Issue Date: 03/03/2018
Issue Name: Tornado Visits the North Yorkshire Moors Railway
Producer: Buckingham Covers
Our latest rail cover celebrates the Tornado visiting the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. It features a 1st class definitive stamp and Tornado label and has been cancelled with our special 60163 Tornado postmark. These covers are also being carried on the Tornado journey.
Class A1 locomotives were originally designed by Arthur H Peppercorn (1889 - 1951) who was the last Chief Mechanical Engineer of the London & North Eastern Railway. These locomotives were very well suited to the post-war period as they needed to be economical to run and easy to maintain. In 1990, a group of enthusiasts came together with the idea of constructing a brand new replica of a Peppercorn A1 Pacific. Whilst Tornado is a steam locomotive, it has been built with the modern railways in mind; fully fitted with the latest railway safety electronics and with extra water capacity.
The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust was formed officially on 17 November 1990 with 80 people initially joining. Drawings of the original Peppercorn locomotives were analysed and researched and changes to modernise the design were accepted. Construction on the engine began in 1994; as the works continued, the locomotive was moved from Doncaster to what would become the Darlington Locomotive Works. 2002 saw the frame fittings and work continuing on reducing the height of the cab to the modern standard of 13ft. The fitting of the four coupling rods to the 6ft 8in driving wheels in 2004 meant that Tornado was officially a Pacific (the 4-6-2 arrangement of the wheels on a locomotive classes it as a Pacific). As the work progressed, Mrs Dorothy Mather, widow of Arthur H Peppercorn, the locomotive’s original designer, came to light the boiler for the first time on 9 January 2008 with a formal steam test carried out on 11 January. After many years of hard work and effort, No. 60163 Tornado moved for the first time on 3 July 2008, 70 years to the hour that the LNER designed locomotive Mallard reached the world steam speed record of 126mph. The Mayor of Darlington came to the ceremony when Tornado made its first journey down a stretch of track laid down for the event. Tornado was then moved to the Great Central Railway at Loughborough to be tested and run in. It was not long until No.60163 hauled her first passenger trains. After many tests and a small repair to the crossheads, the Office of Rail Regulation officially authorised Tornado to run on the National Network on 27 January 2009. Painted in a pristine coat of LNER apple green, the locomotive was unveiled on 13 December 2009. 10 Years after the locomotive first moved under its own steam power, Tornado is making a tour of the main line railways, visiting the North Yorkshire Moors Railway from 3 March 2018.
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John Hunt has been a fireman on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway since 1971, and a driver since 1997.
He drove 60163 Tornado between Grosmont and Pickering on 8th March 2018.
Since 1996 he has also been a fireman, guard and driver for West Coast Railways, regularly driving the Jacobite steam train on the World famous Road to the Isles between Fort William and Mallaig.
John has also authored several books on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway in Silver Link Publishing's Past and Present Nostalgia series. John also produces and edits the North Yorkshire Moors Railway’s house magazine Moors Line, as well as NELPG NEWS, the journal of the North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group, of which he is Chairman.