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Some on here will be more than aware of Tornado, one of the highest-profile steam locomotives in the UK - up there with Flying Scotsman and Mallard.


The class A1 is not a particularly landmark design, nor does it hold any records, however what is significant is that this is a brand new locomotive - completed at the end of 2008. The design itself is 70+ years old, and originated from the same railway that brought us the A3 (flying Scotsman) and A4 (Mallard) - the LNER. The prototypes were all scrapped during the 1960s, however 60163 Tornado was constructed from scratch over the period of over 10 years based on the original plans, with some improvements and modifications. She took the next available number in the BR numbering sequence.


She is cleared for 75mph running within the UK and will essentially be used for charter trains and the like. It is on one of these charters the picture below depicts her, far from the A1's original stamping ground of the East Coast mainline between London and Edinburgh, at Liphook - about 10 miles north of Portsmouth.


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bikkuri bahn

I remember the beginnings of this project, when subscription plans were being promoted (a "quid a week", or was it a day?) to fund building of this loco.  I'm happy to see the project was a success, unlike the ATSF 2912 restoration project in Pueblo, Colorado, which I initially contributed to.  Unfortunately, big dreams are usually crushed by realities of cost, insurance, and general apathy in the U.S.


On a similar, but more positive note, thank God for JR East, an organization with pride in its heritage, and the wherewithal to preserve it:


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