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Tornado steam train hits speeds of 100mph

19 April 2017

In the hope of raising its maximum speed, a steam train has hit 100mph during a test run which was conducted on the East Coast Main Line (ECML).

General steam locomotive (Credit: Shutterstock)

The new Peppercorn class A1 steam locomotive No. 60163 Tornado was completed in 2008. The locomotive is currently limited to 75mph but to keep up with the busy UK rail network, the intention is to increase the speed to 90mph. 

In common with other rail vehicles Tornado had to operate at 10 percent above its planned maximum speed to demonstrate a sufficient margin of safety

The tests were observed and monitored by various rail industry engineers and certification bodies. The operations were planned by The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust (registered charity and builders, owners and operators of No. 60163 Tornado) in partnership with DB Cargo Rail and Network Rail. Valuable assistance and support was also received from Ricardo Rail, Resonate Ltd, DATS, Electromotive, Cass Heywood and Riviera Trains.

Graeme Bunker-James, Operations Director for The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, said “we are delighted to have completed the test runs that move us one step closer to 90mph operations with Tornado. This will allow us to ensure that the locomotive continues to haul trains on the busiest parts of the UK network allowing as many people as possible to enjoy travelling with Tornado. As part of these tests the locomotive operated at 90mph for a sustained period and also achieved 100mph under these special conditions and running with clear signals. I would like to thank all of our industry partners for their support in making these trials a success. We now have to analyse the results from the tests and then complete the necessary certification processes before the first 90mph public operations can be undertaken. We hope to conclude this before the end of 2017.’’


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