14 February 2009
Tornado is the fiftieth of the A1 class "Peppercorn"
steam locomotives, and is unique in that unlike the first 49, built in
1948-9 by the LNER and scrapped by 1966, Tornado is a newly built
locomotive, beginning her mainline passenger-carrying career on 31
January 2009. She is the only new-built steam locomotive in Britain, and
the first since Evening Star in 1960. Today was her first outing from
London, and as a combined birthday and Valentine's Day present, Lucy
took Stephen on a six-hour circuit from Waterloo.
At Waterloo, from as far along the platform as we were permitted to go, a
glimpse of Tornado. The man on the left of picture is the station manager, who
was very anxiously insisting that the hundreds of people crowding the platform
behind us move behind the yellow line. In reality it probably wouldn't have made
any difference, but he might have considered leading by example, as he
conspicuously stood well over the yellow line himself: "do as I say, not as I
Lucy at our table, complete with Valentine's chocolates.
Stephen with his maps and rail atlas.
The route for the entire day was lined with spectators. Here there were little
hills (old landfill sites) where spectators had gathered.
Many more lined the platforms at every station we passed through.
A glimpse of Tornado as we approach Byfleet Junction
As we travel under the M25 motorway viaduct, we pass the junction of the Wey
Navigation and the Basingstoke Canal (last visited by Stephen and George in a
walk in November).
After people crowding the platforms at Woking, there are more on the bridges
A glimpse of one of the locks on the Basingstoke Canal
Shadows on the field from Tornado's smoke
Another look at Tornado between Salisbury and Southampton
The River Test as we near Southampton
The mediaeval Red Bridge over the River Test - lined with spectators.
Centre-picture a Cross Country Voyager train is stationary, waiting for our
steam train to pass in front of it to the junction - quite right, too!
Passing Southampton Western Docks
Heading north now, we pass the River Itchen in Southampton
Stopping at Eastleigh station to take on water, is it our first opportunity to
get close to the locomotive. Of course, everyone thinks likewise. I'm not sure
how many are from the train and how many were here before us - presumably those
lining the bridge were awaiting our arrival.
A look at today's headboard (up for a silent auction with a reserve of £200)
Heading away from Eastleigh, we parallel the Itchen Navigation for a while
Later, passing over the River Wey as we have rejoined our outward route
Crossing the Thames at Barnes Bridge
Approaching Waterloo station.
Tornado's tender in her LNER Apple Green livery
Preparing to be pulled out of the station
The plate on the tender confirms it was built in 2008
Tornado is pulled out of Waterloo, preparatory for her evening tour, which
starts from Victoria.