Page last updated at 11:42 GMT, Wednesday, 19 November 2008

New steam loco ready for service

Tornado will make its passenger debut in the new year

The first new steam engine to be built in the UK for almost 50 years is ready for service after successfully completing all its trial runs.

The 3m locomotive Tornado completed its third and final test run between York and Newcastle.

Tornado reached 75mph (121kmph) during the trial for the A-1 Steam Locomotive Trust, the engineers behind it.

The locomotive is expected to enter service, hauling charter trains between York and Newcastle, in the new year.

The first trial journey was a "light engine movement" in which Tornado, a Peppercorn class A1 Pacific steam locomotive, pulled two support coaches at a maximum speed of 50mph.

On the second trial the engine reached 60mph on a return journey to Barrow Hill depot, near Chesterfield in Derbyshire, pulling 11 coaches.

Chair of the trust, Mr Allatt, said: "Tornado's test runs are all part of the preparation for her Network Rail passenger debut in the new year."

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