Kicking myself

February 14, 2009

I should have remembered, I had looked it up.

(C) A1 Steam Locomotive Trust...Borrowed..

(C) A1 Steam Locomotive Trust...Borrowed..

Today, 60163 Tornado made its first two tours from London, one from Waterloo and one from Victoria. Both ran around here, passing through (in no order) Barnes, Feltham, Hounslow, Acton, Staines and other stations near to where I live. I had aimed to go to watch it, but I forgot it was running today. GRRRRR…..

For those who don’t know, Tornado is the first main-line steam locomotive built in Britain [apart from the boiler] for 50 years. The history can be read from the web site. However, there is a family connexion to the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER), via my maternal grandfather. The still existing engines such as Flying Scotsman (4476), and Mallard were built and ran while he was involved. I’ve seen, and have (film) photos of both these engines in Steam, running through where I used to live in the 1980s. Flying Scotsman spun its wheels as it pulled out of the station, while Mallard seemed much more dignified, no wheel spin and its whistle was also, somehow, more refined. Mallard still has the world record for the fastest Steam engine pulling a train (set in 1936). Must try and scan the photo prints to post here.

Neither of these latter engines have a current boiler certificate, so are museum pieces.

I think I also have photos of Golden Arrow in steam running out to the Chiltern escarpment – the same route as the other old engines were taking; I certainly remember chasing it out to towards Princes Risborough, and admiring how graceful and even easy she made it look.

The Peppercorn engines were built by the nationalised LNER part of British Railways, and thus carried the British Railways logo.

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