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Step onto the footplate of Tornado


Tornado is at Locomotion: The National Railway Museum, in Shildon, until Friday, May 7

The Northern Echo


VISITORS to a railway museum are to get the chance to stand on the footplate of Britain’s newest steam locomotive.

The Peppercorn class A1 Pacific, Tornado, built from scratch by volunteers in Darlington, is at Locomotion: The National Railway Museum, in Shildon, until Friday, May 7.

It went on display yesterday and visitors can go on the footplate from today until Thursday.

It will be operating in light steam during a three-day North- Eastern Giants of Steam gala over the bank holiday weekend.

The A1 Trust spent nearly 20 years building the £2.5m locomotive, the first of its kind to be built for 50 years.

Dr George Muirhead, museum manager, said: “It was a lot of hard work to get the locomotive here, but everybody at the museum is enthusiastic about it.

“Its arrival on Friday afternoon, under its own steam, was a real highlight. Hundreds of people turned out to watch, and every bridge was full of spectators.”

Giants of Steam runs from Saturday to Monday, and also features the North-Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group’s K1 class 62005 Lord Of The Isles, J72 class Joem, and the Furness Railway No 20.

From next Tuesday, Tornado will undergo maintenance in the museum’s workshop, before leaving at 10am on Friday, May 7.

For information, call the museum on 01388-777999 or visit nrm.org.uk. The facility is open from 10am to 5pm. Entry is free.

? A FORMER Royal locomotive is to make history by being the first National Railway Museum (NRM) engine to pull passengers along a popular tourist railway.

The Prince William will pull visitors along the Wensleydale Railway, in North Yorkshire, over the bank holiday weekend.

It will travel on the line this weekend thanks to close links with the York museum. NRM director Steve Davies is a supporter of the Wensleydale Railway.

Nick Wood, general manager of the Wensleydale Railway, said: “It’s really good that the Prince William is coming – exciting, too, considering its history.”

The Prince William will pull a excursion train on Friday, which leaves Leeming Bar station at 7pm, and will return at 9.30pm.

Tickets cost £17.50 including a buffet and a drink. Timetable and ticket details can be found at wensleydalerailway.com or by calling 0845-450-5474.

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