Peppercorn ‘A1’ No. 60163 Tornado made its return to railtour action with March 3’s ‘Auld Reekie’ from York to Edinburgh, having successfully completed a loaded test run from Ferryhill to Carnforth on March 1.
There was disappointment later in the day when Class 55 No. D9009 Alycidon failed on the return leg, but the ‘A1’ performed well, and was fit to haul the first of several ‘Aberdonian’ trains from Edinburgh to the Granite City on March 14.
Unfortunately, the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust’s hopes of crossing both the Forth and Tay bridges were dashed when Network Rail banned the Pacific from crossing the Tay Bridge in either direction. A recent detailed study has concluded the bridge is no longer in a fit condition to accommodate RA9 steam locomotives such as No. 60163. As a result, the ‘Aberdonians’ will be diverted via the Ladybank route and Perth on their journeys to and from Dundee.
As a result of DB Cargo’s decision to reduce its steam work, the March 1 test run and the ‘Aberdonian’ were operated by West Coast Railway Company.