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Tornado Driving Experience

A unique Driving Experience aboard LNER No 60163 Tornado


Take to the regulator, and drive and fire A1 No 60163 "Tornado".

21st, 22nd and 23rd May

This exciting package includes theory and practical driving of 60163 during which you will receive one hour's tuition and one hour on the footplate of 60163 without rolling stock. During the hour on the footplate, two of you will take it in turns to drive and fire the locomotive for a total distance of approximately 15 miles. 

Price: £595.00 per person 

In 1990 a group of people came together to share an extraordinary ambition – to build a brand new Peppercorn A1 Pacific. They formed The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust and, after 19 years of incredible effort, locomotive No 60163 Tornado moved under its own power for the first time in 2008.

This website (https://www.a1steam.com/tornado/about-tornado/the-build/the-building-of-tornado) tells the story of Tornado’s construction, an amazing tale of cooperation, skill and sheer hard graft which defied the critics who said it could never be done. The A1 Trust has over 2500 regular supporters (covenantors) who have all played some part, small or large, in guaranteeing that we have steam on the main line in the 21st Century.

Tornado is now fulfilling the dream, hauling specials on the mainline and giving joy to thousands of passengers and linesiders who want to witness the legend in action. 

The A1s were designed by Arthur H Peppercorn (29th January 1889 – 3rd March 1951), the last Chief Mechanical Engineer of the London & North Eastern Railway (LNER). They were the last in a line of famous express passenger steam locomotives for the East Coast Main Line, which included the Stirling Singles, the Ivatt Atlantics and the Gresley Pacifics.

The original 49 Peppercorn Class A1s were ordered by the LNER and built at Doncaster and Darlington for British Railways (BR) in 1948/9, after the nationalisation of the railways. As designed, they were ideally suited for the post-war world of poor maintenance and heavy trains, with their 50 sqft grate allowing them to use lower grade coal than their predecessors. The final five were even equipped with roller bearings enabling them to go for an average of 118,000 miles between heavy repairs, making the A1s the cheapest to run of all British steam locomotives in the same category. They were also the most reliable of all the express passenger steam locomotives owned by British Railways.