel Gresley

28-Feb Excursion (York-Leicester-Nuneaton-Bescot): Tupton; Burbage Common.

06-Jun The Cathedrals Express (Banbury-Chester-Bicester-Paddington): Tackley (light engine); Claydon; Fenny Compton; Bicester North.

60019 Bittern

28-Nov The Cathedrals Express (Victoria-Staines-Reading-Cheltenham-Worcester and return): Steventon (Oxon); Baulking; Coates.

01-Dec The Cathedrals Express (Victoria-Salisbury-Bath and return): Battledown; Wylye.

05-Dec The Cathedrals Express (Paddington-Gloucester-Cardiff and return): South Stoke; Uffington; Purton; Didcot.

60163 Tornado

Sat 07-Feb The Talisman (Darlington-Kings Cross): Wood Walton; Kings Cross; Bowes Park.

Sat 14-Feb The Valentine’s Day Special (Waterloo-Staines-Andover-Eastleigh-Staines-Waterloo): Deane; Red Post, Andover; Petersfinger, Salisbury; Micheldever.

Thu 19-Feb Royal Train (York-Castleford-Leeds): NRM York (before naming ceremony); Colton Junction; Bolton Percy.

Thu 12-Mar The Tyne Tornado (York-Newcastle-York): Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Sat 18-Apr The Yorkshire Pullman (Kings Cross-York-Kings Cross): Essendine; Great Gonerby; Scrooby; Retford; Little Ponton.

Sat 25-Apr BBC Top Gear Special Charter (Kings Cross-Edinburgh): Burton-le-Coggles (Stoke Bank).

Sat 30-May The Severn Coast Express (Gloucester-Cardiff-Bristol): Tidenham; Severn Tunnel East.

Thu 18-Jun The Cathedrals Express (Minehead-Newbury-Reading-Victoria): Bruton; Wootton Rivers.

Sun 21-Jun The Cathedrals Express (Waterloo-Winchester-Havant-Haslemere-Waterloo): Battledown; Steventon (Hants); Chalton Down.

Sat 04-Jul Light engine move (Birmingham-Oxford-Bristol): Oxford; Uffington.

Sun 05-Jul, 02-Aug, 09-Aug The Torbay Express (Bristol-Weston-Exeter-Kingswear and return): Dawlish; Saltern Cove; Churston; Paignton; Torre; Rewe.

Sat 08-Aug The Tamar Tornado (Bristol-Plymouth-Bristol): Whiteball; Dainton; Hemerdon; Burlescombe.

Sat 15-Aug The Cathedrals Express (Victoria-Winchester-Havant-Guildford-Victoria): Battledown; Liss.

Fri 04-Sep The Winton Train (Harwich-Liverpool St): Wrabness

Sun 13-Sep The Cathedrals Express (Waterloo-Surbiton-Salisbury-Exeter-Bristol-Salisbury-Surbiton-Clapham Jc): Monxton; Watchcombe; Honiton Tunnel; Westleigh/Burlescombe; Upton Scudamore; Andover.

Sun 25-Oct, 01-Nov Severn Valley Railway: Arley (Victoria Bridge); Eardington; Bridgenorth (Daniel’s Mill); Bewdley (Safari Curve).

Sat 07-Nov The Thames Tornado (Gloucester-Swindon-Redhill-London Victoria): St Mary’s Crossing, Chalford; Sapperton Tunnel; Compton Beauchamp; Didcot; Moulsford.



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