The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust
The last of the renowned Peppercorn class A1 steam locomotives was tragically scrapped in 1966. But, as you’re reading this website, a brand new A1, 60163 Tornado, is being brought to life in Darlington.
The Peppercorn class A1s were the last of the great express passenger locomotives designed by the London & North Eastern Railway. British Railways built 49 of them at its Doncaster and Darlington works in 1948/9. Throughout the 1950s the majestic A1s pulled trains between London, Yorkshire, the North East and Scotland. They were the last word in East Coast Main Line steam - but none escaped the scrapmen’s torch.
The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust - a registered charity – is now building a completely new A1 to the original design and with the help of the latest technology. Fitted with additional water capacity and the latest railway safety electronics, Tornado is fully equipped for today’s main line railway.
Supporters around Tornado at Annual Convention 2003
We already have hundreds of supporters and the backing of the best of British business – including William Cook Cast Products, Rolls-Royce, Corus and BAe Systems - helping to raise the £3m needed to construct Tornado.
We have built over 95% of Tornado including all of the major parts. Tornado is now standing on its wheels, with its enormous boiler mounted, and is being fitted with hundreds of minor components and what seems like miles of piping and cabling! However, for it to enter main line service in Autumn 2008 we need your help – and you can still come on board for the price of a pint!
That was our concept when we launched the project to build Tornado in 1990. Supporters could covenant (donate) just the monthly equivalent of the price of a pint of beer per week. In those days beer cost £1.25 a pint in the North East! Much of the locomotive as you see it today has been funded by this means – a large number of people contributing a small amount on a regular basis. Although Deeds of Covenant have now been replaced by Gift Aid, the Trust is still able to claim back from the Inland Revenue the income/capital gains tax that you have paid on your donations. For every £10.00 that you donate, the Trust could claim an additional £2.82, making your contribution worth £12.82. By becoming a regular donor you can play your part in making history.
It’s that simple – the more regular donations we receive, the quicker Tornado will be finished.
This website tells the story of the building of the locomotive so far. We hope you’re able to help us to complete the job.
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