Page last updated at 13:30 GMT, Wednesday, 20 August 2008 14:30 UK

New steam loco ready for trials

The engine will be painted and tested in Leicestershire

A steam engine that has been 18 years in the making has arrived at the Great Central Railway in Leicestershire for test runs.

The 170-tonne Tornado is the first new main line steam engine to be constructed in decades and cost 3m.

It is designed to haul special charter trains on the main line in the UK.

Testing will take place on the Great Central Railway line as it is easier and cheaper to organise than on main line tracks.

The Peppercorn class A1 steam locomotive arrived from Darlington on a flat-bed lorry as it does not have its permission to operate on the mainline yet.

Mark Allatt, chairman of The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust said: "I think the test runs will be fine - we have to 'run it in' just like a car - and first we have to commission the modern safety equipment."

"I still have to pinch myself that after 18 years we have done it."

Bill Ford, president of Great Central Railway, said: "Tornado has been the talk of the railway enthusiast community for years, but now she's finally ready to run, the whole world is taking notice."

Dave Elliott, engineering director for the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, said: "It is something we have been excited about right from the beginning when the idea was first germinated back in 1990."

More than 2.9m has been raised through small donations and sponsorship, including main sponsor William Cook Cast Products, and through a bond issue.


The train will be tested on the Great Central Railway's track

Full steam ahead for new engine
01 Aug 08 |  England
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