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Wellington, Somerset, 29th May 2009

The new express steam locomotive ‘Tornado’ is due to arrive on the West Somerset Railway on 30th May and will be working trains on the line for two weeks. This beautiful and impressive engine can now be viewed live online, thanks to specially installed live video streaming supplied by web innovations company Finetra. Watch as she pulls trains in and out of Minehead Station at CheckItLive.

The magnificent new steam locomotive number 60163 ‘Tornado’ will be arriving on the West Somerset Railway on the evening of Saturday May 30th at the head of a Pathfinder Railtours excursion train from Bristol Temple Meads. The train is due at Minehead at 7.45 p.m. ‘Tornado’ will then spend a fortnight on the line, working two round trips from Bishops Lydeard to Minehead each day. The enthralling images will be viewable at CheckItLive, among an array of other fascinating live webcam streams.

“There has already been a terrific amount of interest in the visit of the engine”, said West Somerset Railway General Manager Paul Conibeare, “following its well-publicised introduction into railway service last year after a building project that had lasted nearly twenty years.” ‘Tornado’ is the first new express passenger steam locomotive to be built in this country for 50 years - at a cost of £3million. Most of the engine was built in Darlington, the original ‘home’ of railways. The boiler, however, was built in the Meiningen Works in the former Eastern Germany, which still had the necessary equipment to build a boiler of the size required.

The engine has been driven by HRH Prince Charles and has more recently been the subject of BBC’s Top Gear, as the locomotive raced a Jaguar XK120 car and a Vincent motorbike from London to Edinburgh. ‘Tornado’ has been headlined in the national and international press and featured on BBC TV and ITV since it first ran last year.

Arthur Peppercorn, the last Chief Mechanical Engineer of the London and North Eastern Railway, designed the A1 engine class, of which ‘Tornado’ is a development. The locomotives were built between 1946 and 1949 at Darlington and Doncaster, and were excellent performers on express trains and fast freights between Kings Cross, North East England and Scotland. Sadly, the rapid withdrawal of steam in the 1960s saw them out of service by 1966 and all were scrapped.

The A1 Trust launched the project to build ‘Tornado in 1990. It was intended to be a development rather than a recreation of the original engines, incorporating various engineering and design developments that have taken place in the last half-century. The curious can find fuller details of these changes in a comprehensive entry for the engine on Wikipedia.

Those lucky enough to be able to get to the West Somerset Railway during the two weeks ‘Tornado’ is on the line will be able to see this wonderful engine in the flesh or even travel behind her. For everyone else ‘Tornado’ can be watched performing her duties at CheckItLive.

For more information on the West Somerset Railway, including timetables, please visit their website –

For more live video streams, please visit

For further details about live video stream feeds, contact: or visit

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Finetra in the following categories: Children & Teenagers, Men's Interest, Entertainment & Arts, Leisure & Hobbies, Travel, for more information visit