Page last updated at 15:51 GMT, Wednesday, 26 August 2009 16:51 UK

Steam locomotive goes on display


The Tornado is able to achieve speeds of 75mph (120km/h)

The first main line steam engine to be built in the UK for nearly 50 years has gone on display in Oxfordshire.

The £3m Tornado locomotive was built in Darlington and Doncaster by a group of enthusiasts over 18 years.

The 170-tonne engine is on show at Didcot Railway Centre while it undergoes maintenance work.

On Wednesday and over the bank holiday weekend, people will be able to climb aboard the 1940s-style locomotive for trips up and down the line.

Enthusiasts will be able to enjoy rides on the footplate and take a one-mile (1.6km) round trip.

There will also be an opportunity for a limited number of people to drive and fire the Tornado on Thursday and Friday, although it will cost £550 for the privilege.

The locomotive, which is able to achieve speeds of 75mph (120km/h), was designed by Arthur Peppercorn, the last chief mechanical engineer of the London and North Eastern Railway.

In 1990, the Darlington-based charity A1 Steam Locomotive Trust started the campaign to build a new operational steam train for the East Coast line, which resulted in the new engine.

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