Royal steam locomotive to turn blue from November

Published 9th October 2012

New Gresley steam locomotive class to be built by The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust?

DARLINGTON - The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust (A1ST) who built and operate the new steam locomotive, No. 60163 ‘Tornado’ has announced that as planned, the engine will lose its British Railways (BR) Brunswick Green livery and be out-shopped in early BR express passenger blue livery.

The locomotive tender will carry the early BR Crest and the repaint will be carried out during the first part of Tornado’s winter maintenance at Southall in October/November 2012 when the locomotive was to be repainted.

They said:

The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, Mark Allatt, chairman, said:

“We have long promised that Tornado will carry all four historic liveries during her first period of operation. Tornado will therefore carry Express Passenger Blue with the BR Crest on the tender following her winter maintenance at Southall depot. This will be for a limited period only as the Tornado ‘brand’ is very much as an Apple Green locomotive and this will remain her ‘core’ livery.”

The repainting will be carried out by the same team of Ian and Dan Matthews who applied the current and original liveries and the locomotive will again be brush painted.

Money matters

The A1SLT announced that £150,000 had been ring-fenced in a separate bank account towards the repayment of the £500,000 bearer bond due before the end of 2016 - the last remaining debt associated with the construction of the locomotive.

Another new locomotive?

The A1ST has been looking at building a second locomotive, a Gresley Class P2 for which a feasibility had been commissioned. It would be numbered 2007 as the next in the series. The prototype Gresley class P2, No. 2001 ‘Cock O’ the North’, was completed in 1934 by the London & North Eastern Railway (LNER) at its Doncaster works.

It was at the time, the most powerful express passenger steam locomotive ever built for a British railway and was designed by Sir Nigel Gresley, the Chief Mechanical Engineer of the LNER.

To P or not to P or one for two

They were constructed for use on the arduous Edinburgh to Aberdeen route and the P2’s with their 2-8-2 ‘Mikado’ wheel arrangement and 6ft 2in driving wheels enabled them to haul 600 ton trains on their own, replacing two older locomotives.

The class did not fulfil their potential and were displaced by the streamlined Gresley ‘A4’ class which set the world speed steam record. All six P2s were rebuilt as 4-6-2 ‘Pacifics’ in 1943/44 by Sir Nigel Gresley’s successor Edward Thompson, following Gresley’s premature death in 1941.

This conversion reduced the rigid wheelbase from 19’6” to 13’ allowing greater operating capability around curves.

Feasibility Study Process

The feasibility study is being carried out by DeltaRail in three phases:

Phase 1 – create a validated computer model of Tornado

Phase 2 – develop a model of Gresley P2 as built

Phase 3 – optimise the model to prove acceptable performance

Speaking to supporters at the annual convention of The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, Graham Nicholas, Quality & Certification Director of the Trust and Owen Evans of DeltaRail were able to announce the completion of phase 1 and substantial progress on phase 2 of the study.

They said:

Mark Allatt said:

“The P2 is the most frequently requested locomotive the Trust is asked to build next. In addition to its striking looks, incredible power and undoubted glamour it also has around 70% commonality with Tornado, including the boiler, tender and many other detailed fittings.

We are examining the commercial, engineering and certification challenges that we would face in completing that development work to make a new P2 a success.


Mark Allatt said: "Anyone wishing to play a part in this exciting venture should come on board as one of our Covenantors if they are not already.”

Tornado on the main line

The A1SLT has organised three railtours next year to help raise funds. The three trains will use ‘Tornado’ and the first runs between King’s Cross and Edinburgh as ‘The Elizabethan’ on 8th June 2013.

The second runs on a circular route between Newcastle, Carlisle, Edinburgh and back to Newcastle on a date to be confirmed.

The third runs from Sheffield via the Settle & Carlisle Line to Carlisle on 25th September 2013.

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