There is nothing quite like a steam train and there is no steam engine quite like the Tornado. So when myCornwall had the chance to climb abroad, we didn’t need to ask us twice.
Despite appearances, the Tornado is not a historic engine. Built between 1994 and 2008 at a cost of £3million, she became the first steam engine to be built in the UK since the 1960s. Completed in 2008 from specially constructed new parts (and some historic pieces) Tornado is actually testament to some rather impressive British engineering. The train can reach speeds of 75mph and above but won’t be doing anything like that on the Bodmin and Wenford line due to speed restrictions.
The Tornado arrived in Cornwall a few days ago and since then has been causing a real stir not only with rail enthusiasts but amongst the general public too. Lets face it everyone loves the romance of a steam train.
The sights, smells and sounds feel like a step back in time, producing memories of a bygone era. And as one excited passenger told us people develop an real affection for a steam train, almost as if they were a living, breathing things, in a way that they don’t for the more modern trains.
The Tornado will be pulling passenger trains in Cornwall until 4th June and demand for tickets has been very high. As we trundled along the track of the Bodmin and Wenford Railway there were crowds of spectators taking photographs from the bridges and beside the lines.
So take yourself to Bodmin this weekend, experience the smell of hot steam in your nostrils, black soot on your skin and see this wonderful engine in action.
Words and Pictures Elizabeth Dale