THE most famous train in the UK will make a triumphant return to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway at the end of May.
The Tornado, which is the first new steam engine to have been built in more than 50 years at a cost of £3m, will be puffing its way here for the May Bank Holiday weekend, has just been unveiled at the National Railway Museum in its new livery – BR Brunswick Green.
The locomotive last visited the NYMR in 2009, the same year it was first unveiled to the public, and pulled in huge crowds too see her.
It will arrive at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR) on Wednesday 25 May and will be put into operation on Thursday 26 May, which is a symbolic day for the railway, as it marks the 175th anniversary day since the Whitby to Pickering line was first opened on 26 May 1836.
As well as hauling passenger services during the day, Tornado will also haul a special anniversary Pullman dining service on the evening of 26 May.
The locomotive, which was built in Darlington, will be running on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway on certain dates between 26 May and 5 June.
Those keen to see the engine in its new livery are advised to check the NYMR timetable for precise details of its running.
The railway has already welcomed thousands of visitors for its 175th Anniversary Festival which saw 10 days of steam-driven traction using a mix of home-based engines and guest engines.
The last May Bank Holiday saw a “very buoyant number” of visitors and although this tailed off during the week, thousands have visited the railway to help celebrate 175 years since the opening of the Whitby-Pickering line.
Phil Bustard, marketing manager for the NYMR said: “As a result income generated through ticket sales was significantly higher than the previous year’s Spring Gala.
“The weather undoubtedly helped, as did the spectacle of Pickering Station’s new roof, itself a new feature.”
The railway’s artist-in-residence, Christopher Ware, said the festival provided an excellent opportunity to spotlight his work which was on display at Pickering Station and he decided to give back some of his takings from sales of his work to the railway.
For more information visit www.nymr.co.uk or call (01751) 472508.