Steam engine to visit Norwich

A tornado is heading for Norfolk with the arrival of a steam locomotive at Norwich railway station on a special chartered trip.

A tornado is heading for Norfolk with the arrival of a steam locomotive at Norwich railway station on a special chartered trip.

The Tornado steam locomotive will be calling at Norwich station tomorrow just after 1pm, giving steam enthusiasts the chance to get a glimpse of the classic engine.

Designed to meet modern safety standards, Tornado runs on the UK rail network, and on mainline-connected heritage railways.

But this will be the first time the engine, which has featured on a well-known challenge on Top Gear, will have paid a visit to the county, in a chartered trip organised by train tour operator Amethyst Experience.

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The Tornado will head out of London Liverpool Street at 10.23am tomorrow picking up booked passengers at

Romford, Shenfield, Chelmsford and Colchester, before arriving in Norwich at 1.22pm, where she will stay for a few minutes before being pulled out by a diesel engine to be serviced ahead of the return journey.

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The engine will return to the station at around 4pm before leaving at 4.10pm.

Mike Wilsmore from trip organisers Amethyst Experience, said: 'When it heads out of London Liverpool Street, it will be the first steam train to have left the station in more than 30 years.

'It is also the first time the train has been to Norfolk and called at Norwich, so we are expecting a very large crowd as well to see it coming into Norwich station.'

Built in Darlington at a cost of around �3m, by the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, a registered charity, Tornado, which is numbered 60163, is a Peppercorn class A1 Pacific steam locomotive.

The last of the A1 class engines was scrapped in 1966, but the trust was formed in 1990 to bring this type of locomotive back to the railways.

After more than 15 years of fundraising and construction, Tornado steamed for the first time in January 2008 and the following year she hauled her first passenger trip on the main line, the Peppercorn Pioneer, from York to Newcastle and back.

She is named after the Panavia Tornado military jet and has a top speed of 85mph on the main line.

In June 2009, Tornado featured in the Top Gear 'Race to the North' challenge, coming second to a car in a three-way race from London to Edinburgh against a 1949 Jaguar XK120 sports car and a 1949 Vincent Black Shadow motorbike.

In December she helped around 100 passengers stranded in the snow and ice by modern day rail services in the south-east.

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