Page last updated at 17:50 GMT, Saturday, 14 February 2009

New steam locomotive heads south


Tornado arriving in London last Saturday

Hundreds of people have turned out to see the first new mainline steam engine to be built in Britain since 1960 in action in the south of England.

Tornado left London for the first time on Saturday for a circular tour through Surrey, Hampshire and Southampton.

Enthusiasts from Darlington raised 3m to build the Peppercorn class A1 Pacific locomotive from scratch.

It made its first long-distance passenger trip from Darlington to London last Saturday.

More than 300 people turned out to see Tornado at Overton station in Hampshire.

The last steam engine to be built for British Rail was Evening Star at the Swindon works in 1960.

The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, the charity that built the train, took 19 years to complete the project.

In November 2008, the trust successfully carried out Tornado's first test run, the first for a new steam train on the national railway network for nearly five decades.

Between journeys, Tornado is housed at the National Railway Museum in York.

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