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Last Updated: Saturday, 16 July, 2005, 11:45 GMT 12:45 UK
Steam loco project in cash plea
Computer generated image of the Tornado
A computer enhanced image of how the Tornado will look
A team behind an ambitious plan to build Britain's first mainline steam train in 40 years, said 385,000 was still needed to complete the project.

The Darlington-based A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, has already raised the majority of the 2.3m needed to see the train completed by the end of 2007.

The trust was formed in 1990 by a group of steam train enthusiasts.

The A1 peppercorn class engine - dubbed Tornado - is currently being built at the trust's yard in Darlington.

When completed the steam train will be used for charter journeys operated by Network Rail.

Existing pledges

A spokesman for the trust said: "Significant progress has been made on the construction of Tornado, with over 1.3m raised to-date through deeds of covenant, commercial sponsorship and through a bond issue.

"In order to complete Tornado as quickly as possible - by November 2007 - the trust needs to raise 385,000 on top of its existing pledges."

The A1 class of Pacific locomotives was designed by Arthur H Peppercorn for the London and North Eastern Railway and built in 1948/49.

They were the last of the East Coast Main Line's series of express passenger steam locomotives.

Examples of many other Darlington and Doncaster-built locomotives have been saved for preservation. But none of the Peppercorn A1s were saved and they were all scrapped, following dieselisation of the railways, with the last going in 1966.

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