60163 Tornado

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 do".

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)

Our carriage

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.


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Unless otherwise stated, all images copyright (c) Stephen and Lucy Dawson