TORNADO, the first new main line steam locomotive to be built in Britain for almost 50 years, will be heading to Chester on Saturday, May 22 with ‘The Cathedrals Express’ from London Euston, promoted by Steam Dreams.

Not only will this be Tornado’s first departure from and arrival at both London Euston and Chester but it will also be the first steam locomotive to arrive in Euston station for many years.

Tornado starred in the first episode of the last series of the BBC’s ‘Top Gear’ programme in June last year racing a Jaguar XK120 car and Vincent Black Shadow motorcycle from London to Edinburgh, with presenter Jeremy Clarkson on-board.

The first showing of the programme was watched by over seven million people.

The locomotive was also chosen to haul the British leg of ‘The Winton Train’ from Harwich Parkeston Quay (International) to London’s Liverpool Street station in September.

The new £3m Peppercorn class A1 pacific steam locomotive was built over almost 20 years by The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, a registered charity, at its Darlington Locomotive Works in Darlington, Country Durham.

Frequently headlined in the national and international press and on TV and radio, No. 60163 Tornado was the subject of a BBC documentary ‘Absolutely Chuffed: The Men Who Built a Steam Engine’ broadcast on Christmas Eve 2008 on BBC2.

The locomotive was officially named Tornado by TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall in February of this year and has since entered regular service on excursion trains on the Network Rail main line.

The timings for ‘The Cathedrals Express’ from London Euston to Chester on Saturday are:

London Euston: departure 0806hrs - Chester: arrival 1302hrs.

Chester: departure 1630hrs - London Euston: arrival 2052hrs

Mark Allatt, chairman of The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, commented: “It will be good to take Tornado from London Euston to Chester on the West Coast Main Line for the first time with ‘The Cathedrals Express’.

“The Peppercorn class A1s were designed for the rival East Coast route and so it will be fascinating to see how Tornado performs on rival metals.

“Tornado is performing very well and the Trust is working hard to pay off the remaining £500,000 of the loans taken out to complete the locomotive and to raise the £100,000 needed to provide Tornado with her own support vehicle.

“Please visit our website at to find out how you can help to keep this remarkable locomotive on the main line where she belongs.”

A variety of gifts featuring Tornado, ranging from models of the locomotive to DVDs and books about her construction are available from the Trust’s on-line shop at

The Trust respectfully requests that anyone wanting to see Tornado's main line passenger trains follows the rules of the railway and only goes where permitted.