In 1990 a group of like-minded people came together in the belief that they could construct from new, a Peppercorn Class A1 Pacific locomotive. The first steam locomotive built in the United Kingdom since 'Evening Star' in 1960 and it would be built to meet modern safety and certification standards to enable it to run on mainline connected heritage railways. After a period of nearly 20 years the dream became a reality on the 29th July 2008 when locomotive No. 60163 'Tornado' moved under its own power at Darlingto
With a 4-6-2 wheel configuration, Tornado is 22.24m long, 2.82m wide, 3.96m high, one inch lower than the original A1s in order to meet current Network Rail OLE requirements. The locomotive weights 105.2 long tons and the tender weights 60.9 long tons and is capable of a top speed of 160km/h but is at present certificated to 121km/h. The boiler, based on the original Diagram 118, has a pressure of 250psi, is 1.96m in diameter by 8.89m in length which powers three 480 x 660 mm cylinders.
The frames of the original 49 Class A1 Pacifics (built between 1948 - 1949, withdrawn and scrapped by 1966) were cut from two pieces of steel then welded together, however modern manufacturing techniques enable steel frame of Tornado to be electronically cut from a single piece of steel, creating a very strong and stable frame. During construction some adjustments were also made to the tender, increasing the water capacity from 5,000 to 6,000 gallons and reducing the coal capacity from 9 to 7.5 tons.
In the relatively short period of time in which Tornado has been in operation, the locomotive has built up a large fan base because wherever the locomotive goes huge crowds flock to see this marvel of determination and fortitude.
Since it entered traffic in 2008 Tornado has worn various liveries, starting with Workshop grey. After mainline trials it was liveried in LNER Apple Green, applied in the traditional way by hand at the NRM paintshop. In 2010 it was re-liveried into BR Brunswick Green, with different BR logo changes during the following two years. After the 2012 winter overhaul, the livery was completely changed to BRs Express Blue, meaning that Tornado will have carried the same four liveries as all the original A1 Pacific locomotives.
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