Tor­nado looks north with new work­shop

Steam Railway (UK) - - Steam News -

The A1 Steam Lo­co­mo­tive Trust has an­nounced that it is seek­ing a new main line base in the Dar­ling­ton area, from which it aims to op­er­ate more of its own steam char­ters in the north. By the mid­dle of the cen­tury, the trust ex­pects to be op­er­at­ing a fleet of five LNER lo­co­mo­tives (see New-build News), so the trust is con­sid­er­ing po­ten­tial sites for the new HQ, where it aims to build suit­able con­struc­tion and main­te­nance fa­cil­i­ties. No timescale has been set, as the talks are in their early stages, but it is pos­si­ble that the new work­shops could be up and run­ning be­fore 2021 - the pro­jected com­ple­tion date for new ‘P2’ No. 2007 Prince of Wales. With a main line con­nec­tion and turntable, the new site will also in­clude a car­riage shed for the trust’s planned new train of Mk 3 coaches (SR459). Un­til 2016, the trust pro­moted rel­a­tively few rail­tours of its own, and de­spite Tor­nado’s strong roots in the North East, most of the lo­co­mo­tive’s work has been in the south of the coun­try most re­cently on the ‘Bel­mond Bri­tish Pull­man’ con­tract. But, says Chair­man Mark Al­latt: “This year, we’ll have run nine of our own trains, with UK Rail­tours act­ing as the ticket agent - we’re tak­ing the com­mer­cial risk. “That’s been an enor­mous step change, and we want to run more in the north. “We did have a pro­gramme planned for the Set­tle & Carlisle, but that had to be pushed back into next year be­cause of the land­slip.” ❚❚For more on the new Dar­ling­ton base, see Down Main (pages 80-81).

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