A WORLD-famous locomotive that was built in Darlington has been repainted in BR locomotive green as part of its 30th anniversary celebrations.

The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust is the registered charity that built, owns and operates world-famous 100mph new steam locomotive No. 60163 Tornado.

Since completion in Darlington in 2008, new Peppercorn class A1 Pacific No. 60163 Tornado has covered more than 100,000 miles and seen service on the Network Rail main line and heritage railways right across Great Britain.

Highlights have included three Royal Trains with the first following the locomotive’s naming by HRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall in February 2009; BBC Top Gear ‘Race to the North’ with Jeremy Clarkson on the footplate; ‘The Winton Train’ to commemorate the 70th anniversary on the Kinder Transport; the re-opening of the Settle to Carlisle Railway; the first steam locomotive in the UK to achieve 100mph for 50 years; featuring in two BBC documentaries, ‘Absolutely Chuffed – the Men Who Built a Steam Engine’ and ‘Tornado the 100mph Steam Engine'.

The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust was founded in 1990 to build a new Peppercorn class A1 ‘Pacific’. The class A1s were designed by Arthur H Peppercorn for the London & North Eastern Railway and 49 were built in 1948/49 by British Railways. However, following dieselisation, all were scrapped by 1966 with the last survivor No. 60145 Saint Mungo being the subject of a failed preservation attempt. Examples of most of the East Coast Main Line’s famous steam locomotive classes were saved, the most significant gap being their final development, the Peppercorn class A1s.

Steve Davies MBE, chairman of the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, said: “Saint Mungo’s most famous run was on New Year’s Eve 1965 when the North Eastern Region of British Railways ran a special train from York to Newcastle and return to commemorate the ending of main line steam, the locomotive achieving 100mph on the return leg. Like others of the class it was bereft of its nameplates but its performance inspired the formation of The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust in 1990 to build a brand new Peppercorn class A1 No. 60163 Tornado.

“It wasn’t until 2008, when No. 60163 Tornado hauled passenger trains for the first time, that anyone had again experienced class A1 haulage and it was 2009 with the ‘Peppercorn Pioneers’ before true express speeds were once again experienced.

“As part of The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust’s 30th Anniversary celebrations – and in recognition of the inspiration gained from this final survivor - we have repainted No. 60163 Tornado in BR locomotive green for the first time since 2012. This historic livery will be carried by the locomotive until her next overhaul which is now scheduled for 2022. We are grateful to Craftmaster Paints for their continued sponsorship of the painting of Tornado and to David Smith and West Coast Railways for completing such a fantastic job of repainting Tornado into BR locomotive green in such a short time.”

Over the duration of her first boiler certificate Tornado carried all of the Peppercorn class A1’s historic liveries of LNER apple green (with ‘British Railways’ on the tender), BR blue (with the emblem on the tender) and BR locomotive green (with both the emblem and the crest on the tender).