A1 Pacific No. 60163 Tornado has officially joined an elite band of steam locomotives in the 100mph club in the early hours of April 12, 2017. The last time a loco reached 100mph in the UK was 50 years ago in 1967.
On an evening shrouded in secrecy and where the train path on Real Time Trains was marked as ‘diesel locomotive’, Tornado hit the magical 100mph figure working south down the East Coast Main Line for 48 seconds between Raskelf and Alne, between Thirsk and York. Several timers were on the train to confirm the accuracy, and after reaching the ‘ton’, for the next few miles the loco continued to run at 96 to 98mph.
The need for 100mph was part of the drive by the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust to certify Tornado to run at 90mph rather than 75, and for safety margins a 10 per cent overspeed is required.
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