Page last updated at 12:03 GMT, Saturday, 18 April 2009 13:03 UK

Loco makes historic main line run

Peppercorn class A1 60163 Tornado at King's Cross, 18 April 2009
The locomotive pulled the train out of King's Cross, bound for York

A £3m steam locomotive has made railway history by becoming the first of its type to run from London's Kings Cross station for more than 40 years.

The Peppercorn class A1 60163 Tornado is the first new steam locomotive to be built in Britain for half a century.

The engine is the result of an 18-year project to build the locomotive and return it to main line service.

It spent Saturday hauling the Yorkshire Pullman train of 13 Orient Express carriages from London to York and back.

About 200 passengers paid £449 each for the 400-mile (640 km) round trip, with profits going to the engine fund.

Tornado was built by the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust at its site in Darlington and was based on the original designs of Arthur Peppercorn, the last chief mechanical engineer of the London and North Eastern Railway.

It embarked on its maiden mainline passenger journey, from York to Newcastle, on 31 January this year.

Mark Allatt, chairman of the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, said: "Tornado's first train from London's Kings Cross station is the opening of a new chapter in the story of a project that many said could never be completed.

"In 1990 a group was formed with a vision and the determination to make it succeed - to build and operate a Peppercorn class A1 Pacific steam locomotive for main line and preserved railway use.

"Nineteen years later, and thanks to that shared vision and determination, Tornado is hauling her first passenger train north from King's Cross to York on the East Coast Main Line, the route on which the Peppercorn class A1s became such a familiar sight throughout the 1950s and early 1960s."

The trust has launched a scheme to raise a further £832,000 through public donations and sponsorship in order to keep the train running.

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