100mph Tor­nado

Rail (UK) - - Contents - An­drew Ro­den Con­tribut­ing Writer rail@bauer­me­dia.co.uk

New-build Tor­nado clocks up 100mph as part of tests to safe­guard steam lo­co­mo­tive paths on a con­gested net­work.

‘A1’ 4-6-2 steam lo­co­mo­tive 60163 Tor­nado set a preser­va­tion speed record for a Bri­tish steam lo­co­mo­tive on April 12, be­tween Raskelf and Alne (be­tween Thirsk and York) on the East Coast Main Line.

The test run, which was kept se­cret from the public, was the lat­est stage in the A1 Steam Lo­co­mo­tive Trust’s am­bi­tions to run the 2008-built ‘Pa­cific’ on char­ter trains at speeds of up to 90mph. To en­sure its safety at this speed, a min­i­mum 10% over­speed test was nec­es­sary.

The tests were ob­served and mon­i­tored by the lo­co­mo­tive’s op­er­a­tor DB Cargo and Net­work Rail on the test run to Don­caster. To record the lo­co­mo­tive’s speed ac­cu­rately, di­ag­nos­tic and mea­sur­ing equip­ment was fit­ted.

Cur­rently, most her­itage steam lo­co­mo­tives are lim­ited to a max­i­mum speed of 75mph on the Net­work Rail net­work, al­though some (usu­ally with smaller driv­ing wheels) are re­stricted to 60mph or less. How­ever, grow­ing con­ges­tion on the rail net­work means it is be­com­ing more chal­leng­ing for plan­ners to find suit­able paths for steam char­ters with­out dis­rupt­ing ser­vice trains.

A1SLT Op­er­a­tions Di­rec­tor Graeme Bunker-James said: “We

NICK BRODRICK/ STEAMRAILWAY.

Primed for its his­toric mo­ment. Dur­ing the se­cret test trip, 60163 Tor­nado waits to leave New­cas­tle in the early hours of April 12. The A1 would achieve 100mph run­ning.

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