Tornado goes down a storm at Nene Valley Railway

Russ Jenner in front of the Tornado locomotive at Nene Valley Railway. Photo: Chris Lowndes EMN-150109-104606001

Russ Jenner in front of the Tornado locomotive at Nene Valley Railway. Photo: Chris Lowndes EMN-150109-104606001

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A heritage railway was packed with visitors eager to travel behind a brand new £3.3m steam locomotive this weekend.

Nene Valley Railway hosted the A1 No 60163 Tornado, a steam engine built in the last 10 years which made its first journey in 2008.

Visitors to the heritage site near Stibbington had the chance to ride in carriages behind the Tornado and have a look around the train yard.

Marketing manager Jerry Thurston was delighted with the number of people who turned up. He said: “It went really well. We are very pleased with it.

“Tornado is on relatively restricted preserved railway duties this year, because it’s got so much to do on the main line. It has been in the calendar for about a year.”

Even a few showers couldn’t keep people away.

Jerry said: “You cross your fingers that it’s going to be a good weekend, but even when it rained on Monday it was heaving.”

And the locomotive certainly left an impression.

“She certainly made her presence known when the whistle got stuck open,” Jerry said. “People thoroughly enjoyed themselves. There were smiles all around and people were standing there dripping wet and not seeming to care.”

The Tornado is only able to visit railways with a main line connection, so Nene Valley is an ideal location. Jerry said: “We were incredibly lucky to have her.”

Nene Valley Railway relies on volunteers. If you are interested in joining, visit www.nvr.org.uk. The next event is the steam gala on September 12 and 13.