The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, which operates 60163 Tornado, and is currently building 2007 Prince of Wales, has launched a 30th Anniversary Appeal to keep Tornado in operation, and to complete Prince of Wales.
It is now 30 years since the Trust was launched, with the aim of building a new Peppercorn A1 Pacific. The original A1s built by British Railways were all scrapped by 1966.
The Trust was founded and had a clear mission: “To build and operate a Peppercorn class A1 ‘Pacific’ steam locomotive for main line and preserved railway use.”
After 18 years of fundraising, Tornado (a £3m locomotive) was completed in August 2008. Since completion, Tornado has steamed over 100,000 miles, and has carried all the liveries worn by the Peppercorn A1s.
To celebrate, Tornado has been temporarily returned to BR Green and numbered 60145 Saint Mungo.
Steve Davies, Chairman, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, commented, “We’ve come a long way since those humble beginnings in York 30 years ago thanks to the generous donations of time and money from our dedicated supporters. We are now seeking to attract new supporters to come on-board and help us with our ambitious development plans.
“With this increased support, the next few years will see the first of the two new boilers delivered and fitted to No. 60163 Tornado during her next overhaul; the acquisition and overhaul of E35457 for use as a support coach for No. 2007 Prince of Wales; the completion, testing and operation of our new Gresley class P2; the relocation of the Trust’s operations to a new, larger main line connected site in Darlington where we can build, maintain and operate new steam locomotives; and the start of the construction of our third new ex-LNER steam locomotive, yet-to-be-named Gresley class V4 No. 3403.
“As part of our 30th Anniversary we are asking railway enthusiasts who share our vision to consider the different ways in which they might help us to protect what we have achieved to-date and realise our ambitious plans for the future. We are looking to welcome new ‘price of a pint of beer a week’ supporters for both No. 60163 Tornado – in particular the very real need to raise funds for her next overhaul – and to complete the build No. 2007 Prince of Wales.
“As an aside I sometimes sense in some quarters a view that once a new steam locomotive is built it requires little further support. Nothing could be further from the truth and both Tornado now, and Prince of Wales in the future, require additional support to remain in traffic. Tornado in particular at the moment as the impact of COVID-19 has significantly impacted on railtour revenue.”
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