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The Hidden Tornado

I'd been looking forward to Wednesday for a while, after I discovered that the modern Peppercorn A1 Tornado was due to pass through Putney, hauling the Cathedrals Express. Completed in 2008 it was the first mainline steam locomotive built in the UK for 50 years, using modern tools and technologies to update a classic design. It's an impressive beast, a classic steam engine design for the modern railway.

So I wandered down to the footbridge at the end of my street camera in hand, ready for the 9 am hole in the commuter traffic that's used to route steam specials from Victoria down the Waterloo-Reading line.

The minutes ticked past, and around the time I was expecting Tornado to appear I saw something unusual: a diesel hauling a passenger train on this thoroughly electric region. Through my zoom lens I discovered the sad truth, it was piloting Tornado - and I wasn't going to get any of the head-on locomotive pictures I'd taken on previous days. Still, it was worth a shot or two as it came through the pillars of the old bridge...

Tornado Behind A Diesel

Tornado behind a pilot diesel in the Putney cutting.

A1 Steam

Still, it was good to see an A1 in steam on Southern Railway lines!

It Isn't Easy Being (British Railways) Green

It Isn't Easy Being (British Railways) Green. You can see one of the biggest differences between Tornado and the other Peppercorn's here - the welded tender.

Tornado's steam hides the diesel...

Tornado's steam hides the diesel as the express passes through Putney Station.

And then it was gone, on down to Weymouth for the day. Steampunk overtaken by dieselpunk!


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 18th, 2011 06:38 pm (UTC)
The real dieselpunks are on their comeback tour, I see. Looking at the location, Joseph Porter will approve.
Aug. 18th, 2011 10:20 pm (UTC)
Oh dear. Looks like it was some sort of failure, though evidently in steam.
Aug. 18th, 2011 10:25 pm (UTC)
Apparently she was due to be piloted to Eastleigh, so I suspect line restrictions.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )