The breakthrough came when restored locomotives could be approved to run on British Rail tracks, including the main lines. This has put fresh life into rail heritage projects but the most ambitious has been the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust Tornado, a new-build Peppercorn Class A1. The manual follows the project through to completion and certification to run on main line rail track.
NAME: The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust Tornado, New Peppercorn Class A1, 2008 onwards
CLASSIFICATION: Book reviews
AUTHOR: Geoff Smith
PUBLISHER: Haynes Publishing
BINDING: Hard back
SUBJECT: steam, engines, railtrack, technology, reproduction, restoration locomotive, volunteers
DESCRIPTION: It has been said, “You don’t know what you’ve lost ’till its gone” and that nostalgia is “the art of only remembering the best bit”. Steam engines have always captured the imagination and no one has satisfactorily explained why. They exude power and display high engineering skills and there is always the romance of something that has passed for daily life. Steam power enjoyed a brief triumph of only approximately one hundred years. The earliest steam engines powered the pumps to keep mines dry, powered the new machines, taking over from wind and water power, only to be replaced by diesel engines and petrol engines. They were the static engines and it took a time before they were applied to powering vehicles. Steamboats and locomotives came slowly into use in the early years of the 19th Century. As they were beginning to achieve widespread popularity, the internal combustion engine arrived and started to take over. In Britain, steam locomotives enjoyed an extended life largely because of the demands of war and the constriction of near bankruptcy. As soon as railways could afford it, they unceremoniously dumped their steam engines and switched to diesel and electric power. The now unwanted locomotives were dumped in disused sidings, sold cheaply to scrap yards and as often ended rusting away rather than being broken down and recycled. There were some early pioneers of heritage preservation who concentrated their interest on bringing steam engines back to life but the challenge was in finding track to run the restored locomotives on. The breakthrough came when restored locomotives could be approved to run on British Rail tracks, including the main lines. This has put fresh life into rail heritage projects but the most ambitious has been the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust Tornado, a new-build Peppercorn Class A1. The manual follows the project through to completion and certification to run on main line rail track. This will be of great interest to all rail enthusiasts, but it is also an inspiring story of how any “impossible” dream can be realized with determination, vision and ambition. For all those who wish to preserve and recreate the triumphs of British engineering, Tornado shows that those examples that have been lost through past neglect can be brought back to life through the construction of accurate functional replicas.